cover image My Worst Best Friend

My Worst Best Friend

Dyan Sheldon, Candlewick, $15.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7636-4555-7

Something happened to end Gracie's best friendship with the beautiful, beloved yet ditzy Savanna but Gracie won't say what. Instead Sheldon (Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen) unfolds their friendship's demise slowly, developing the complex dynamics of their relationship as well as the girls' individual personalities. As Gracie and Savanna's connection grows ever more tenuous—Savanna is constantly standing up Gracie (and others) and forcing her to lie on her behalf—the never-been-kissed Gracie has an unexpected suitor: the odd but adorable Cooper, who ropes her into volunteering with him. Gracie's down-to-earth narration and passion for protecting the environment makes Savanna's shallow and clueless nature all the more grating, though Savanna is never reduced to a mean-girl caricature. Instead, her actions come across more as misguided than intentionally cruel, and readers should relate to Gracie's painful experience of growing beyond a once-treasured friendship. Nevertheless, it's a relief when Gracie realizes that she has changed but that Savanna will not, and finally lets her go. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)