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My Best Friend, Maybe

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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.

352 pages, Hardcover

First published June 3, 2014

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About the author

Caela Carter

9 books321 followers
Caela Carter grew up in Basking Ridge, NJ and Baltimore, MD. She's been writing since she learned how to pick up a pen but before the writing thing got serious she spent six years teaching English to middle and high school students in Jacksonville, FL and Chicago, IL. Her debut novel, ME, HIM, THEM AND IT was published in 2013 by Bloomsbury. When she's not writing, Caela is a teacher of some awesome teens in Brooklyn, a Notre Dame football enthusiast, and a happy explorer in New York City.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 173 reviews
Profile Image for Melinda.
402 reviews103 followers
February 23, 2015
The plot in one sentence: Religious straight girl realizes lesbians are people too.

Maybe that's a little harsh, but not very. It's exhausting to read the protagonist's emotional development (during the moments she's not daydreaming about some boy's abs): "Oh, I guess [lesbian former best friend] falls in love with girls, just like I fall in love with boys." *eye roll*

Adding to that, the writing is painfully bad. It's laden with so many unnecessary adjectives it's actually distracting. And at 352 pages with a story that could easily fit 250, the novel drags on and on. If the novel had been self-published, the lack of editing would be understandable. But for Bloomsbury, a major publishing house? Embarrassing.

Finally, the representation of abusive parents is terrible. Protagonist Colette's mother is homophobic control freak. But, in a sudden plot twist devoid of any realism, she realizes the error of her ways. Not buying it.
Profile Image for Ash Wednesday.
441 reviews524 followers
August 3, 2016
Forgiveness is a divine act.

Well don’t I feel a little foolish right now.

Much as I can get hypercritical and nitpicky in certain estrogen cycles, I am not averse to give credit where credit is due. This was a pleasant surprise. This was one of those rare reads that I almost wrote off as something that was way off the mark when, as it turned out, I was really just an impatient grasshopper. And I’m not above and beyond admitting to that.

There are certain elements that I expect in realistic contemporary fiction, borne out of reading about them so often elsewhere that I am predisposed to denounce everything outside of those rigid standards. This started off with antiquated notions and hardly interesting conflicts that it felt like these people were making a mountain out of a mole hill.

But ‘realistic’ is such a fluid concept and when you think about it, this could also be someone’s present tense reality. And while it might feel a little like cheating, choosing a subpar take off point for Colette, there’s no denying the leaps and bounds her character gained in terms of development. It’s a remarkable, brave feat to write about LGBT coming-of-age stories but to carry that message in a reality as startling, if not more, as the standard YA contemporary fare is one that sets this apart from the rest.

The story is told entirely from Colette POV, with her former best friend, Sadie Pepper inviting her to join her family for a holiday in Greece. She says yes, even if she’s already made plans to spend summer in Costa Rica with her perfect boyfriend, Mark, to build houses for the poor. The entire first quarter of the book reflected Colette’s anxiety over her pretentiously perfect life on the cusp of change: her other best friend Louisa is leaving, the distance between her and Mark has been growing and now, her former best friend decides to make a reappearance in her life.

My Best Friend, Maybe was a slow gradual reveal of why Colette and Sadie’s friendship fell apart filled with flashbacks, interrupted confessions and conversations cut short. The first quarter of the book was spent languishing in Colette’s first world problems of going to Costa Rica to possibly repair her relationship with Mark or joining Sadie and her mysterious reasons. And yes, it was as annoying as it sounds. But once that was resolved, the story became a bit more interesting.

Don’t get me wrong, it still took a bit of time before I stopped rolling my eyes over Sadie’s juvenile antics but the point is that I stopped. The way this story unfolded it takes a great deal of patience, sensitivity and understanding for one to appreciate what it was trying to convey about family, prejudices and acceptance in the context of a coming of age novel. I felt certain aspects of this story were a little drawn out (the Costa Rica vs. Greece conflict, Sadie’s reason for inviting Colette, Colette and Sadie’s falling apart etc.) and run the risk of painting Sadie and Colette in each of their own shitty, inescapable corners. Hopefully, readers won't give up on them entirely before this blossoms into the wonderful story it is withCaela Carter going all out Yoda taking all your feels' names.

I seriously went from being alienated from Colette’s perspective as a seeming church-going country bumpkin from the 70s to identifying with her intentions and misgivings. I love how this was an objective lesson on sexual, racial and religious discrimination without serving any agenda nor vilification of certain stereotypes (I particularly loved how this handled Colette’s Bible-thumping mother). It was an interesting journey, to say the least.

I’m a little undecided on the whole Colette-Sam-Mark issue. I’m wary of calling it cheating and I suspect one’s feelings about that whole subplot will depend on whose side you favour in the Ross-Rachel debacle (minus the sex ofcourse).

But for the here and now, I’m giving it a reluctant pass.

