Title: The Best Friend
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre: Realistic fiction
“Lishia Vance is totally baffled. One day she has friends. The next day everyone has turned against her. No explanation. Just complete social isolation. Even her best friend Janelle isn’t giving her the time of day.
Now she has one goal for her junior year at Kingston High: make a new best friend.
When Lishia makes a connection with Riley Atkins, a popular cheerleader, things start looking up. But is Riley really as good as a friend as she seems? Or is Lishia better off without her?”.
As usual in the Life at Kingston High series, Melody Carlson writes about a real situation teens struggle with. This book really tells how a lot of teenagers may feel when losing a best friend and the struggles that come along with trying to make a new one. The book also teaches a valuable life lesson about guilt. When Lishia’s secrets pile up, she can’t take it anymore. She learns as she begins to tell the truth that it was a lot better letting it all out and even though she’d have to deal with the consequences it’s better than living with guilt.
I would say the book is appropriate for middle school and high school. Although, they do talk a lot about alcohol and date rape drugs which may not be appropriate for some people. The date rape drugs are just used as “pranks” and nobody actually gets raped, just very sick. The alcohol is mentioned several times when they go to parties and they do mention people getting drunk. But the book really focuses on Christianity and explains that those are bad choices and the wrong thing to do.
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Mandy is a homeschooled student in high school. In addition to hanging out with her friends, she enjoys reading and painting. She hopes to earn her Ph.D. in Psychology after she graduates from high school.