Danielle's Reviews > What My Best Friend Did

What My Best Friend Did by Lucy Dawson
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's review
Nov 30, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: first-read, 2011
Read from December 11, 2010 to January 02, 2011

As I read the synopsis of this novel I was drawn into it's exploration of the darker side of female friendship, as well as mental illness and the web of destruction it can weave over everyone it touches . The reader is swept right into the drama as Alice discovers her friend has tried to commit suicide by overdose. However Alice's strange behavior reveals there is more to the story. As Alice waits to see if her friend will live the story switches between the present and the past tracing her path up to the crisis she now finds herself within.

Alice has an idyllic if not boring life in London with her perfect boyfriend Tom, and a successful career now venturing out on her own as a free lance photographer. Yet the commercial work she gets doesn't satisfy her dreams of being a travel photographer and her predictable relationship lacks the excitement of passion. With her best girlfriend Vic living out her dreams with her love the frenchman in Paris the grass just seems greener on the other side for Alice and her lackluster life. Dreading another commercial job capturing up and coming children's T.V host Gretchen in glitzy Los Angeles, Alice can only imagine the self centered behavior this Gretchen will make her endure. However as her time in LA progresses, Alice realizes she actually enjoys being around Gretchen and the two form a fast friendship that continues when they return to London.

Alice's life then becomes all she had dreamed, living an exciting life of party's, Laboutin shoes, and lusting after Gretchen's sexy older brother, her career rising with the excitement of her new life.
But just as Alice thinks her life is finally going in the right direction it all begins to spin out of control right along with Gretchen who has hidden her manic depression from Alice. As Gretchen falls apart she brings Alice down with her. But is it just coincidence? As Alice learns who the real Gretchen is she falls further into a chaotic mixed up world that shatters her reality and makes her realize the darkness that lies in Gretchen's hidden motives.

What My Best Friend Did is an easy read that keeps you wanting more right up until the end. Yet I was disappointed that I did want more when the end finally came. Most of the plot was predictable but the underlying secret and mysterious circumstances surrounding Gretchen's overdose kept me interested in the final twist to the tale. Most of the characters, save Gretchen were boring and forgettable. Although I did find the dark characterization of mental illness a little disturbing. I definitely found myself wanting more character development. Alice herself seems pathetic and whiney and I found myself not really caring too much about her predicament as I didn't relate to her. I love the bare bones plot laid out in this novel but feel like a lot more interesting things could have been done with it. As for the ending it was just too abrupt, leaving you with an unfinished feeling. It wasn't the actual ending I did not like but how it was written.

Overall I enjoyed this novel as a quick, suspenseful read perfect for travel to pass the time, however if your looking for anything deeper this book is not for you. I look forward to seeing what Lucy Dawson will offer in the future as she hones her skills as a writer. A great plot that will keep you intrigued right up until the end.

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