My head and feels are still proverbially spinning from the fast slow one this managed to pull, my ranting notes silenced by the surprising sophistication of this author’s sympathetic delivery of a story that hasn’t been told enough.
”I thought I screwed everything up,” I say.
He smiles. “You’re only one person. In the whole universe. You can’t screw everything up.”

ARC provided by Bloomsbury USA. Quotes were taken from an uncorrected proof.

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Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 19 books2,393 followers
February 20, 2015
I actually shocked myself by how much I loved this book. and a lot of it had to do with how much I connected to the aspect of growing up religious and realizing what a tough balance it can be to hold beliefs that both align with and deviate from your religion's, particularly while being an active member of a religious community, and vehemently disagreeing with other community members you otherwise love and respect. Yes, that's a long and convoluted sentence, but it's a tricky place to be, and I think Carter captured it really, really well.

What really struck me early on was the fact that I couldn't remember the last time I'd been propelled forward so strongly in a book by the promise of character development. I loved the way Colette questioned herself in the context of both her external relationships and her internal desires, and how frequently she evaluated herself and what she wants. She's never fully confident in her decisions, even when she thinks she is, even when she declares they're final, and there was something in that I found both unique in YA and true to life.

I've noticed lately that I seem to have a much larger affinity for those books about complicated friendships gone awry than most others do, and in this too, I loved Carter's handling, particularly the acknowledgment that their break from friendship was likely for the best, even if it theoretically never should've happened. Sometimes, there really are periods of life during which people aren't meant to be; doesn't mean you can't get back together, stronger, on the other side.

I'll definitely be curious to see how others respond to this book, because I've noticed how reactions really fly all over the map when religion is involved, but in case it wasn't clear, I was a fan :)
Profile Image for Caitlynn Day.
43 reviews
August 9, 2014
I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book focuses on two girls, Colette and Sadie. They were childhood best friends until they eventually drift apart. The two haven't talked to each other for about three years and all of a sudden, Sadie's like "Ay yo, I need you to come on this vacation to Greece with me." And even though Sadie's supposed to go to Costa Rica with her boyfriend that summer, she's like "Ayyyyyyyy let's go." Colette's mom tells her she can't go with Sadie, but then Dad comes to the rescue and sneaks her out at night to the airport. They go to Greece, and Sadie's acting pretty weird around her. Wow, I wonder if she has some kind of big secret or something that she'll eventually reveal to Colette.

Okay, so first off, this book is too long. It was an extremely slow read for me, and to be honest, reading it felt more like a chore than anything. The first half explains how Sadie and Colette used to be best friends and then all of a sudden, Colette started "being mean" to her. The second half of the book is about their adventure in Greece. Sadie's being a jerk and they fight, and then they make up. And wow Sadie's older brother is super hot. Then we're back to another fight between Colette and Sadie. Wow.

Secondly, the characters. I found most of the characters to be flat and I couldn't relate to any of them. Really, the only character I ended up liking was Colette's dad because he's the kind of dad that tells lame dad jokes. I dig it. The main character, Colette, over-thought everything too much. It was infuriating to read. One minute she'd be like "Oh man I have a boyfriend, Mark. I can't think this other guy is cute or anything," and then the next she'd be like "lolololol forget that boring idiot at home. I like this guy now." I honestly think that she thought about her boyfriend, Mark, more times than he actually showed up in the book.
Then there's Sadie. It turns out that throughout the entire book, No, seriously why is Rose at the wedding?
Then there's Rose. There's not too much to say about Rose. The only thing we learn about her is that she's

I'll let the book have this - it had a good message. Basically, Colette learning that she needed to be the person that she wanted herself to be, and that she shouldn't change for anyone. I'll admit, I did like that.

This book just wasn't able to capture my interest well. To be fair, I don't like or typically read books with a lot of teen girl drama junk.
Profile Image for Leah.
1,052 reviews58 followers
December 27, 2013
this review will go live on the blog 06/03

Newcomers to Carter's work take note: this is not an author who's afraid to tackle heavy subjects. Last year's Me, Him, Them, & It focused on pregnancy and now her latest, My Best Friend, Maybe sheds light on sexuality and what happens to a friendship when it's called into question.

Until three years ago Colette and Sadie were best friends and virtually inseparable. Then everything changed just before high school. Suddenly Sadie went out of her way to avoid Colette and, while the two could have talked non-stop for hours just a few years before, any chance encounters in the school halls are now met with awkward and forced hellos. For Colette this sudden change in Sadie is met with confusion and hurt - what did Colette do? Was there something Colette didn't do that made Sadie all but abandon their friendship? What - if anything - can be done to fix things?

The hole left by Sadie has been hastily patched over with a church youth group and a new boyfriend, Mark - a boy Colette's parents heartily approve of; Sadie's free-spirited mother and laid back attitude toward rules never failed to raise an eyebrow. Colette's relationship with Mark is practically perfect: he always treats her like a princess, showers her with gifts, and never goes further than the chastest of kisses. With a youth group trip quickly approaching, Sadie presents an invitation that changes everything. Colette must choose between spending the summer with Mark on a retreat or visiting the Greek Islands with her ex-best friend - and possibly find some answers.

