Friday, 12 March 2010
Review: My Worst Best Friend by Dyan Sheldon
Publisher: Walker Books
Released: February 2010
Grade rating: B/B+
Gracie and Savannah are best friends - despite being totally different. Savannah is beautiful, outrageous and irresistible to the opposite sex. Gracie is shy, smart and would rather be learning about lizards than meeting boys. Together they make a great if surprising team and it seems like nothing could come between them - but over a long summer Gracie begins to question Savannah's reliance on lies and manipulation to get her own way and wonder whether her friend is quite as confident as she seems. When Gracie meets a boy she really likes, and Savannah comes between them, Gracie realizes that maybe it's time she started thinking for herself. The two friends may never be as close as they were but they've learned a great deal from each other.
My Worst Best Friend is an accurate depiction of high school friendships, and how they can easily fall to the wayside when a boy is involved. It's brilliantly written, and is a quick, easy read that I really enjoyed.
I never warmed to Savannah, even though I wanted to. I really didn't like her, or the way she treated Gracie -- it's just not the done thing. It's fine to get wrapped up in a new boyfriend, but leaving your best friend behind isn't something to be proud of. I couldn't help thinking that Gracie was more of a convenience friend for Savannah, and at times Gracie's dedication frustrated me. I wanted her to stand up for herself a lot sooner, and realise that Savannah wasn't all she was cracked up to be.
Gracie was too nice for her own good, and always helped Savannah when she suddenly called, even if it meant breaking plans of her own. I've been in this situation myself, as I'm sure many people have, and faced with it again, I'd do things differently. Some friendships are worth saving, but others aren't worth the stress. Realising that is an unpleasant revelation, but in the end it's usually the right decision.
Sheldon's writing is spot-on when it comes to how 15-year-olds speak, and her high school observations are realistic. High school is a hard place, and without your best friend by your side, it can be somewhat of a nightmare. Luckily, Gracie starts to branch out and meet new people, including a boy, Cooper, who is perfect for her. Their relationship progresses slowly but surely and, in the end, he's the much needed person she can count on.
My strong dislike of Savannah did lessen my enjoyment of this book, as clingy, demanding people tend to annoy me. However, that's just me, and If you're a fan of realism and social commentary, My Worst Best Friend is a great book to get lost in. The characters are well rounded and real, and Sheldon doesn't bypass anything for the sake of giving them a happy ending.