3 Things About This Book
| Coming of Age | Interning in a Newspaper Office in 1980’s NYC | All-Consuming Toxic Friendship |
Summer in 1983, New York City is the place and time where not-city-raised Beth starts a new chapter in her life: a journalism internship at a prestigious company. There, she will have a lot of firsts and some of those firsts involve another intern named Edie whom she will have an all-consuming friendship that leans more toward toxic than healthy codependency. Unashamedly, I admit that reading about toxic relationships are a guilty pleasure of mine, especially when they’re written brilliantly with lots of emotional turmoil, self-discovery / self-clarity, and psychological explorations.
However, I’m sad to write that Friends Like These doesn’t deliver more than the foundation of what would’ve been a remarkable coming-of-age story. My primary issue with this book is the succinct narrative that’s all telling, telling, telling. Although it helped with the pacing of the story, this type of narrative reduced the impact of emotional moments, resulting in a shallow read with choppy flow.
Moreover, it didn’t help that the characters are all typical and flat. This wouldn’t have mattered had they felt more human as there’s no way any character (as with any person) can be wholly unique. But, sadly, every single one of them is just a pale imitation. There’s no complexity, no layers or depth—which yes, applies to Beth too despite her growth resultant from her experiences.
Everything considered, Friends Like These has potential to be more than what it currently is, but it fell short. Nevertheless, I thought it was a good book to read in between of heavier ones as it kept my momentum for reading going.
Thank you so much Pansing for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review! Friends Like These by Meg Rosoff is available at all good bookstores.