Slowly but surely GLBT themes are emerging in Young Adult literature and I welcome it with open arms. Sadly, all too often a character's sexuality is glossed over or revealed for little more than shock value and adds absolutely nothing to the story. Even worse is the sitcom-style ending: everything is wrapped up nicely in a pretty bow and any bullying/harsh remarks/bigotry is forgiven and forgotten. While My Best Friend, Maybe left me wanting more, the portrayal of the characters was wonderful and heartbreaking.

My Best Friend, Maybe is told through Colette's perspective and until the ending we only know her side of the story as to what happened the night her friendship with Sadie fell apart. What Carter did extremely well was keep me guessing. The back cover of my ARC states: "A beautiful and multi-layered story of friendship, romance, and sexuality..." and, naturally, I expected these would all come into play between two characters. Carter caught me off guard though and I really enjoyed that. Yes, there's friendship, romance, and sexuality, but the storylines aren't one and the same.

Over time the reader discovers more of Sadie's side of the story as well as her reasoning for inviting Colette along. While I was rooting for Sadie the entire time, her motives gave me pause. Colette's Bible-thumping mother also plays a large role and her actions were appalling and gut-wrenching. Although I finished the book in a single sitting (something I rarely do) I had to walk away more than once because of Colette's mother. It certainly says something about Carter's abilities as a writer that she was able to stir up such emotion in me.

Even though I felt the ending was a bit too sweet and sitcom-y, I devoured it in a handful of hours. The day I received My Best Friend, Maybe in the mail I immediately sat down to read it and didn't stop until I was finished. Caela Carter made a name for herself with her debut and her sophomore effort proves she's not a one-hit wonder. My Best Friend, Maybe is an absolute joy of a novel and definitely one to pick up!
Profile Image for Estelle.
862 reviews80 followers
December 23, 2014
4.5 stars. Wow. I loved all the complicated relationships in this book. And Greece! I need to go to Greece.

"There were a lot of things in the world that won't make sense, I decide. A lot of things religion can't explain. And maybe we're supposed to live in a world of mystery."

"Back then, only three days ago, the world was black and white and I was simply choosing black. Now, sunset, the sky explodes beyond the restaurant in a flurry of color and even though it's beautiful, it's complicated."

Full review first published @ Rather Be Reading Blog

I think no matter how inseparable two people are, how much fun together, how many memories they make with one another, there is always some kind of difference between the two. Even before Colette and Sadie stopped being friends out of nowhere, Colette was feeling it. Sadie was concerned with how she looked and interested in boys, and Colette knew she wasn’t there yet. It was a small crack in the foundation, one that could have easily been worked through except for the big mysterious thing that causes the two to go from peas in a pod to total strangers for 3 years.

How would you feel if your ex-best friend appeared out of nowhere and asked you to take a trip to Greece? Would you go?

Colette is not an easy character to understand; she lives her life a certain way, a product of her parent’s upbringing. Her mom who urges her to remain chaste, to remain protected and covered up while her dad just blurs into the background of her life, never speaking up. I believe Colette’s parents had good intentions. They wanted their daughter to grow up to be good with boundaries, and have only the best influences infiltrate her life. Instead Colette is insecure in her own skin, feels like any decision that will not garner the approval of her parents is “bad”, and has tiptoed through her high school life being very careful not to experience too much of anything.

Her day-to-day life has grown to be so black and white (especially after Sadie has left it) and she is yearning for some gray.

Freedom. Adventure. Fun. All of these words are synonymous with Sadie. This was how they balanced each other out. So it’s not a surprise that Colette wants to ditch her summer plans (volunteer work in another country with her long-time boyfriend) and see Greece and, most importantly, figure out why Sadie left her. For the first time in a long time, Colette defies many people to do what she wants. (Though her support comes from an unexpected place; I liked this choice.)

Caela Carter did an exceptional job painting a portrait of Greece: the beauty of the water, the food, the vineyards, the hot water near the volcano. It was exactly like I was there alongside Colette as she spent time with Sadie’s family — people she believed were her family until they weren’t anymore. It’s not entirely paradise; against this gorgeous backdrop, Colette is feeling constant tension with the family, knows Sadie is keeping many somethings from her, and is afraid she made the wrong choice and fractured relationships at home for no good reason.

I like the messy books. I like when we are privy to ALL the parts of the characters. These books are near and dear to me because they are truly representative of real life. We don’t all see things in the same way. We often don’t understand the reasons why people do things the way they do. People can surprise us: in good and bad ways. I applaud Carter for thrusting us into this unsteady friendship. Colette missed Sadie; she wanted to patch things up. Sadie obviously still felt she could trust Colette or she never would have asked her on this trip. But could it be more than just a trip? (Sometimes friendships sound a lot like relationships, don’t they?)

