"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Frenemies by Alexa Young

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Summary: Two fashionista tweens find themselves growing apart after a summer away.

Why are we friends? Is it proximity? Are we going through the same life events? Do we have similar interests? Do we have similar values? Do you make me laugh? Do you think I’m smart? Is it my boots? C’mon, I know you think my boots are sexy.

When Halley gets back from summer art camp, she’s bubbling over with excitement to share her new look (lavender cowboy boots) , and new art camp friend, with Avalon, who stayed home all summer, but Avalon expected Halley to slip back into her old role without hesitation.

So when Avalon makes fun of Halley’s new boots, Halley’s not worried; she just thinks Avalon needs to get used to them. And Halley’s not the only one who’s changed. Avalon went from an A-cup to a C-cup over the summer, but hasn’t updated her tops. But when Avalon makes fun of Halley’s new art camp friend Sofee, Halley wonders if Avalon had really been this mean all along. Halley finds herself pulling away from Avalon without telling Avalon why and Avalon makes it worse by forcing the issue, essentially saying “It’s the boots or me!”  It’s not really about the boots, you know.

The two girls don’t really talk, and then the former friends and current neighbors divide everything: Gymnastics squad vs. cheerleaders (or cheerfollowers, if you’re being snarky); custody of their shared dog, Pucci; designated lunch spots; they even split their shared fashion column, using it to publicly attack each other.
 "It was like she was in a game of tug-of-war – with her feelings for the old Avalon pulling her in one direction, and her disgust for the new Avalon pulling her in another."
When someone changes the agreement and the dynamic of a friendship, whose fault is it? Is it the fault of the person who changed, who is into something new and wants to drag her friend along with her? Or is it the fault of the person who resists growth, change and independence? 

I know this is a YA novel, but once you get past the fashion references, it’s a well-written look at friendship and the unspoken rules we abide by. 

This book reminded me of the Clique series, but it was more realistic, better written, and less full of name-dropping styles. Check it out. 

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