Michelle's Reviews > Life Without Friends

Life Without Friends by Ellen Emerson White
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Sep 28, 09

bookshelves: 2009, ya, own
Read in September, 2009

Ellen Emerson White's characters do seem to be very similar - girls from upper class Boston, who usually enjoy sports (typically tennis and skiing- in this case running), and are undoubtedly wicked smart - but each one is so different in her own way that I can't help but love them all. Beverly from Life Without Friends is no exception. Beverly hasn't exactly had an easy time of things, after her mother died, she's gone to live with her father, step-mother and 5-year-old step-brother Oliver who she couldn't get along with less. In hindsight, she chose the wrong kids to hang around with at school, but at the time, gorgeous and fast-living Tim seemed to be perfect. Not unexpectedly, Beverly is at the center of a murder scandal at her school, finding herself ostracized and friendless and constantly eaten up by guilt and self-loathing - wishing she had only done something to stop Tim.

Enter Derek, s fun-loving guy who does landscaping at one of the city parks. After a series of pretty dang humorous encounters, Beverly and Derek embark on a somewhat unusual friendship (meaning Derek doesn't usually know if they will be friends the next day or not). Derek is more than persistent (thankfully) when it comes to Beverly though and doesn't relent until he gets her to open up to him and slowly helps her work through some of her guilt and fears - while making her laugh every step of the way. My kind of guy. That's not the only reason I am in serious like with Derek however, he is just so dang sweet and thoughtful. Like when he was to meet her parents for the first time, he dressed up and even cut his hair and was very anxious to find out what Beverly thought of the result. Sweet.

I couldn't have loved Beverly's story more. Obviously, she's got some major issues to deal with and demons to beat back but she's trying to work through it all, that (to me) is a major show of courage. That seems to be one of the overall themes in Ellen Emerson White's books; even when her characters have to deal with some tough times, they've proven themselves to be up to the task and so I'm never worried for their futures. Curious? Yes, but anxious, no. I also love that on the cover here she's sitting on the bench that she spends so much time sitting on with Derek. Nice.
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message 1: by Holly (last edited Sep 28, 2009 10:02AM) (new)

Holly Thanks for the review! I'm liking the sound of this Derek guy. And Beverly. I'm excited to read this in the near future.


Michelle Derek is wonderful - and Beverly really comes out of her shell around him so you can't but help love her too. I'm sure you'll like this one.


Angie Derek. *love* ;)


Michelle Yep. What's not to love?


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