Nothing Like You
By: Lauren Strasnick
When Holly loses her virginity to Paul, a guy she barely knows, she assumes their encounter is a one-night stand. After all, Paul is too popular to even be speaking to Holly, and he happens to have a long-term girlfriend, Saskia. But ever since Holly’s mom died six months ago, Holly has been numb to the world, and she’s getting desperate to feel something, anything—so when Paul keeps pursuing her, Holly relents. Paul’s kisses are a welcome diversion, and it’s nice to feel like the kind of girl that a guy like Paul would choose.
But things aren’t so simple with Saskia around. Paul’s real girlfriend is willowy and perfect… and nothing like Holly. To make matters worse, she and Holly are becoming friends. Suddenly the consequences of Holly’s choices are all too real, and Holly stands to lose more than she ever realized she had.
summary from book
My Rating: 4/5
Nothing Like You is a wonderful novel about loss, friendship, and growing up. Holly has just lost her mother when you meet her and so she is dealing with the sadness and emotions that follow such a traumatic event. This novel also addresses many other elements such as a secretive relationship and the one that I found most compelling being Holly's fascination with Saskia, Paul's girlfriend. I found the latter very intriguing just because I've never come across a novel that explores the topic of the girlfriend or ex-girlfriend in a similar way. There is a certain mystique attached to Saskia that Holly is fascinated by and I liked this take on the world of girls. Holly cannot understand why Paul has chosen to be with her when he has Saskia who Holly deems perfect. The whole scenario was just very intriguing to me.
Lauren Strasnick has a very direct and to the point style of writing that I greatly enjoyed. This made Nothing Like You a fast paced read that captivated my attention from the very beginning. It starts off right in the middle of things and the pacing from them on is consistent and direct. There are no filler chapters or certain scenes that were duller than others. Every scene and every moment was interesting.
Even though this is a fairly short and to the point novel the characters and scenarios were all still wonderfully developed and complex. I really loved Holly and sympathized with her throughout the novel's entirety. I liked how she was imperfect and didn't always make the best decisions. I appreciated her flaws and I liked her vulnerability as well. She was very human and it showed which is important and which I loved.
I also liked the dynamic and relationship between many of the characters, especially Nils and Holly as well as a few others. I found this novel to be highly realistic and I enjoyed the end as well. I'm a fan of endings that aren't perfect because much like real life, nothing is ever one hundred percent as there is no guarantee. Holly made decisions and the ending showcased those in an efficient manner.
Overall: If you're a lover of contemporary YA like me, I highly recommend Nothing Like You. It is a wonderful story with great characters and realistic situations that are well represented and explored.