Bad Best Friend

Rachel Vail. Viking, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-451-47945-7
Eighth graders Niki and Ava have been best friends since Ava moved to Snug Island, Maine, in third grade and claimed Niki from then-friend Holly. But now critical Ava needs a break. Niki strives to be what Ava wants, even as Ava begins hanging out with their class’s most popular girls. Holly works to befriend Niki again, despite their past, but Niki only wants Ava back—that and maybe to spend more time with her crush, Milo. Things at home are charged, too: Niki’s nine-year-old brother, Danny, has meltdowns that have led to the school asking that he be tested, while their mother tries to pretend everything is fine. It’s not until Niki attends a party where things go very wrong that she realizes what a good friend really is. The story contains powerful moments, and Niki is a relatable character, but it can be difficult to understand why she would want to remain friends with someone who is repeatedly unkind to her, and Ava’s sometimes overly explanatory dialogue makes her feel less developed than her counterpart. Ages 10–up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/20/2020
Release date: 03/24/2020
Genre: Children's
Show other formats
Discover what to read next