Despite the heaviness of the conflicts and secrets in My Best Friend, Maybe, I gobbled this one up. Read it in under 24 hours. I had to see how Greece would change Colette, get her thinking on her own without constant pressure from her parents. I had to know if Colette and Sadie’s friendship had anything left after all these years and after this trip. Plus, there’s a sweet romance that felt just right. I think young adult books sometimes underestimate how hard it is for kids to break away from their parents; it’s impossible for us to share the same beliefs and constantly agree on how to live our lives. How moving forward has nothing to do with the level of respect or love we have for those parents. In addition to that, it’s not so often we see two best friends break up and be granted a second chance to be truthful with one another.

My Best Friend, Maybe did that + then some. It was thought-provoking, tough, visually beautiful, and certainly made me a Caela Carter fan.
Profile Image for Janet.
Author 33 books655 followers
April 29, 2014
Great characters and emotional connection!
19 reviews15 followers
May 21, 2014
I decided to read this book on a three-hour plane ride and could not put the book down the whole time. It was the perfect length and the story was wonderful. It was definitely not what I expected (until I got about halfway into the book) but I loved the characters, the lessons they learned and how the story progressed. Also, Santorini is the number one destination I want to visit, so I loved that aspect, as well. Overall, I thought this was a great book for teens and has a great message on respect and not judging others based on their beliefs. I would definitely recommend this book to a young person trying to figure things out for themselves, away from their parents' beliefs.
Profile Image for H.
955 reviews1 follower
October 5, 2016
PRIDE MONTH REC #2: My Best Friend, Maybe. [beautiful Greece setting, strong friendships]

5 stars. Just WONDERFUL.
My dad called us mermaids, but I knew we were more than that. We were fish. We were best friends.

Sadie was mine and I was hers. I knew it the way I knew my backbone held me up.

I was wrong.
My Best Friend, Maybe reminded me so much of First There Was Forever because both are AMAZING portrayals of the complexities of female friendship. But what distinguishes My Best Friend, Maybe is that it goes far beyond exploring the reasons why a friendship suddenly ends. When Coley agrees to go with her former best friend Sadie to Greece, she confronts her growing discomfort with her religious upbringing as well as her identity as a girl on the cusp of adulthood. The startling truth of why Sadie asks her former friend to Greece in the first place allows Coley to gain a better understanding of the different forms of love - from friendship to romantic love.
She’s been lying. For so long.
Probably since we were little kids.

“Coley?” she says. “What are you thinking?”

I stare at her. I’m thinking about her lying because it’s the part I can think about, the part I know is wrong. Because I can’t even try to think about everything else yet.
And yes, there is a little romance -- but it feels so natural and not at all trite. I think the following sentence from the book will assuage any fears of a typical romance-dominated YA contemporary: But it turns out even the perfect boy can’t guarantee a perfect day. YES GIRL YES. It is so refreshing to see the rejection of the "boy-arrives-now-our-issues-are-over" trope we see 24/7 in YA contemporary.
But we don’t have to be grown-ups today.

Today is a summer day. And there’s nothing in any part of the world as fun as a summer day with Sadie Pepper.
Even when we understand why a friendship fell apart, it doesn't mean that the remaining shards should be put together. We all grown up, and life throws us in a million different directions where 'You & I' may not even recognize why we became 'You & I.' It is gut-wrenchingly scary to realize when a friendship has run its course, but it is often what is right. My Best Friend, Maybe explores this heartbreaking reality with two wonderfully complex friends, set against the lush backdrop of a summer in Greece.
Profile Image for Livia.
27 reviews24 followers
November 19, 2014
Disappointing and not what the summary made it out to be. Don't categorize a book as LGBT if there is no main gay relationship. The writing was choppy, the entirety of the book was unrealistic and felt forced and awkward. Nobody has conversations like that in real life and the character growth was awful, especially for the parents. We never even get a decent explanation for them anyway. Lastly, Sadie was one of the most detestable, irritating characters I've ever had the misfortune to read about. She's selfish and manipulative and says the meanest stuff. I wish I hadn't wasted my time reading this book.
January 21, 2019
One of the worst book I’ve read. It took me too long to finish, because I kept feeling tired of the narrative and Colette and Sadie’s childish behavior. This is one of those times that I regret spending money on a book.
Profile Image for Margo Berendsen.
583 reviews80 followers
June 4, 2014
Four really cool things about this book:

1) it's set in Santorini, Greece. Love love love love....

2) Amazing writing

3) A complicated friendship between two girls

4) Thoughtful handling of religious issues

I recently wrote about some of my favorite YA books centered on friendships instead of romantic relationships, or where the friendship is more than just a prop or plot device. This is a great addition to that list; and one of the more complicated friendships I’ve come across in fiction. Colette and Sadie used to be best friends, until Sadie started putting other friends in front of Colette. That’s the gist of it, but there’s so much more to their story.

