Sunday, May 29, 2022

Best Frenemies Forever

McCafferty, Megan. Best Frenemies Forever
May 17th 2022 by Scholastic Press
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

In this sequel to Be True to Your Selfie, we follow the story of Sophie, who was cruelly dropped by best friend since birth Ella when Ella joined forces with the evil Morgan. Sophie is getting ready to start Mercer Middle School, and is spending her summer alone, working through the activities in The Book of Awesome for Awesome Girls to occupy her time. Her therapist mother and college professor father encourage her to make friends with the new neighbor girl, even though the parents have built a larger, new house after tearing down the one they bought. Kaytee is a bubbly, enthusiastic girl, which is a big constrast to Sophie's guarded, cautious personality, and seems to know how to be the kind of girl that everyone likes. She is going to a private school, so Sophie makes her think that she is still friends with Morgan and Ella, even though Morgan calls her "Ickface" at school and makes fun of everything Sophie wears. Sophie tells Kaytee that the group had a rift when Sophie invited Kaytee to a beach house for her birthday instead of Morgan and Ella. Kaytee has some secrets in her own past, and her brother Alex knows them. When Kaytee decides to come to Mercer Middle School, she gets assigned to the "cool group" that Sophie isn't in, and Sophie finds that her lies are going to work against her. Will she be able to make peace with Kaytee, even after all of the deception?
Strengths: So many middle grade books cover friendship breakups, but few continue to discuss how these former friends are still influencing each other. It's interesting to see Sophie's perspective, and to understand how traumatic Ella's actions were to her. This definitely is in tune with modern children and the way they process things; I had a friend ghost me at the end of 7th grade, and never thought to talk to her about it-- I just moved on. There are other good details about dealing with boredom, feeling out boundaries with parents (going to the mall alone for the first time was HUGE!), and making new friends. I rather enjoyed all of the Awesome Activities that Sophie did. Building her own rain barrel is certainly a better way to spend her time than doing social media postings with Ella and Morgan. Oh. Now I sound as judgey as Sophie's parents!
Weaknesses: Sophie's parents are really horrible and judgey, and it's scary to see their thoughts in Sophie's head throughout the book. Despite the mother's therapy background, they've managed to contribute a bit to Sophie's intensive self doubt. That was just hard to read; younger readers won't be as disturbed by it. 
What I really think: While I'm glad that the changed the cover style, Be True to Your Selfie doesn't circulate as well as I hoped it would. Debating purchasing this; friend drama is always popular, and this cover will probably entice readers. This could be read as a stand alone, as Ella and Morgan are explained as much as is needed for this story. 
 Ms. Yingling

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like it has a lot going on that kids can relate to. There is so much drama in MG. It's mind-boggling! Thanks for telling me about this book. Maybe I will give it a try.