Thank you to Atria for sending me a review copy.
About the Book
Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That's what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they're both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school's scapegoat.
Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents' house in their small hometown of Pleasant Ridge, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She's just returned from Bad Date #6 when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. "Something horrible has happened," Val tells Addie, "and you're the only one who can help."
Best Friends Forever is a grand, hilarious, edge-of-your-seat adventure; a story about betrayal and loyalty, family history and small-town secrets. It's about living through tragedy, finding love where you least expect it, and the ties that keep best friends together.
I really connected with this story. Having just passed 10 years out of high school I find myself thinking about people I haven't seen in years and what they are doing now. So reading a story about two friends who had lost touch and have been reconnected was something that really resonated with me.
I connected with Addie, the main character. Even though she has made some changes to her life since high school, she is still pretty much the same person she was. She's shy and she lives her life without trying to cause too many ripples. Given the circumstances that surrounded her path to where she is in life at this point, I think that I would have made some of the very same decisions. I didn't like Valerie at the beginning of the story, but as the story progressed she kind of grew on me, as I've known people in similar positions and I almost felt sympathy for her. Even though the story is told from Addie's perspective Valerie is very much the catalyst that keeps the story going.
The writing was pretty good. The story jumps between the past and the present and also jumps between a few different locations. While this jumping can sometimes lead to a very disconnected story it was very well executed in this book. The flashbacks help to explain the time gaps between high school and the present. They also help build the story behind Val and Addie. The characters were very believable. The plot was a bit on the crazy side, but after I got to know Valerie I started to think that she's the kind of person that really could get herself into something like this.
This one really played with my emotions, as I really wanted to dislike Val but ended up feeling kind of sorry for her. Plus as we learn about Addie I really could let myself become her as I was reading. I even pictured her to be almost like me. The other characters were kind of two-dimensional, but because their importance to the story was limited I think they didn't need to be well-rounded.
I really liked this one.
To learn more about Best Friends Forever, or to find out where to get your copy please visit Simon & Schuster.