Thursday 8 September 2022

Review: Girl Friends by Holly Bourne

 "Men see women in two separate categories. There are the women they sleep with, and the women they fall in love with. And they will treat you differently based on that."

From the day they first meet as teenagers Fern and Jessica are best friends. Despite their differences, they are there for each other throughout everything, navigating the difficulties of growing up and fitting in. That is, until Jessica crosses a line that Fern can't forgive.

But now, more than ten years later, Jessica has unexpectedly reappeared in Fern's life.

A lot has changed for them both - but can their relationship be different now they are older? Is it possible for either of them to rewrite the role that they have been cast in? Or will their shared history ultimately be doomed to repeat itself?

Set between the present day and the past, GIRL FRIENDS is a blisteringly funny and devastating novel: both a joyful celebration of female friendship and a razor-sharp look at the damage we can all cause to those we claim to love the most.

Review: I adored Holly Bourne’s last adult novel but I think I loved this one even more. You know when you want to stop doing other things or avoid other commitments in life because you want to stay home and read your book? Thatv was this book!

I think the main reason I connected with this book so much is because I related to it so hard. The main character in this book is one year younger than me and would have been rhe year below me at school so we had very similar experiences during our school years and beyond and just everything she was going through I could recognise and if it wasn’t happening directly to me the same way as it was to Fern, then I knew someone that it did happen to. I was quoting bits of the book outloud to friends and family as I was reading because I just felt like it was written about my own formative school years!

Fern is a great character to get to spend this book with because she is so beautifully imperfect, I feel like anyone could relate to her. She has her own mental health issues and her own self-esteem issues and there will definitely be millions of readers out there who can empathise with her as well as sympathies with her situation. She has a great career and a great relationship but she has this imposter syndrome because she still feels like the self that she was when she was a teenager. 

And then we have Jessica. She comes back into the picture and we know that this is not the most positive thing in the world but it takes until just about the very end of the book to find out why this is not such a positive thing. Jessica is wild and free and she seems to be good for Fern, in the beginning. I was always very anxious for Jessica, the choices that she made in the past and the choices that she makes in the current day thread of this story made me very concerned and I was always on the edge of my seat waiting for her to take things just one step too far. 

The structure of this story is also just perfect in every way. We flash back and forth between the present day storyline and the storyline of Ferns youth. Both timelines proceed in a chronological way but we switch back and forth just at the moment where we’re going to find out something juicy or see the consequences of someone's action. I think that is why this book gave me such anxiety as a reader, thankfully I read it over basically 2 days, because I was always worrying about what was going to happen next or what the fallout of something was going to be. I loved every minute of it though. 

The author's note at the end of this book really sums up why this book is important and why I connected with it so much. There are care warnings in that and at the start of the book so definitely have a look at this before picking this one up but if you’re ok with those then I highly recommend this book about growing up and friendship and having it all in the world that we live in today. Easily one of my top books of the year!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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