Friendship dynamics are fascinating and with so much potential for hurt and misunderstanding, and this book does a great job handling both the good: wonderful flashbacks of the strong moments in the friendship - and the bad: the weirdness and awkwardness of life when BFF turns to XBF.

“Do you really need for me to get milkshakes?” she asked. I did. I clearly did. But that word “need” sounded so pathetic. I needed her to want to get milkshakes. I needed her to rank all her friends for me so that I could hear my name at the top of the list. I was afraid I was sinking lower and lower on it, and if I sunk too low on Sadie’s friend list, I might sink out of real life.

I loved Sadie’s nickname for Colette: Coley. Some names just make me smile, and this one hit the spot.

I liked that Coley’s confusion over Sadie and her yearning to understand what happened also affected her relationship with her boyfriend – because real relationships are messy, like that. So often friends get neglected when a girl gets involved with a boy, so it was kind of nice to see the reverse here since Coley’s plans are to spend the summer in Costa Rica on a mission trip with Mark, but she chooses to change her plans at the last minute when Sadie invites her to join her family in Greece.

This wasn’t an easy choice. There’s something really drawing about a character with conflicting wants, torn between two “loves” and uncertain about the best path to take. I liked how Coley would swing from one side to the other, and then back; that indecision and uncertainty just rang true to me.

Poor Mark! I really liked the guy, because he treats Coley like a gentleman, and then there’s his freckles: “His smile makes his cheeks puff out and rearranges his freckles. I love how I never know quite where to look for them.“ Another scene: “he looks so sad, hazel eyes pasted to the driveway, freckles practically drooping.”

Coley’s life is also complicated by her mother, who is a control freak (“She can give me a guilt trip even internationally.”) And a religious control freak, to boot. More about that in a moment.

The story really takes off though once Coley’s left her boyfriend and her family behind and arrives in Santorini. Oh my goodness, Santorini! I’d read just about any book set on a Greek island, but the descriptions were so well done in this story, and fit so well with the complicated friendship.

It’s impossible to sleep long enough on an island this beautiful. All of this beauty makes me wonder why God decided we ever have to sleep in the first place.

Coley’s hotel room was in a cave! So that actually makes sense on a very steep island, where just about everything is built in the hillsides. And it sounded like a really lovely, cozy cave.

But now we’re here, across the world in a cave in Santorini where the sun is so strong it almost has a smell and the stairs carved into the sides of the cliffs allow you to see everything at once and yet have a million surprises a day.

More complications ensue between Sadie and Coley while on the island, and a surprising secret is revealed that complicates things even more. It’s spoilery, so I won’t go into that, but Coley didn’t process it very well at first. But I loved her eventual conclusion, because I could really relate to it in one of my own complicated friendships.

One slight thing that I was a little sad about with the setting: it's pretty sparse on Greek culture. I know Santorini is really touristy, but still, there's got to be some genuine Greek culture there. There's not even a single notable Greek person in this story, just the guy Andrea's marrying, and I don't remember him even getting any dialogue.

Now, on to Sam – Sadie’s adopted Haitian brother who Coley starts crushing on. I wanted more of Sam! – though I know the focus of the book had to be on Coley and Sadie, I sure wish I could have gotten a few more details about Sam. He only mentions once how it felt being adopted into a white family. I could eat up a whole book about such a character. More, more! Also, he and Coley had such chemistry:

“Yes?” Sam says.

“I thought I screwed everything up,” I say.
He smiles. “You’re only one person. In the whole universe. You can’t screw everything up.”

Sam actually had me googling Haitian models, like Karl Daniel and Kendrick Kemp, from the Bahamas.

Ahem. Back to the story.

So I mentioned that Coley’s mom was a religious control freak. As a Christian mom, it was good for me to read about Coley’s mom so I could learn what kind of mom I don’t want to be. Until the end, that is, when she says this really cool thing:

“Look, I don’t know what’s happening with your father. After all these years I’m finally going to apologize and I hope he’ll hear me. But no matter what happens, you’re my kid, my daughter, okay? And when you get home, the first thing I’m going to do is listen to you.”

I struggled with the parts of the story that involved Christian activities (e.g. youth group, mission trip) and Coley’s perception of these: they were just a rote part of her life. She had no passion for them, which actually makes sense, since she didn’t ever mention a passion for the Lord. That’s not what I’m complaining about; and I realize if she WAS passionate about the Lord, this book would have been published by a different publisher. But I can’t help wishing the book also included a contrast to Coley’s perception. Just so readers could get a little taste of what a mission trip means to a passionate believer. I love it when stories show contrasts like this.

But as far as other contrasts and complications, especially with friendships, this book was spot on! And did I mention Santorini?

One more delicious description of Santorini!

