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.
"Nothing Like You is candid and quick-paced, with characters you can't help but want the best for." --Deb Caletti, National Book Award Finalist for Honey, Baby, Sweetheart
"The fast-paced story will appeal to fans of Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen." --Kirkus Reviews
Nothing Like You Chapter 1 We were parked at Point Dume, Paul and I, the two of us tangled together, half dressed, half not. Paul’s car smelled like sea air and stale smoke, and from his rearview hung a yellow and pink plastic lanyard that swayed with the breeze drifting in through the open car window. I hung on to Paul, thinking, I like your face, I love your hands, let’s do this, let’s do this, let’s do this , one arm locked around the back of his head, the other wedged between two scratched-up leather seat cushions, bracing myself against the pain while wondering, idly, if this feels any different when you love the person or when you do it lying down on a bed.
This was the same beach where I’d spent millions of mornings with my mother, wading around at low tide searching for sea anemone and orange and purple starfish. It had cliffs and crashing waves and seemed like the appropriate place to do something utterly unoriginal, like lose my virginity in the backseat of some guy’s dinged-up, bright red BMW.
I didn’t really know Paul but that didn’t really matter. There we were, making sappy, sandy memories on the Malibu Shore, fifteen miles from home. It was nine p.m. on a school night. I needed to be back by ten.
“That was nice,” he said, dragging a hand down the back of my head through my hair.
“Mm,” I nodded, not really sure what to say back. I hadn’t realized the moment was over, but there it was—our unceremonious end. “It’s getting late, right?” I dragged my jeans over my lap. “Maybe you should take me home?”
“Yeah, absolutely,” Paul shimmied backward, buttoning his pants. “I’ll get you home.” He wrinkled his nose, smiled, then swung his legs over the armrest and into the driver’s side seat.
“Thanks,” I said, trying my best to seem casual and upbeat, hiking my underwear and jeans back on, then creeping forward so we were seated side by side.
“You ready?” he asked, pinching an unlit cigarette between his bottom and top teeth.
“Sure thing.” I buckled my seat belt and watched Paul run the head of a Zippo against the side seam on his pants, igniting a tiny flame. I turned my head toward the window and pressed my nose against the glass. There, in the not-so-far-off distance, an orange glow lit the sky, gleaming bright. Brushfire.
“Remind me, again?” He jangled his car keys.
“Hillside. Off Topanga Canyon.”
“Right, sorry.” He lit his cigarette and turned the ignition. “I’m shit with directions.”
Lauren Strasnick grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, now lives in Los Angeles, California, and is a graduate of Emerson College and the California Institute of the Arts MFA Writing Program. She wrote her first short story, “Yours Truly, The Girls from Bunk Six,” in a cloth-bound 5x4 journal, in the fifth grade. She is the author of Then You Were Gone, Nothing Like You, and Her and Me and You. Find out more at LaurenStrasnick.com, and follow her on Twitter at @LaurenStrasnick.