Monday, June 4, 2012

The Best Friend

Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: Revell
June 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8007-1963-0
Genre: Inspirational/young adult

Lishia Vance thought she had some really good youth group friends. But then suddenly a new girl comes to town, and she loses all her friends. In a miff, Lishia gets up to move away from the table and goes to sit with another girl, a cheerleader, who is sitting alone.

Riley is Lishia’s middle school friend and suddenly she’s claiming Lishia is her best friend, except she’s asking her to do some really dishonest and mean stuff. Lishia is uncomfortable with this, but she does what Riley asks because that is what best friends do.

Now Riley has gotten Lishia on the cheerleading squad and Lishia is finding it isn’t all what it’s cracked up to be. She hates the person she’s become. And she hates being Riley’s puppet. But is she willing to do what’s right and face what could be public humiliation?

THE BEST FRIEND is the latest book by Ms. Carlson and my daughter was anxiously waiting for me to finish it so she could read it. Ms. Carlson really writes books that appeal to teens and tweeners. Some of the issues are rather adult and edgy, so if you are protective—or ultra-conservative, you might want to be careful, but it deals with real issues that, unfortunately, teens face today.

Lishia is a very realistic teenager – desperate enough for a friend and to be accepted that she was willing to do anything to achieve that. I hated some of the bad decisions she was making and that even her family seemed to support her bad choices by encouraging her to spend the night with Riley, despite knowing her reputation, and by bragging about her getting on the cheerleading squad, like that was the ultimate, even better than her perfect GPA. Not that cheerleaders are bad—my best friend was one—but most of the ones in this series were really messed up.

If you are looking for a new Melody Carlson book for your favorite young adult then THE BEST FRIEND is a great book to consider. $12.99. 215 pages.

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