Dowell, Frances O'Roark. 2009. The Kind of Friends We Used To Be. Simon & Schuster. 234 pages.
When Kate decided to play the guitar, she realized she would need new shoes.
I loved this one. I just loved it. I loved it because I could relate to it. I loved it because I could see myself in both friends, in Kate and Marylin. I loved it because it had this oh-so-right feel to it, it felt authentic, genuine. This book is narrated by both girls.
Like so many books for this age, it deals with identity. With getting to know (and love) yourself. With trying to make sense of the fast-changing world. With friendships--both new and old. (With frenemies too.) With school, family, and life. What is it about? It's about two girls finding themselves, learning what they want and need, and coming to terms with each others' differences. You don't *have* to be the same all the time. You can like what you want to like, do what you want to do. For Kate that means learning to play guitar, and getting comfortable enough to write her own songs, her own lyrics. For Marylin that means deciding who she really is and what she really wants. Does she really, really want to be a cheerleader who cares only about hair and fashion? Or does she want something a little more? Will being part of the student council help her decide?
You might remember Kate and Marylin from The Secret Language of Girls. (But you don't have to have read the first book to appreciate this one!) It was a very satisfying read.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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