Second Best Friend
Author: Non Pratt
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Publication Date: January 15th 2018
Format: Paperback (152 pages)
Jade and Becky are best friends, but when Jade’s ex-boyfriend lets on that everyone thinks Becky is the better of the two, Jade finds herself noticing just how often she comes second to her best friend. There’s nothing Jade is better at than Becky.
So when Jade is voted in as Party Leader ahead of her school’s General Election only to find herself standing against Becky, Jade sees it as a chance to prove herself. If there’s one thing she can win, it’s this election – even if it means losing her best friend.
My Rating: ★★★★★
This book is just sheer brilliance. It gives a raw and honest look into the sometimes inexplicably complex relationship that you have with a best friend in a way that only Non Pratt could do it.
Jade and Becky have always been best friends. That is until they are both thrust into the limelight with their school General Election (which I thought was a brilliant way to give younger readers an insight into how politics can work, by the way!). This book is all about those moments where we find ourselves comparing ourselves to those closest to us and the damning effect that can have on both of those involved.
Second Best Friend provides an unflinching look into the dynamics of teenage friendship (although I think it is incredibly easy to relate to what Jade goes through in this book even as a 27 year old reader). What starts out as a little niggle in Jade’s mind after a comment made by her ex soon turns into Jade needing to be the best, no matter what that means for her and Becky’s friendship. This story may be a quick one, but Non manages to tackle so many things in so few pages: friendship, self-confidence, jealousy, anxiety to name a few. I also loved the idea that as much as we may think we know someone, even those closest to us have their own secrets and we never know what they could be going through or hiding in their heads.
Second Best Friend is a fast-paced, emotion fuelled and completely realistic novella that I think almost everyone will somehow relate to. We live in a world where we constantly compare ourselves to celebrities and other public figures, but this book shows just how heart breaking that habit can be when we look too close to home.
On a side note, as a teacher (and reader in general) I am always delighted when reading a book published by Barrington Stoke as their books are dyslexia friendly. They use a specific font, off white paper and the line spacing and font size make these books so accessible to audiences who may otherwise find reading to be a very daunting and overwhelming task. Thank you, Barrington Stoke!
Have you read Second Best Friend? Is it on your TBR?
Can you recommend me some of your favourite YA novels with excellent portrayals of friendship?