Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

We used to be friends by Amy Spalding

EARC review

384 pages

Published January 7th 2020 by Harry N. Abrams

We used to be friends is very peculiar book, built in a curious and interesting way. There are two POVs, Kat’s and James’ and the book swings from month to month, starting with the end (or a beginning) and ending with the beginning. Kat and James are best friends since they were little and they can’t wait to go through their senior year, both of them full of hopes, plans and ideas for the future, colleges and boyfriends. But the senior year changes everything for them.

James’ life is turn upside down when her parents, together since high school and considered, by her and everyone else, a true love story, break up and her mother left her and her father to live in another city with another man. She isn’t sure anymore about anything, even her own relationship with Logan, now in college and she decided to break up with him, scared because her plans, inspired by her parents’ love, fell apart. Seeing their marriage’s outcome, she’s scared to love her boyfriend, bringing herself to pushing him away. To complicate things her best friend seemed less interested in hanging out with her and in trying to understand that something is wrong with James than to be with Quinn Morgan, who seems to have taken her place and Kat’s attention. Jealousy and heartbreak pushes James to distance herself from Kat.

Kat’s life, even though she wants others to think it’s perfect, is not. Her mother died for a heart problem, leaving her paranoid and scared about her own health, her father decided to start dating and her boyfriend cheated on her because he was bored when she was away during summer. Her only constant is (was) James, even though slowly their relationship deteriorate, and her new friendship with Quinn. When Quinn kissed her, Kat realized how much she loves her and starts a relationship with her, slowly and without realizing, pushing James away. Or giving her for granted.

This book narrated their story, talking about their relationships, school, boyfriend and girlfriend, parents dating, parents separating, prom and dresses, colleges, friends. It shows, while talking about their friendship, with flashbacks too, how James’ and Kat’s lives change in such short time, how they find way to be more sure of themselves, or how to seek help, how to realize people around them, how to grown up, even when everything changes around you and you lose your benchmark.

Kat is a bit self absorbed, but like James, her character is complex. She’s suffering, going through big changes in her life, her father dating, her bisexuality, her moving on after her mother’s death. Around others Kat pretends she’s perfect, she hasn’t problems and only James and then Quinn pushed her to be more herself, to be fragile when she needs to be. To accept things and learn from them.

James is complex, quiet and introvert. She and Kat are really different. Kat popular and boisterous, James contemplative, alert, with her plans and thoughts. It’s clear even in their writing style, because Kat uses upper cases and emoticons and esclamation points, while James is more accurate in writing and, when she slowly distances herself from Kat, her style becomes succint and almost cold. James found her world turned upside down and she’s forced to accept it, with her mother and friend. I love her relationship with Logan, who is an amazing, caring and funny person, always there for her, when they are a couple, when they are not and when they are figuring out, giving her space to sort herself and her feelings out.

I love how this book deals with emotions, heartbreak, grieving, funny moments and so on. I love how the ending left, at least as I see it, a sliver of hope for James and Kat and James and Logan. How it talked about jealousy, relationship,romantic and not, school and making choices.

Amy Spalding’s writing style is excellent and she swings skillfully between the two main characters and it’s clear who’s talking by word choices, sentences and expressions. I liked the way the book deals with important themes (divorces, depressions, seeking help and so on) and how it focuses on changes and growing up. Overall We used to be friends is a 4 stars reading for me, intesting, captivating and really well written.


What you should know about me is: I'm in love with books. I love diving in them, living my heroine's and heroes' adventure, discovering new worlds and characters. I've always loved reading and writing. The idea of creating is thrilling and scary at the same time. 'I'd rather die on an adventure than live standing still."

Un pensiero riguardo “We used to be friends by Amy Spalding

  1. This sounds like a very interesting book. I like they way the relationship dynamics change and how the two girls are left to face some very complex problems that many real people face – it’s realistic, and doesn’t shy away from the important topics.
    I think I will definitely have to give this a read!

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