About the Book:
Title: Dear Friends
Author: Lisa Greenwald
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: May 10th, 2022
Genre: Children’s Fiction
From Lisa Greenwald, the beloved author of the TBH and Friendship List series, comes a novel about one girl’s quest to discover the ins and outs of friendship—how and why of some friendships end—and to prove that despite some friendship fails, she’s totally best friend material!
Eleni is the kind of person who’s always had a BFF—an automatic, guaranteed by-her-side person—at home, at school, and at camp. And since before she was even born, her very best friend has been Sylvie Bank.
But when Sylvie’s end-of-summer birthday party becomes the end of their friendship, Eleni can’t picture starting middle school without her BFF by her side. She can’t picture anything without her BFF—especially the looming school overnight. Who will she even room with?
So before the big overnight, Eleni sets out on a mission: to figure out where her friendships went wrong, what’s wrong with her, and what makes a good friend. But if she’s totally honest, there’s only one real goal: to win back Sylvie Bank!
Oh my goodness! This book brought me right back to my middle school drama days, definitely not fun times 😉 Leni is such a relatable character, and I was invested in her world from the beginning. It reminded me how much friend drama sucks, and I think any tween girl can sympathize with Leni.
Eleni, also called Leni or Len in the book, has always had a best friend, Sylvie. They have been together forever, but when Sylvie’s back to school party becomes the end of their friendship, what will Eleni do? She can’t imagine starting middle school without her best friend by her side. So she decides to try and investigate where all her friendships went wrong in hopes of winning Sylvie back. As Len goes on this journey though, she realizes some hard truths about friendships and about herself.
This was such a good book for any tween girl! Leni’s problems are incredibly relatable as she tries to find her place. This is told from the first person perspective, so we get to see all of her thoughts and feelings. I thought Eleni was an interesting character because she was in some ways quite outgoing. I think many books about friendships make it seem like this kind of friend drama only happens to quiet people. I loved the fact that Eleni was a different kind of character.
And I loved all the different characters in this book. They’re flawed and immature, but they all feel very real. It’s sweet to watch some of them come alongside Leni as she tries to find her place. I love that Ms. Greenwald shows that each friendship ends for different reasons. It was sometimes Leni’s fault, it was sometimes the other person’s fault, and sometimes it was just a result of change.
One thing I would have loved to see though is a conversation between Leni and her mother. Eleni has a rocky relationship with her mom. And while that is definitely common, I think tween girls need to see more characters talking with their mothers. Ms. Greenwald ends the book with some hope for change, but I would have loved to see an actual conversation. Overall though I really enjoyed this book! The story and the characters are wonderful, and I would definitely recommend it to any tween girl!
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, a positive review was not required.