Published on: September 13th 2013
Published by: Self Published
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Review Copy
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Growing up isn’t always easy. But for most teenage girls, they can rely on their best friend to help them get through the process. A BFF is something that is truly treasured and completely irreplaceable. You share all of your secrets, and are loyal and honest with each other, even when you’re acting just a little bit crazy. You have each other’s backs no matter what and you form a bond that is virtually unbreakable.
Nat and Mel have been “besties” since childhood and Nat has followed her blindly ever since. But as Nat’s friendship with Mel begins to lead her down the wrong path, she starts to question the sincerity of their relationship. Nat starts to see Mel’s manipulative, deceitful ways become more focused on her. Will Natalie hold on tight to the friendship she’s had her entire life, no matter what it cost her? Or will she let her heart lead her to a relationship that’s not so twisted.
At least that’s what normal teenage girls experience.
When you hate a character so much that you wish you could reach into the book and slap them, you know that you are reading something by someone incredibly talented. Anyone can make you fall in love with their characters, but to make you truly hate and turn against a character takes a master: welcome N.L.Greene.
Finding a connection with Natalie was at times a struggle. I liked her, I felt sorry for her, I was routing for her. But at the same time she frustrated me. She was being manipulated and taken advantage of and I found her denial very frustrating. Even so, I stuck with her because I genuinely liked her. She goes through some pretty rough times, makes some bad decisions, but you can’t fault her because if I was in her situation I honestly don’t know if I would be able to make the better decisions.
Mel, wow I hated her. I tried to feel for her, I really did. She was a teenage struggling with her parents separation, she was acting out. Plus she has her own insecurities which she can’t seen to deal with. A lot of girls go through exactly what Mel went through, so I tried. But I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t like her. She was horrible, no matter what a person must suffer through in their own lives, it does not give them the right to make someone else suffer. Not acceptable.
Nat & Mel’s relationship reminded me very much of a domestic abuse couple. Mel was the controlling husband: taking exactly what she needed from Nat to make her feel better about herself. Using her, manipulating her to get what she wanted. Whilst Nat, very much the wife in denial, sure that she is the problem and does everything possible to make her other half happy, and accepts responsibility and punishment whenever anything goes wrong.
The secondary characters in this book rally shone through and were a blessing to this abusive storyline. They can see what is happening and try their best to help. Even when Nat refuses to believe them, they stick by her, always in the background ready with a helping hand when she will finally accept it. Characters like this make me think of how lucky I am to have some amazing people in my own life who are always there to help me. But it also saddens me when I think of the Nat’s of the world who don’t have this support, and go on suffering.
This book is a very different type of story and nothing like what I have read before. I have read stories of domestic violence between spouses, parents and children, but never between two friends of this age. It’s not really something we think of, I mean I know that bullying goes on in schools, and yes it is a serious problem. But I could have never have imagined that someone this young could cause so much pain.
N.L.Greene’s talent really shines through and she takes us on Nat’s journey, full of pain and despair. At times it is not an easy read and I found myself having to pause, saddened by the dark places Nat allowed herself to be taken to. But there are good moments too. Our secondary characters allow us some comedic relief plus we are given some moments of such genuine love between family and friends that I once again found myself thankful for every one I am blessed to have in myself who is there for me ready to pull me out of the darkness whenever things get tough.
A great debut from N.L.Greene. She managed to conquer a serious topic whilst still keeping a fun element to it. I can’t wait to see more form this author.
I would recommend this book to fans of: Tease by Amanda Maciel, books about bullying, books set in high school, books about friendship