Thank you very much to the publishers and Netgalley for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
An end-of-summer party.
A prank gone wrong.
A body on the beach.
Who’s to blame?
Tegan Sheffield’s annual end-of-summer beach party is the only way to start their senior year. At least that’s what Jake Healy tells his girlfriend Jessica Sanchez.
But when a video prank from the party goes viral and a body is discovered at the beach, Jake and Jessica find themselves at the centre of a national media storm and a police investigation.
It’s a race to uncover the truth before the killer strikes again.
If you are on the lookout for a YA mystery to keep you on the edge of your seat, consume you and leave you in shock, Friends Like These is the one for you! I read Lies Like Wildfire by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez last year and it blew my away. So, I was looking forward to see if this one would be the same. It was actually more hooking, intense and heart-breaking than the author’s previous novel.
Tegan Sheffield’s annual end-of-summer party is the only way to start their senior year. At least that’s what Jake tells his girlfriend Jessica. But, when a video prank from the party goes viral and a body is discovered at the beach, Jake and Jessica find themselves at the centre of a media storm and a police investigation.
Once I started reading Friends Like These I couldn’t tear myself away from the pages. Tension is created from the very first page and it has you in a tight grip throughout the entire book.
This book really shows how toxic some friendships can be. Every single one of the characters in this book is flawed and all for different reasons. The different perspectives throughout the book works excellently as we get to see all of the events from different angles and it is almost impossible to hate any of the main characters. Even if you are desperate for them to make better choices. All of the characters have made mistakes and I found it incredibly clever that the catalysts of some of the smaller events manage to work themselves up resulting in something horrific.
This book shows sexual assault in a way that isn’t shown often enough. The victim of the sexual assault in a teen boy. The way that this is discussed throughout the book is heart-breaking, thoughtfully written and really takes you on an emotional rollercoaster.
I found it so clever that the author manages to shift what we think about each of the main characters in the matter of a few words. Jake in particular switches between villain and victim a number of times throughout the book and the reader isn’t always sure as to where he will end up. The case is similar for both Jessica and Tegan. They all have their flaws but I found myself rooting for all of them throughout the book.
Jennifer Lynn Alvarez has written another amazing story with characters that are unique, fully-formed, flawed and interesting. I cannot wait for Jennifer Lynn Alvarez to release another book as I will be reading that one immediately too.
Overall, Friends Like These is a perfect small-town YA mystery full of toxic friendships. It is fast-paced and you won’t be able to put it down. I cannot recommend it enough!