Book Review: Just Like That by Marsha Qualey
First sentence: "I suspect that sometimes strangers think I'm a bitch."
From the back: "When Hanna breaks up with her boyfriend of almost a year, she knows she's supposed to feel ... something. Liberated, maybe? Sad? Instead, there's only one thing she feels for certain: She's in for a pretty dull winter. Her job in the swimwear department certainly isn't very exciting. But in an instant, everything changes. Hanna finds herself the bearer of a major secret: She was the last person to see two teenagers before they died in an accident on the icy lake, and she thinks she could have prevented their deaths. She can't possibly tell her mother or her two best friends. She can't tell anyone. Even drawing and painting -- always her therapy in the past -- aren't the recipe for calm they once were. So when Hanna finds herself drawn to Will, the elusive boy she's noticed around town, the kind of boy who'd quicken any girl's pulse, she doesn't hold back. Anything. What she learns about herself -- her friendships, her family, her life -- will affect her far more."
My take: I read several reviews on this book and some were favorable. Some, not so much. But I thought it was quick read and I enjoyed it very much. I liked Hanna... mostly. I loved Will. Will's family was great. Hanna and her mom get along pretty good for teenager/mother. There were some twists and turns that seemed like they were written in after the fact that were a little nose-wrinkling for me, but it didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the story. The author states there is no sequel coming -- which is a shame. There are so many characters in this book and so many directions another book could go. I think this is a story that tells us when life puts someone in our path -- or something -- it's for a reason. We may not get it today. We may not get it tomorrow. But eventually... we will get it. An ALA Best Book for Young Adults winner I recommend.
If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Speak (July 19, 2007)