Title: The Best Friend
Author: Melody Carlson
Series: Life at Kingston High
Released: June 1, 2012
Lishia Vance went from having friends to totally abandoned. There’s no explanation, just complete and utter social isolation. All after that new girl Chelsea cam to town. The worst part, even her best friend Janelle isn’t giving her the time of day. Lishia is now completely lost and lonely. She is baffled that she now has to find a new friend to hang out with.
When she reconnects with Riley Atkins, it seems like she may have a new best friend, but after all her ex-friends were put through by Riley she wonder if Riley is really as good of a friend as she seems. Her desperation for a friend and to possibly make the cheer squad again have her completely ignoring her conscience and her faith. Not to mention making her do things she wouldn’t normally to stay on her “best friend’s” good side.
After her antics make her in too deep to get out unscathed she has to make the hardest decision of her life. Lose her only friend and do the right thing, or continue down the path she’s on and potentially lose her soul. With Riley pushing her and pushing her she can only last so long before her conscience leads her, but she’s scared of what will happen to her if she tells.
Will she end up doing the right thing or will she be too scared to tell all? If she does tell what will Riley do, leave her alone or enact revenge? Not mention how will her friends and family feel about her if she tells? Why does high school have to be so complicated?
I’m a huge fan of Melody Carlson, have been since I started reading in the young adult genre, and again she didn’t disappoint my expectation of a realistic teen book that makes a teen think. I found this book to actually be better than the first in this series as far as making a girl think or convicting her. I loved it!
Melody Carlson is known for her incredible view into the teen brain and she does a fantastic job, even after all these years. The thing that I love most about her books is that she brings current teen interests into her books as well as spiritual learning that is subtle enough to make anyone enjoy it, but “out there” enough for someone to know what they’re learning. I also love how she give each book a theme, this one happened to be confession.
The conflict Lishia feels throughout the book is something pretty much anyone who’s gone to school ever has experienced in varying degrees. Because of that, It made the story even more realistic and believable. It makes you feel for the character and it drags you along for all the drama- not that you’re complaining. This book is added to the long line of proof that shows that this author can think just like a teen. It constantly amazes me.
Unlike a lot of her books- or at least the ones I’ve read- there’s no real romance in this one. There a small section of dating but it’s insignificant to the story and is only there for about two small chapters. It was a refreshing change to have a teen book with no real relationship between the lead and someone else. It showed a whole new side of teen dating. That it doesn’t need to happen. It was nice to see a teen book that didn’t put too much stock in it.
This book hasn’t stopped my love of Melody Carlson’s books, in fact, I think it increased it. In my mind, she’s the queen of teen fiction and, until someone can dethrone her, she’ll always be my favorite and set the bar for all other young adult novels out there. Not to mention she’s doing this to help guide girls in their faith. What’s better than that? Do guys have an author like this? If not they need one. I hope someday I can sit here and be reviewing an incredible teen fiction author for guys. If anyone knows of one, if they’re out there, please let me know. Who knows I might just get a peek at how guys think.
Overall, another incredible book from this well known teen author. I highly recommend this for any teen of high school age. I also recommend any of her young adult novels. They’re just that amazing. I give this book a four out of five.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.