Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Kind of Friends We Used To Be” as Want to Read:
The Kind of Friends We Used To Be
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Kind of Friends We Used To Be (The Secret Language of Girls #2)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  2,541 ratings  ·  282 reviews
Kate and Marylin are best friends forever....

Well, except for last year when they weren't friends anymore....

And except for this year when they both want to be friends again, but just don't know how.

But the thing is, even as they are trying to fix their broken friendship, they are becoming more and more unalike. And that's becoming harder and harder to deal with. Well, it
Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsLemonade Mouth by Mark Peter HughesSize 12 Is Not Fat by Meg CabotCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsMockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Georgia's Best Teens and Tweens Books of 2011
89th out of 101 books — 6 voters
My Man Jeeves by P.G. WodehouseBridget Jones's Diary by Helen FieldingThe Devil Wears Prada by Lauren WeisbergerHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingGirl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
13th out of 52 books — 4 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Brooke Shirts
Spot-on depiction of middle school social politics -- this little number is something I wish I could have had when I was twelve.

In the predecessor to this book (The Secret Language of Girls, which I haven't read), best friends Marylin and Kate grow apart when Marylin joins the cheerleading squad. This plot is no stranger to the world of middle grade fiction, but O'Roark Dowell manages to steer clear of character stereotypes and bring us something nuanced and real.

In The Kind of Friends We Used t
Tori I
I just finished reading The Kind Of Friends We Used To Be written by: Frances O'Roark Dowell. This book about two girls - Kate and Marylin - have been best friends forever, but now there starting to become just friends. My favorite part of this book is probably the ending because it is heart felt and joyful. I am only going to tell you is that it involves some Christmas caroling. Marylin is a seventh grade cheerleader and wants to be in the Student Government. Kate is more like me - in my opinio ...more
Reading about real life is one of my favorites, because it give me new perspectives about everything.

I love this story. I love it's messages and characters. After reading two chapters I was already in love with the characters, and I felt so close to them. I felt like I were their best friends.

I feel closer to Kate, because she wants to be different and stand out. She plays GUITAR. Like me.

I feel in a way like Marylin, but she was more of a friend to me. This book is a follow-up (Sequel) to The
This book is written for the teenager girls. It is about Kate and Marylin are best friend for a long time, but they think they can not be friend anymore. Kate likes to play guitar, and Marylin is a cheerleader, Kate does not like cheerleading. Therefore, when they are talking to each other, they don’t know what to talk, and they are not go to school together, doing things together. Kate thinks that she is not the kind of person what Marylin thinks. They make different friends and makes their fr ...more
Chelsea Couillard-Smith
I've always disliked books that make me relive my middle school years, but this one I actually didn't mind. I think Dowell has crafted an immensely authentic and refreshingly simple portrait of those years when friendships become so unpredictable.

The story centers on Kate and Marylin, childhood best friends who are coming off of a tumultuous sixth grade year with Marylin becoming part of the popular in-crowd and leaving Kate behind. The girls have made up but are still separated by their differ
Adolescence sucks. Plain and simple. And I hate that verb.

Let us say adolescence is difficult because children change in a way that challenges all the certainties that had made childhood such a pleasure.

Your best friend across the street has become a superficial little cheerleader who won't be seen talking to you.

That sucks. Or let us say it is difficult. But then again, you are wearing combat boots and acting weird. What's a girl to do?

The Kind of Friends We Used to Be traces the journey of tw
Eva Mitnick

In this sequel to The Secret Language of Girls, Kate and Marylin have started 7th grade. At first this seems to be Kate’s story – feeling like the odd girl out at Marylin’s cheerleader-and-ballplayer-filled party, Kate realizes that she wants to be different. Specifically, she longs to play guitar. In short order, she has borrowed a guitar from her old nemesis Flannery and has acquired a pair of clunky black thrash boots.

However, Kate only appears intermittently after this. Clearly, she is at pe
One of my favorite things about this book was the way Rhetta's parents were portrayed. Reverend and Mrs. Mayes were kind, loving, accepting, and fun. You don't often see that kind of portrayal of Christians in literature these days. It was nice. My favorite quote from the book came from Rhetta's dad, speaking to Marylin, who is embarrassed by the fact that her parents are divorced: "Everybody's broken, sweetie. God helps us get put back together." Excellent.

I like Frances O'Roark Dowell more and
Claire M.
This book was about 2 girls and how the being of 7th grad was like for them. Marilyn is the cheerleader shes popular and all around liked. Then there's Kate she loves guitar and shes really into music.In the story the 2 girls go through a lot as they try to stay friends. Marilyn dealing with the other cheerleaders. Kate with Her friends.
I did not in joy this book. I especially did not like Marilyn. in this book she acts like shes better then every one else.What she thought really bothered me oh
When I was in 9th grade, my childhood best friend signed my yearbook "To a girl I used to be best friends with." It's not like I carry this hurt around or anything, but I still remember the shock of seeing it in writing, even though I knew it was true.

