FICTION

The Friendship Lie

Capstone. Aug. 2019. 272p. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781684460618.
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Gr 4-7–Emotions take center stage in this book about friendship, misunderstandings, jealousy, and depression. Sybella, a biracial black/white girl, met white twins Cora and Kyle in the second grade and they have been best friends since. Now that they are in the fifth grade, their friendship has fallen apart. The story is told in flashbacks leading up to the present time, where readers find out how they met; how Sybella intuitively and naturally understood and fit into the twins’ make-believe world of “Aquafaba”; how the threesome were further brought together by their parents all working at UC Berkeley; and how a new—and very pushy—student is now forcing her way into their tight- knit group. The events all take place against a background where the twins’ parents, both garbology scientists, have just divorced. The story is told mostly through Cora’s third-person perspective, though Sybella’s viewpoint is also presented to show how easily misunderstandings can take root. The ending, along with an old diary documenting a lost friendship, seem contrived and too pat.
VERDICT Though all the elements of a good story are present, they don’t add up to a satisfying one

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