Two best friends grow up—and grow apart—in this innovative contemporary YA novel
Told in dual timelines—half of the chapters moving forward in time and half moving backward—We Used to Be Friends explores the most traumatic breakup of all: that of childhood besties. At the start of their senior year in high school, James (a girl with a boy’s name) and Kat are inseparable, but by graduation, they’re no longer friends. James prepares to head off to college as she reflects on the dissolution of her friendship with Kat while, in alternating chapters, Kat thinks about being newly in love with her first girlfriend and having a future that feels wide open. Over the course of senior year, Kat wants nothing more than James to continue to be her steady rock, as James worries that everything she believes about love and her future is a lie when her high-school sweetheart parents announce they’re getting a divorce. Funny, honest, and full of heart, We Used to Be Friends tells of the pains of growing up and growing apart. (via Goodreads)
Title: We Used to Be Friends
Author: Amy Spalding
Published: January 7th, 2020 by Amulet
Genre: YA Contemporary
Note: I was given an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That did not influence my opinions in any way.
Review: I requested this book from NetGalley because the premise seemed interesting with alternating points of view during alternate timelines. My main concern going in was that it was going to get confusing.
However, it wasn’t as confusing as I thought. The writing was simple and this was truly a fast-pace story. Unfortunately, We Used to Be Friends fell a little flat for me in certain areas. I was interested in exploring a friend break up kind of story, but the more I read the more I ended up disliking one of the main characters James. Throughout the novel I found James to be acting immaturely.
James gets upset and eventually very bitter that her best friend, Kat, meets someone new, a girl named Quinn, and eventually begins to date her. The story didn’t come across as two people who outgrew each other but rather James couldn’t stop being immature long enough to communicate with Kat. Kat made a new friend and wanted to explore her sexuality and James got jealous.
I definitely didn’t get the ending I was hoping for, as I felt like the ending had no real resolution.