This book is kinda like that. Two girls in middle school just don't have anything in common anymore, and maybe all they really had in common was living in the same neighborhood.

The girls kinda think in ways that is too perceptive than most middle
Mr. Tedrow
Well,except for last year when thay weren't friends anymore.... And except for this year when thay both want to be friends again,but just dont know how. But the thing is, even as thay are tring to fix their broken friendship , thay are becoming more and more unlike.And that's becoming harder and harder to deal with. it would make things a hole lot simpler if kate would just take some of Marylin's fashon advice.what's with the guitar? And why on Earth is cheerleading so imporant to Marylin? she w ...more
Sequel to The Secret Language of Girls, but you don't need to have read that one to enjoy this one. Pretty typical early teen fare, except that the author has more than a few quietly beautiful turns of phrase and insightful commentary on the middle school life. I did find the end somewhat abrupt, and I would've liked to see the characters actually grow and change throughout the story, but the novel's entertaining enough as a slice-of-life depiction of changing personalities and friendships. Wasn ...more
This book definitely grew on me, although I agree that the end was a bit abrupt. I felt it was a little stereotypical and cliched, although it made me realize that big cheerleader and "popular kid" cliques are not as big at my school anymore. The best message I got from it: don't judge people by appearances, and if you just get to know someone, you may grow to like them. It was nice to read a book with involved, helpful parents (a dad who sews, even) Even in short time since this was published, ...more
The Kind of Friends We Used to Be is about two girls, Marilyn and Kate. They are both twelve years old, and they are in seventh grade. They used to be best friends until they started to both have different personalities. Marilyn was a girly type of girl. She did cheerleading, and she was running to become part of Student Government. Kate was more laid back. She just bought new black combat boots, and she wanted to learn how to play guitar.
In the book, I think that the author, Frances O’Roark Do
Goodreads Book review Review Ashley Shutt 74

The book I chose to read for this months book report is The Kind Of Friends We Used To Be by Frances O’Roark Dowell. I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book to middle school girls for three reasons. It gives you different perspectives, it leaves you hanging, and any girl my age can relate to it.

One thing I really enjoyed about this book was that it was told by two people, so you got to see both sides of the friendship. Every c
In this story about friendship, two friends have been best friends all throughout school. This book has some unexpected curves to it which create suspense for the reader. Overall, this book was decent in my mind. This book reminded me of myself with some of my friends back in elementary school and how we used to act toward each other. This book was not as effective because it was not written for my age range. The characters in this book were younger and it seemed like the book was written for y ...more
The Kind of Friends We Used to Be was a typical story of two changing friends. The title actually tells about the entire book. In the beginning of this book, two very different girls are described. Kate, a tomboy who loves sports, music, and the arts is trying to change her appearance for the start of 7th grade. Marylin, a middle school cheerleader who is all about fashion and being popular is at an end of summer party. These two girls have actually been best friends since preschool, up until l ...more
summer reading continued...

