by Ann Herrick
GENRE: Teen Romance
When New-York-City girl Emily visits her cousin Janelle in Oregon, Emily wonders how she'll survive the wilderness. Janelle wonders if the wilderness will survive Emily's visit—and if she can convince her cousin to help save part of an old-growth forest.
Meanwhile, Emily also wonders if a big-city girl can get along with a county guy—named Bret. Under forest canopies and by crystal-clear waters she struggles with her growing attraction to him. But they're so different. Whoever thought she'd fall for someone like him?
It wasn't easy trying to fit all my stuff into one small suitcase and an overnight bag. But Dad said that was the limit. I wished I had room to pack my old scout manual. I vaguely remembered there was a section about survival in the wilderness. I figured I might need that.
"Now, Cheryl," Dad said to Mom. "Don't start getting teary-eyed."
"But Richard, we're sending our only daughter off to Oregon." Mom sniffled.
A fine time for Mom to have second thoughts—just as I was about to board the plane. I let out a long sigh and tried to look really sad. Maybe she'd give in to her misgivings and let me stay.
"She'll be in good hands," Dad said reassuringly.
"We'll be in Europe, six thousand miles from my baby!"
Ordinarily I would have moaned and declared that I was not a baby. Now, however, I worked at getting my lower lip to tremble.
"Everything will be fine!" Dad's voice was getting high and squeaky, a sure sign that he'd had it. "Emily will love Oregon. It'll be an educational trip. It's time she sees something besides the cities of the world. Now let's say good-bye before she misses the plane!"
Dad hit just the right combination of panic, annoyance, and determination.
"You're right, dear." Mom kissed me goodbye.
Dad gave me a hug and kiss, then stepped back and put his arm around Mom. They both stood there with smiles on their faces.
"Bye," I said as cheerfully as possible. I could tell there was no point in any last-minute hysterics. I squared my shoulders and headed toward the plane.
I thought there could at least have been some appropriately dreary background music as I marched off to my doom.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Ann Herrick is the award-winning author of several books and short stories for kids and teens. Included in the awards her books have won are the ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers, IRA/CBC Children’s Choice and EPIC Best YA Novel Finalist.
Ann grew up in Connecticut, where she graduated from The Morgan School and Quinnipiac University. She now lives in Oregon with her husband, who was her high-school sweetheart. Their wonderful daughter is grown, married and gainfully employed, and has given Ann her only grand-dog, Puff, a bloodhound-Rottweiler-beagle mix and six grand-kitties. While she misses the East Coast, especially houses built before 1900, she enjoys the green valleys, fresh air and low humidity in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Ann loves cats, walking, the Oregon Ducks and working in her back yard. In addition to stories and books for children and young adults, Ann also writes copy for humorous and conventional greeting cards. She loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted through her website
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Someone Like Him by Ann Herrick is a teen story about Emily, a fifteen-year-old New Yorker whose summer plans to visit L.A. have been disrupted, with the result that she is going to visit her relatives in Oregon. Emily had been looking forward to a makeover during the summer to shed her Honor-Roll but dateless status, but she doesn’t think enjoying the Great Outdoors with her aunt, uncle, and cousin is going to achieve that. Then she meets Bret, who tries to help her to see the beauty in the forest and wilderness around her. Is this going to be a summer to remember or not?
This sweet story has a slight twist on the city mouse vs. country mouse theme as only a teen can experience it. The drama and angst of trying to fit in is touched upon and there are fun vignettes of Emily’s experiences with hiking, fishing, interacting with wildlife, and the challenges of camping without all of the luxuries. I like the different scrapes that she gets into and her gradual investment in both the appreciation for nature and reciprocating Bret’s interest but some things are a little strange for me, such as her vacillation between being whiny and not being forthcoming about her opinions or experience (especially when she meets one very large creature) and the awkwardness of her interactions with the boys, although I guess that it reflects challenge of teen relationships. It would be nice to get a little more depth for all of the characters as I don’t feel that I really got to know them very well. There are lovely descriptions of the beauty of nature and the impact of humans upon the delicate ecosystem and I enjoyed seeing the forest through Emily’s eyes. I think this would be a fun story for those who appreciate nature and enjoy watching love bloom.
A copy of this title was provided to me for review