Friday, October 15, 2010

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. 

{taken from}

I sped through this book in less than a day.  Yes, it was a short read... but it was very gripping & hard to put down!  The words flowed rhythmically from page to page.  I love it when I get so wrapped up in a book that I forget I am reading & imagine it being played out as a movie.  Grab your tissue box!  This one definitely had me in tears.

The book begins right in the midst of it all.  Holly is in the backseat of Paul's car, pulling her jeans back on, and wondering "what the hell did I just do?"  I know that teenage sex is such a taboo subject and many people think teenagers should not read about it, because then it's almost like giving them ideas to pursue it?  Well, in this book's case I felt like it gave the very raw side of a teenage girl losing her virginity.  Was she in love with her high school sweetheart & they made passionate love for the first time on a bed of roses?  Not hardly.  I think young girls like to think that's how everyone's first time should be, but let's get real people... how many of us had awkward first times?  I know I did.  I felt Holly's uncertainty of what just went down.  I remember those exact emotions, and from the first chapter I was sucked in to the world that author Lauren Strasnick had created.

As the story unfolds we learn that Holly just recently lost her mom to cancer, only 6 months prior.  So right away, as the reader, you realize why Holly is acting the way she is.  Coming from someone who lost my mother at a young age, I immediately felt drawn to Holly's pain and understood why she made the choices she did.  Were they right choices? No.  But they were choices that made her feel good at the moment.  They were choices that masked her reality of pain, and made it easier for her to just get through one day.. one week.. a few months.  Come to find out Paul, the boy she lost her virginity to, is dating Saskia.  Now this is where I get a bit confused.  They all go to the same school and later we find out that Holly is aware of the 2 of them.  However, we never quite know how Holly ended up in the backseat of Paul's car in the beginning.  If she knew he was dating Saskia, then why was she even with him from the get-go?  I never quite understood that.  It may have been that Paul feeds Holly lies about his relationship with Saskia.  Downplaying it to be less than what it really is.  Holly being vulnerable accepts Paul's lies.

In comes Niles.  Good ol' Niles.  He is Holly's best friend who lives next door.  I knew right away what kind of character he would be.  Finally the guy best friend who doesn't get shafted!  Well.. not entirely.  While Holly continues to see Paul in secrecy, Niles begins to pick up on her not sharing everything.  Because that's what best friends do, right?  Then when things couldn't get anymore complicated Holly gets paired up with Saskia for a school project and guess what?  They become friends too.  Realizing what a great person she is, Holly tells Paul she can't keep up with their charades anymore and refuses to see him.  (Which btw - is this saying that if Saskia was a horrible person then that would have made it ok for Holly to keep running around with Paul?)  Well poor Paul doesn't like that he can't have his cake & eat it too anymore.  He threatens Holly that he'll tell Saskia what's been going on if she continues to dismiss him.  So what's a girl to do?  Get drunk & continue to make her life even more complicated!  Without totally ruining the story, I'll just say that Holly makes one more horribly wrong mistake & thus ends up hurting the people she cares about.  

I like that the author doesn't make everything right again over night.  She draws out the last few chapters before giving the story it's ending.  In the real world when someone screws up as badly as Holly did, people don't just forgive you that quickly.  It doesn't work that way.  But yes.. over time.. wounds will heal & forgiveness can be made.

Though I felt like there were a few plot holes, over all I enjoyed this story.  Holly's character really spoke to me and that may have been why I found myself in tears a few times while reading.  The adolescent years can be so confusing, especially when you have to endure such "grown up" pain.  I knew a few Paul's back in my day & it infuriated me the way he continued to manipulate & use Holly, only to his advantage.  Unfortunately it took Holly hitting rock bottom before she could walk away from that situation, but I'm glad she finally did.  Sometimes we have to endure the worst before we are able to see the best.



  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog on the hop! I haven't heard a whole lot about this book, but I think your review has convinced me to give it a shot. It sounds like something I might like. Thanks! :)

  2. This book sounds really good! I think your review has me wanting to get it:)


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