i liked this book. in volume 2 of this series, we have the same two main characters, and once again the point of view switches back and forth. i liked the depiction of how friendships change and evolve over time. i thought it was pretty spot on in showing that a lot of times, the "best friends" we make as little kids do not always grow into the same kind of person we are as adolescents (or teenagers or adults). if you think about it, most little kid friendships revolve
This book was a good book. I when I think of it I think of elementry and compare it with the great friends I had but none of us have anything in common anymore or really talk because we all have different friends now. I would rate it a 4 out or 5 stars because it was a good book but it wasn't my favorite. This book is a good book for people who are in middle school because thats where it takes place. This book is about two girls who were best friends in elementry but are growing apart when they ...more
Apr 08, 2011 Mahaley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any body
Recommended to Mahaley by: i found it
So far one girl is in love with a boy, who writes music. And she likes his music and he likes her music. So cant wait to get back to that and like she like wants to play guitar and she wears big black boots to school, her friend dos not like her boots. And she wears like cute little three year old kind of clothing.( her friend the one that dos not like the boy.)
Lindsey Haas
Frances O'Roark Dowell's book,"The Kind of Friends We Used to Be" is an outstanding story of two middle school girls who were best friends. They are now becoming different people and it is hard for each of them to accept their differences. This book shows both the girls sides of the story. I was surprised that the two girls were still friends even though they're nothing alike.
The main characters of the story are Kate and Marylin. Kate is a girl who plays guitar, writes songs, and wears big bla
Alana Mora
This book is called The kind of friends we used to be by Frances o' Roark Dowell. It is however, not a series, but has other books written by the same author. So, it's about two girl named Kate and Marilyn and weren't friends in the 6th grade, but are starting to become friends now in the 7th grade because they realized they need each other. Kate is not the girly type and loves to play the guitar and Marilyn is so girly that she is trying to transform Kate into wearing pink clothes. They stopped ...more
Emily Pierson
I think it was better than the first one. Can't wait for the third!!
Kaitlyn W.
This month I have been reading The Kind of Friends We Used To Be by Frances O’Roark Dowell which is a sequel to The Secret Language of Girls. The book is fairly...simple. A middle schooler named Marilyn wanted to fit in with the middle school cheerleaders but her childhood friend Kate made that difficult so Marilyn tried to compromise and live the two lives life style then, the ending ended in a twist. This book took place at their homes in the beginning and then when school started, it was main ...more
Kaylyn Bulthuis
I loved this book! I give it four stars. This is an awesome fiction book that most girls would enjoy. There is different sides to the story. One perspective is Kate's and the other is Marylin's. The girls used to be BFF's but now that they are entering Middle school they both go their own ways. They want to be friends again but it seems impossible. Marylin started cheerleading. And Kate starts playing the guitar. They both make new friends and find new interests. But are they ever going to be fr ...more
The Kind of Friends We Used to Be by Frances O’Roark Dowell is about a two girls who used to be best friends until seventh grade when Marylin decided to be a cheerleader. Kate didn’t have anything against cheerleaders, but Marylin had always tried to change Kate. Marylin was the kind of girl who loved pink and cared a lot about fashion, as Kate just wants to play guitar and wear jeans, t-shirts, and her favorite black combat boots. Kate always wonders if theres another girl who likes playing gui ...more
Kate and Marylin arer now in seventh grade trying to manage a new and more fragile friendship. As they become teenagers, they both look into who they are and who they really want to be. Are you defined by who your friends are or by the kind of friend you are? Without each other as "all-the-time" friends, they are forced to venture forth into the world and discover the power of friendship.

In this book, we are introduced to some interesting new characters. Characters that challenge and strenghten
Abigail Wilson
I didn'y read the 1st book but i happened to fall in love with this book and Mrs.Dowell's writing! It's like she uses magic to lure you into reading her books and using her magic to make the book come to life before your very eyes! I write books but, never TRY to get them published. Reading good books like Frances' makes me have new and better ideas to make my books more interesting and magical. To make the book come to life. But, you know what's wrong with me? It's very hard for me to finish a ...more
Kate Hannigan
She has amazing turns of phrase. Great imagery, very tangible references. Good use of humor that doesn't condescend. This book features long-time friends entering seventh grade, heading in clearly opposite directions. She makes each charming in her own way and never severs the ties between them. Third person, but perspectives alternate by chapter.

"Flannery's mom was a little too happy to see Kate, if you wanted Kate's opinion. It was sort of like she thought Kate was there to rescue Flannery fr
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
I think its boring what do you think 36 42 Aug 01, 2014 02:37AM  
  • Girls Acting Catty (Annabelle Unleashed, #2)
  • Solving Zoe
  • The Melting of Maggie Bean (Maggie Bean, #1)
  • Confetti Girl
  • Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes
  • Caddy's World (Casson Family, #0)
  • Operation Yes
  • The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet
  • Lucky Breaks (The Hard Pan Trilogy, #2)
  • Dumped by Popular Demand (The Social Experiments of Dorie Dilts, #1)
  • Me, In Between
  • Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning
  • So Totally Emily Ebers
  • Finally (Willow Falls, #2)
  • I So Don't Do Mysteries
  • Also Known As Harper
  • No Cream Puffs
  • Strawberry Hill
Frances O'Roark Dowell is an author of middle-grade fiction. Her books have received numerous awards, including an Edgar (Dovey Coe), the William Allan White Award (Dovey Coe), the Christopher Award (Shooting the Moon), the Voya Book Award (Where I'd Like to Be), and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Excellence in Children's Fiction, Honor Book (Shooting the Moon). Dowell has an MFA in Creative ...more
More about Frances O'Roark Dowell...

Other Books in the Series

The Secret Language of Girls (3 books)
  • The Secret Language of Girls (The Secret Language of Girls, #1)
  • The Sound of Your Voice, Only Really Far Away
The Secret Language of Girls (The Secret Language of Girls, #1) Shooting the Moon Ten Miles Past Normal Dovey Coe Falling In

Share This Book

“Don't be afraid to be different.
Different is better.
Different is much more interesting.”
More quotes…