Below us, the pathways and sidewalks and stairways are jammed with people reverently watching as the sun kisses the horizon and sinks slowly into the sea.

I can’t believe the colors. The volcano is a black silhouette on a molten rainbow of canvas.
The restaurant hushes, the crowds below are still. Everyone is holding her breath at the beauty and grace of the moment. The energy buzzes around us, silent but excited, happy, joyful.

Then the sun is just a sliver of brightness, a neon line peeking out from over the sea, saying good-bye until tomorrow. And then it’s gone.

To my surprise, the entire island erupts in applause for the sun and the sea and the energy and one another and I know my mom is somewhere calling this vacation lavish and unnecessary and dangerously fun, but to me this is a God moment.

Profile Image for Maja Todorovska.
50 reviews
April 20, 2020
I really wanted to like this book, but dear lord the characters are so unlikable. The main character. Colette is so bland, she might as well be white toast bread. She's grating every step of the way, and considering we see the book through her eyes (and mind) it's intolerable. The best friend, Sadie, is at best problematic (not a bad thing if properly examined), an at worst a step away from a manipulative psycho.
The plot is paper-thin, and while that wouldn't be a problem with strong characters...these characters are far from strong, and definitely cannot carry the book by themselves. The only reason that I finished the book (aside from boredom and slight hate-reading) was the secret that Sadie was keeping (apparently the reason the two girls stopped talking) and how that impacted Colette's mother. I obviously won't spoil the whole thing, but let's just say that while horrible, the whole thing felt short because of the execution.
Needless to say I didn't really like this book, but if you like romance and the summary caught your interest, be sure to read a short sample first. If it doesn't turn you off, then knock yourself out.
Profile Image for Just a person .
995 reviews294 followers
May 28, 2014
I wanted to read this because it sounded like a nice summer read, and also based on friendship. I wanted to find out what happened between their friendship and what it is that Sadie has been keeping from Colette.
The story is mostly told in Collette's present, but she does have sections that go back to when her and Sadie were such close friends as kids. It is nice to get these glimpses of how they were together and that they had a long history as best friends. It also makes me relate with Colette even more because it shows me what she is missing in her life.
Where we start with Colette's story there is so much change going on. She is supposed to go on a summer mission trip with her straight and narrow chaste boyfriend Mark, who is graduating and going to college while she will be in her senior year. One of her current closest friends, Luisa is applying for a senior year abroad. So, after being dumped by Sadie (as she sees it) those are the closest people to her because even though she has a lot of people in her youth group and town that she knows she isn't really close to them.
When Sadie approaches her about the summer in Greece, Sadie says yes right away, surprising them both. But then she is waivering on if she can go, if her parents would approve, and what about her planned and fund raised trip to Costa Rica? She isn't sure about that status of her future with Mark. This began the process that continued through the book of Coley (her nickname) realizing who she really wants to be instead of playing a balancing act from the "Good Colette" that her parents and their high expectantions and moral/religious values weigh on her. On the other side she wants to break out the brave/fun Coley that says yes to trips and wants to get to the bottom of the seperation with Sadie.
I actually didn't guess Sadie's secret until a little before Coley herself found out. I guessed a lot of things, things that could actually make an interesting story if it were the secret, but finally all of the "you don't know" and the judging/downer/mean looks from others. Sadie's side of the story actually makes a lot of sense and I could see how she could have percieved everything that happened, but I also feel for Coley. Over time she lost her best friend and the fun and lightness from her life.
But she realizes that she needs to open up and let others in more, as well as make decisions for herself based on feelings, on facts and not on expectations. I ended up enjoying her talks with her father, because even though he has the same beliefs as her mom, I think that he goes about showing them better. Yes, there is talk of religion, but Coley isn't quite sure I don't think, she's just grown up with the background, and in church, so she is a little more towards the conservative because of her upbringing. But Coley's mom is the more vocal and pushes it to Coley as well. I know that, as a christian mom, she wanted to protect Coley, and wanted to pass along what she believes and values. But... the makes mistakes, but I also liked that she finally admitted she was wrong how she handled things and was more willing to actually listen to Coley. So, it is really one of the first times I can think of where a parent shows such growth.
The romance is nice, although at times, I think it is coming close to stepping into areas that make me a little mad. (There is semi-cheating, dishonesty/secrets.) I know that Mark is a good guy and he will be great boyfriend, but I just think that he and Coley hid too many things from each other, and they were just comfortable together, it was accepted, but I don't think that they were really in love, and didn't have the chemistry that Coley for sure desired. There is another guy that comes into the picture, and their chemistry and eye flirting as well as him being semi-forbidden made my toes curl, but I also think it taught Coley a lot.
I like the direction and the emphasis on friendship, and second chances, as well as actually verbalizing problems instead of making big decisions and actions based on assumptions. Where they ended up and how things looked for the future really fit the book, and I was satisfied with the wrap up. But mostly I love the hope for the future, for new things, maybe even a sequel, hint hint Ms Carter. But even if I don't get more of their stories or romance, then I like where it ended.

