My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter
Colette has been bored and lonely ever since her best friend, Sadie, dumped her the summer before they stared high school. She tries to be perfect for everyone left in her life: her parents, her younger brothers, her church youth group, even her boyfriend, Mark. But Colette is restless. And she misses Sadie.
When Sadie tells Colette that she needs her old friend to join her on a family vacation to the Greek Islands, one that leaves in only a few days, Colette is shocked to hear their old magic word: need. And she finds herself agreeing.
Colette tries to relax and enjoy her Grecian surroundings but it’s not easy to go on vacation with the person who hurt you most in the world. When the reason for the trip finally surfaces, Colette finds out this is not only a fun vacation. Sadie has kept an enormous secret from Colette for years…forever. It’s a summer full of surprises, but that might be what Colette needs. (Goodreads)
Three years ago, Colette was dumped by her best friend Sadie just as they started high school. Sadie was everything to her and Colette felt happy and at home in Sadie’s beautifully quirky, non-conformist family. But it seemed that Colette was no longer as interesting or grown up as Sadie’s new friends and she was slowly, without cause or words exchanged, replaced. Ignored. Friendship over. That is, until Sadie invokes an old promise Collette once made. She asks her old BFF to accompany her and her family to Greece, all expenses paid, to attend a cousin’s wedding. This is so shocking, so way out of left field, and yet Colette can’t bring herself to say no.
Against her mom, against Sadie’s own mom (who is still footing the bill), and against her VERY prim and proper dud of a boyfriend, Mark (with whom she was supposed to attend a missionary trip to Costa Rica), Collette goes to Greece. She can’t explain the need to go, or the courage that propels her. And as much as she fears it’s all part of some heinous plan on Sadie’s part, Collette desperately needs to break free; she has to find peace away from the strict demands of her parents, her youth group, and her boyfriend. She has no idea what to expect but she dives in, head first.
There were so many things I liked here. Carter does a beautiful job portraying Sadie and Collette’s friendship. You genuinely get the feeling that these girls have a true, unwavering love that was built in a way that can never truly be destroyed. Through flashbacks we watch the unraveling of the relationship, and as Carter slowly pieces the story together, Sadie’s BIG secret isn’t quite so big. Perhaps Colette is just oblivious, but I think she’s only human and has definitely only seen a small, sheltered sampling of the world
This book grapples with some very sticky, but timely issues. Without being too spoilery, I think Carter handles them delicately and with a great deal of heart. On the other hand, there is the portrayal of Colette’s Christian boyfriend and family. I found these depictions to be mildly distressing at times (trust me, I recognize that there are people of all religious affiliations who can be terribly obnoxious, but I hope in equal measure there are those who spend time practicing what they preach and who endeavor to be a light and a joy to this world. Ahem. Stepping off the soapbox now). I could see the author’s desire to present two points of view while making a very clear statement, but as someone who professes to be a Christian, I personally felt that the writing was a little preachy a times (from both sides, believe it or not).
There was so much sweetness here and there were beautiful, lush, descriptions of Greece. I mean, wow, I really want to go there now. For the most part, I wanted to keep turning those pages and was truly invested in Sadie’s family. And while it wraps up a little too picture-perfect in the end, the journey itself is fun.
Crush Intensity: 3.5/5
Thank you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for sharing an e-galley with me in exchange for an honest review.