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Book Review – My Best Friends Girl by Dorothy Koomson

bestfriendsgirlBest friends Kamryn Matika and Adele Brannon thought nothing could come between them – until Adele did the unthinkable and slept with Kamryn’s fiance Nate. Worse still, she got pregnant and had his child. When Kamryn discovered the truth about their betrayal she vowed she would never see any of them again. Years later, Kamryn receives a letter from Adele asking her to visit her in hospital. Adele is dying and begs Kamryn to adopt her daughter Tegan. With a great job and a hectic social life, the last thing Kamryn needs is a five-year-old to disrupt things. Especially not one who reminds her of Nate. But with no on else to take care of Tegan and Adele fading fast, does she have any other choice? So begins a difficult journey that leads Kamryn towards forgiveness, love, responsibility and ultimately, a better understanding of herself.”

In all honesty, this wouldn’t necessarily have been something I’d have picked up on my own, I prefer stories of fantastical creatures and larger than life events. My friend and  I had a deal; she would read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, if I would read this and I’m quite glad that I did.

Not really knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is a well written novel that deals with some pretty horrible topics in a sensitive and moving way while maintaining it’s humour and heart. The pace is set from the very beginning, with the reader being thrown into the action and then all sorts of curve balls being chucked at you, it was an emotional roller-coaster and you are never sure what is going to happen next. Within about 10 pages my most prominent thought was “I’m going to cry, aren’t I?”. And I did several times, but within pages I was grinning like an idiot because it had got insanely cute.

The relationships between the characters is well thought out and interesting enough to keep you reading. The characters themselves being complex and driven by various backgrounds, giving them all a lovely 3D feel. The relationship between Kamryn and Tegan is the real winner though, this mother-daughter bond that must be grown and nurtured is executed with style and sensitivity. The moments when we see into Kamryn’s soul and she doesn’t know what she’s doing is something I’m sure most new mothers can relate to. When Tegan realises her mother is never coming back is one of the most heartbreaking moments in the entire book and Koomson’s handling of this subject is a triumph.

All in all this book is at once heartbreaking and incredibly cute, dealing with some very real and very distressing subjects in a way that is readable but also respectful. There are enough curveballs to keep you guessing and a cast of characters you (mostly) just want to hug!  A nice little rainy day read, while you’re snuggled up in front of the fire. 3 Stars.

3/5 ***

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