Bottom Line: Story of Colette discovering who she is as well as big emphasis on friendship and second chances.
Profile Image for Angie.
2,334 reviews227 followers
December 17, 2014
I received an ARC through NetGalley.

I really liked My Best Friend, Maybe! I was very excited and very nervous for it, but thankfully it was great! Collette has been without her best friend Sadie for three years. Now, out of the blue, Sadie invites her to Greece with her family. Collette is confused, because why now? Maybe this is Sadie's way of apologizing, or maybe she has a more sinister reason. Collette flip-flops about going, since she's suppose to spend the summer in Costa Rica with her boyfriend building houses with their youth group. But plans change, and Collette ends up on a plane to Greece, where she tries to put the past behind her. Easier said than done.

Based on the description, I was expecting My Best Friend, Maybe to end up with a romance between Collette and Sadie. I wanted this to happen! But, after meeting both girls, I'm glad it didn't, because it wouldn't make any kind of sense. Collette is a good, Christian girl (don't worry, the book isn't preachy at all). She gets good grades, is active in her church, and does what her parents say. Her boyfriend was the same way, but Collette realizes that that isn't who she is. She wants fun, something her mother believes will lead her down the sinful road to hell. She wants to find out who she is, and be herself, even though this vacation and being around Sadie is making it difficult, since everyone knows something that she doesn't.

I normally love misunderstandings in plots. However, I was a bit annoyed with the one in My Best Friend, Maybe. Everyone believes Collette is the one who abandoned Sadie because of who she is, but Collette has no idea what's going on. Sadie cries about it and pulls the "I thought you knew card" but then she goes on about how no one but her family knows, and that she tried to tell her a few times. Doesn't that imply that Collette didn't know? And yet she blames her anyway. I did like that Sadie eventually took responsibility for her part in ruining their friendship. Then the whole truth is revealed and I was all GASP! Some people are truly awful. I won't spoil it though.

My Best Friend, Maybe was great! It was fun, and sad, and heart warming. It covers a lot of different issues, but I don't think the author let any of them get away from her. Everything fit and wrapped up nicely. There's even a cute romance, and I loved watching Collette try to balance what she wants from that with the values she was raised with. It's always nice to read about characters with different beliefs than mine, as long as the narrative doesn't try to convert me. I do think that Sadie's sexuality could have been handled a little better, since she was very wishy-washy about whether she's out or not.

Read more of my reviews at Pinkindle Reads & Reviews.
Profile Image for Jessica.
165 reviews127 followers
June 2, 2014
I really wasn’t sure when I read the synopsis of this novel if I would be able to get through this novel without remembering how hard it is to lose your best friend, whether it be a childhood best friend, a high school best friend, or even a college best friend. Well, that all happens to people, and its one of the main reasons I did decide to read it. Because I’ve been through it, and that means that a large percentage of Carter’s readers would have or will go through that.

The story line is somewhat slow to begin, but the narrator, Colette, slowly introduces us to her current narrative and her past friendship with Sadie. (On a side note, I fully believe that Carter drew inspiration from the lyrics of the Beatles’ song Sexy Sadie when deciding to name that character.) While the mystery doesn’t seem as vital or important as let’s say, a murder or any life threatening issue, but it is addicting and realistic as a motivator in the story.

Not only does Carter’s novel explore the crippling conformity that some forms of religion can cause young people after having been raised in a strict household, but it explores the importance of self-discovery and a teenager’s growing ability to make decisions, moral or not, about what they believe and who they choose to keep in their lives.

It isn’t preachy or trying to change a readers opinion on any type of religion or lifestyle, but it is the perfect book that can help show readers that their decisions are their own and not any outside influences.

4.5 Bards for this amazing story
Profile Image for Jenna Cantino.
513 reviews13 followers
February 27, 2016
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this book.

