Friday, February 18, 2011

My Forever Friends

My Forever Friends (Friends for Keeps #4) Julie Bowe. 2011. July 2011. Penguin. 224 pages.

I'm Ida May and I'm feeling a little squished. That's because I'm sitting on a piano bench between Jenna Drews and Brooke Morgan. I was saving half of the bench for my best friend, Stacey Merriweather, but Jenna budged in before Stacey could. Jenna is my sometimes friend. Then Brooke budged in on the other side of me. Brook is my sometimes-not friend.

The first three books in this series are: My Last Best Friend , My New Best Friend, and My Best Frenemy. Ida May is still one of seven girls in Mr. Crow's fourth grade class. Tension is still high among the girls--Jenna, Brooke, Stacey, Ida May, Randi, Meeka, and Jolene--since Brooke and Jenna's big, big fight. And poor Ida May is feeling the pressure most of all. For Brooke is clinging to Stacey more than ever. And Jenna, well, Jenna is always around. Jenna and Rachel have been coming over after school every day since their mom, Mrs. Drews, is having a very difficult pregnancy. And Ida May is becoming really good at getting along with both. She's comfortable with Jenna, and she's losing that with Stacey. It's not always easy for Ida May to accept the changes. There are still times when she thinks Jenna is WAY too bossy, too much of a know-it-all. But she's beginning to love her unconditionally which is super-sweet. How can I not love Ida May having a big heart? Ida May realizes that she may be the only one able to repair the broken friendships tearing her class apart.

I loved this one. I did. I am still loving Ida May and her friends and classmates. Bowe has brought this fourth-grade class to life. Each of the students has been developed--of course, some more than others. But even the boys have a little individuality, a little personality. I am loving Jenna too. I really felt for her in this one. I was so glad she found a champion in Ida May. Not that Jenna wants to admit she needs one. But still. You know I loved the characters. But I also LOVED the writing. Julie Bowe knows how to tell a good story. She definitely has a way with words. There was something special about this book.

There are things about Jenna I'd like to change. Her bossiness. The way she treats Rachel sometimes. Her grudge against Brooke. But there's one thing I wouldn't change. Jenna knows her talents and she isn't afraid to tell you. (37)

I think about Brooke. And Jenna. And how their talents fit together.
Jenna knows how to cook things up.
Brooke knows how to to add the sprinkles. (63)

"You can't unditch someone," I say to George. "All you can do is say you're sorry and hope they yank you back in." (128)

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


SunTiger said...

Isn't that like real life - having friends with traits that maybe you'd like to change but accepting them and feeling grateful for their many positive attributes?

It sounds like the book is full of very realistic characters.

E and K said...

I stumbled upon your blog today had had to comment and say hello! I love that you review not only teeny bopper books, but Junior books as well, it can be a pretty daunting task to find decent reading material for those inbetweeners! Thanks again, we will revisit often!

Check out our blog if you get a chance!