Sunday, February 20, 2011
Someone Like You by Kathryn Shay
I liked this book, but not quite as much as the first, Still The One. I think that has more to do with me connecting better with the h/h of the first book, although Brie and Nick are both likeable. As always, there are hot issues of the day to address; in this book it is the son of the mayor. He's the star football player, but so desperately unhappy following the death of his mother and he has no outlet for all that pain and anger. He's also a cutter.
Nick was the best friend of Brie's husband. He passed away, leaving her heartbroken. Nick and Brie never really got along, even while Jared was still alive. They disagreed on a lot of things, one of which was how to deal with Matt. Nick is trying to do his best for Matt on the down low, while Brie thinks that it should be reported so that Matt can get more help and have everything documented.
Through their interactions with Matt, Brie and Nick come to realize there is a huge attraction between them. Brie learns to like Nick. A lot. And what's not to like? He is handsome, smart, thoughtful, and really, truly wants to do the best he can for his students.
I thought Brie came across as a bit abrasive, but not unlikable. She jumped to conclusions and acted sometimes without thinking of the consequences. Having said that, she learns through the course of the book that her way may not always be the best way, and really comes to appreciate Nick for who he is.
I thought the love story happened a little quickly, but there was a long history between Brie and Nick, so although there was the 'getting to know the real you' issue, they already were well acquainted and both in a position to have a new start to their relationship.
The story surrounding Matt is heartbreaking; one I'm sure is not unique at all. (in fact, I know it's not - students like Matt are the ones my husband teaches every day) His father ignores him, speaking to him only to criticize or to talk about football. He's stuck playing a sport he doesn't even want to play, and he's tied in knots trying to come to terms with his mother's death.
Matt's father almost made the transition into sympathetic, but fell short. He comes across as a hard, unforgiving man, unable and unwilling to connect with his son because he represents a loss he doesn't want to think about.
As with the last book, there was only one plausible way that the resolution to Matt's situation could happen, and it was because he turned 18, and was able to make some decisions for himself.
I really like these books because they also give a look into the other side of education - what goes on in the teacher's lounge, in the principal's office, and in general, the politics that go along with working in education.
Another solid read from Shay. Really looking forward to the next book, which I just got my hands on.
If you missed them, there's a review of Still the One and an interview with Shay as well.