Friends Forever (Paperback)
Following up their mega-bestselling Real Friends and Best Friends graphic memoirs, Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham are back with Friends Forever, a story about learning to love yourself exactly as you are.
Shannon is in eighth grade, and life is more complicated than ever. Everything keeps changing, her classmates are starting to date each other (but nobody wants to date her!), and no matter how hard she tries, Shannon can never seem to just be happy.
As she works through her insecurities and undiagnosed depression, she worries about disappointing all the people who care about her. Is something wrong with her? Can she be the person everyone expects her to be? And who does she actually want to be?
With their signature humor, warmth, and insight, Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham have crafted another incredible love letter to their younger selves and to readers everywhere, a reminder to us all that we are enough.
About the Author
Shannon Hale is the New York Times bestselling author of over thirty books, including fantasy novels The Goose Girl and Book of a Thousand Days, science fiction novel Dangerous, Newbery Honor winner Princess Academy, graphic novel memoirs Real Friends and Best Friends (with LeUyen Pham), and romantic comedy Austenland (now a major motion picture starring Keri Russell). She lives in Utah with her husband and frequent collaborator Dean Hale, their four remarkable children, and two ridiculous cats named Misty Knight and Mike Hat.
LEUYEN PHAM worked in animation before turning to children’s books. She wrote and illustrated Big Sister, Little Sister and The Bear Who Wasn't There, and is the illustrator of numerous other picture books. Ms. Pham lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband.
"Capturing the visceral embarrassments of middle school in 1987 Salt Lake City, Shannon’s emotions are vivid and often excruciating . . . [and] Pham’s artwork is vibrant and appealing." —Kirkus
"With the combination of Hale’s lucid writing and Pham’s masterful portrayal of body and language and facial expression, this books homes in squarely and affirmingly on teen angst and worries." —Booklist, starred review
Praise for Best Friends:
“Somehow, Hale and Pham have made the “normal girl” into the ultimate cool girl.” —The New York Times Book Review
“This uncommonly honest portrayal of the lures and pitfalls of popularity will likely ring true to many elementary and middle-school readers.” —Booklist, starred review
“A terrific look at middle school culture . . . This authentic, important book will mean a great deal to many kids.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“A must-read for fans of Raina Telgemeier or Victoria Jamieson . . . This glimpse into middle school is insightful, introspective, and important.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A natural suggestion for fans of Cece Bell and Raina Telgemeier, this book offers an honest, empathetic, and encouraging narrative for young readers braving the ups and downs of the tween years.” —Horn Book
Praise for Real Friends:
“Fresh and funny.” —New York Times Book Review
“The book's truth is as vibrant as its art.” —Washington Post
"I have two boys, they love these books. They love to talk about the friendships, I love that I am discussing all of these issues through the lives of these girls. There is something about it that's so wonderful." —NPR
“Wistful, affecting, and utterly charming.” —Booklist, starred review
“A heart-stabbing tale of the everyday social agonies of girlhood.” —Wall Street Journal
“Shows us the incredible kindness and solidarity that girls can and do display.” —The Mary Sue
“Bound to resonate with most readers, especially fans of Raina Telgemeier.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“A wonderfully observed portrait of finding one’s place in your world.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Nails what it’s like to navigate elementary-school friendships.” —Parents Magazine
“Sure to be loved by anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.” —Victoria Jamieson, New York Times–bestselling and Newbery Honor author of Roller Girl
“Fresh, fun, and achingly real. Bravo!” —Jennifer L. Holm, New York Times–bestselling and Newbery Honor author and co-creator of Sunny Side Up and the Babymouse series
“This book is SO GOOD. SO MANY FEELS.” —Gene Luen Yang, award-winning author of American Born Chinese
I enjoyed the book although it's not one I would have selected on my own. Especially for a debut novel I thought it was well done and engaging. I can't attest to the historical accuracy of the book's premise (yes, I know it's historical fiction). Over-all I would recommend it to anyone looking for an easy, entertaining read for beachside (when beaches reopen) or for a weekend of relaxation even if it's in your own backyard. There were moments where I thought the perspectives of the protagonist - Anita (The Woman in Red) - stemmed from our 21st century experiences as opposed to how the setting might have been perceived in the time period of the book, but this wasn't so distracting that it ruined the novel. On an entirely positive note, I would say that one place where most novels fail for me is the ending - too many novels are either entirely predictable or feel rushed and hurried as if trying to tie up all the loose ends. I was not expecting the outcome at the end of The Woman in Red!
Overall I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars . It was a respectable first novel from Diana Giovinazzo, with an engaging story line that was enjoyably uncomplicated yet intriguing, a likeable protagonist, and a surprise ending.
- reviewed by Diane, customer