I really enjoyed this book. Even though I had read spoilers before starting this book, I was still left guessing for almost 60% of the story. Now, I am not one that likes surprises or random twists and turns. And it did irk me that I couldn't just flip to the end to see what happens (well I suppose I could've kept pressing my kindle page flip button but no thanks). However, I liked how the story unfolded and wasn't just rushing to the "WHAT HAPPENED?!". When I did get to "WHAT HAPPENED?!", I wasn't disappointed. Although I knew the root of secret I really didn't know how and why and the biggest one, who. All in all this was a great story about differences and communication and just being yourself, without the syrupy sweetness and eye rolling of an afternoon special.
12 reviews1 follower
May 14, 2014
In My Best Friend, Maybe there are secrets and as you read you will be shocked at every page turn. Colette "Coley" has been missing Sadie since they were younger. Although she has new friends and a boyfriend, her minds still wanders toward Sadie. When Sadie asks her to come to Greece with her she thinks why and maybe their friendship will be renewed. What happens before and during the trip changes both of their lives forever. This was a good read but at times it felt down. It had really high moments and then it dropped. This was a constant thing and made the book a little irritating. Overall, it was a good story and I think you should read it because it has memorable characters and has a good story line.
Profile Image for Katie Fritz.
23 reviews
October 2, 2014
Colette has always been friends with Sadie. Until ninth grade, when suddenly, she just wasn't. Colette stayed the same while Sadie stopped talking to her, finding new friends and new boys to flirt with. Now after more than two years, Sadie comes up to her, asking her ex-best-friend to come to Greece with her. Sadie says she needs her. Now Colette has to agree, that word need messing up her plans with her boyfriend to go do charity work. So off she goes, against her parents will, to try to reconnect with Sadie, uncovering the secrets that have been kept from her.
If you like realistic fiction about friends going through drama but eventually coming to be friends, you'll like this book. There really isn't a book I've read like this yet.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
549 reviews
February 14, 2015
What the shit. It has been a very long time since I've been so agitated and frustrated with a book. I constantly wanted to throw this book at a wall because I just could not figure out what the fuck was going on. I mean, I had the barest bones of a theory but it was just endless levels of obsessed bafflement. It's extremely hard to be a productive employee under those conditions. And then everything became clear and went to hell and it was so painful in so many personal ways that I just didn't know what to do with myself. I want to throw this book through a wall. Or through someone's skull. Goddamn YA fiction.
Profile Image for So Yeah.
31 reviews
January 13, 2017
If you're looking for a story of two girls fighting for love, you come to the wrong place. This book has nothing to offer but mediocre drama and weak characters. I felt like reading a long essay of a high school girl rather than a story. I didn't finish it.

Everything was so two-dimensional. And I hate flashbacks, they distract the flow of the story and this book has a million of them. It was an effort to read. The main character's full useless drama and shallow thoughts. To be honest, I feel like the writer kind of cheated us to mark this book as LGBT. This makes me mad. When can people stop putting a gay character there for a hook?
Profile Image for Gaby.
237 reviews39 followers
July 23, 2017
Yay, I finished it! This book was a pleasant surprise, considering that it starts out very slow and it almost made me want to quit! I would safely say the 3rd half of this book is amazing. It has an unexpected plot twist that is truly worth powering through the tedious first part.
Profile Image for Rena.
464 reviews258 followers
June 6, 2014
I liked it, there were so many layers to this story, but I feel conflicted. More thoughts to come.
Profile Image for Issa.
8 reviews21 followers
July 7, 2016
Profile Image for Claire (Book Blog Bird).
1,053 reviews38 followers
October 25, 2018
Uh, this was only okay. It was the story of a girl who fell out with her best friend a few years back and then all of a sudden her friend asks her to go on holiday with her.

This in itself is pretty unbelievable. If someone I hadn't spoken to for five years suddenly asked me on holiday to Greece with them and their family, there would be red flags all over the place. But our MC just agrees to it.

And okay, I could have probably overlooked this but there were quite a lot of other not-quite-believable aspects to t he book too. The instalove (my pet peeve), the scary mean girl, the way everyone knows what the Big Secret is, except for our MC, the flakiness and apparent two-facedness of the ex-best-friend.

The romance was a bit of a turn-off. The MC starts off the book with a total bell-end of a boyfriend and doesn't get rid of him soon enough and then the next guy she falls for was a bit one-dimensional and he did really annoying things like ordering the MC's dinner for her (because the current year is apparently 1852).

This was an okay book for a quick read, but i wouldn't really recommend it.
Profile Image for Liralen.
2,752 reviews161 followers
April 21, 2015
More or less typical YA friendship/love drama, set against the backdrop of a sparkling Greek coastline.

Let's be honest: I read it for the coastline, or at least for the travel aspect. (Currently seesawing wildly between nature-based nonfiction and YA travel books.) There are a number of interesting, clever twists to the story, though I do wish the location had played more of a role. Honestly, Sadie and Colette could just as easily have had their drama at home, and if anything, there would have been more conflict—dealing with parents and religion on top of working through their own history.

Sadie's mid-book admission was not as much of a surprise as it might have been, since the book is on various relevant lists (which was the entire reason I shelved it in the first place, so I can't complain), but it is treated differently than I might have expected. Colette proves herself well, in certain respects, and I almost wished that she had understood things earlier, and that Sadie's accusations had had more weight—not because I want to think less of any of the characters, or to make things harder for them, exactly, but because it would have given Colette more to wrestle with. I kept expecting her to really address her thoughts about religion, about Mark, about what she has been taught to believe. She starts that process in this book; she realises that bikinis are not the devil's clothing and that it is okay to want more than a chaste kiss now and then...but she has a lot further to go. (Granted, she wasn't going to sort everything out in a week, but...)

And then...Sadie. Her family is easy to like. Sadie herself I'm not so sure about. She's kind of the stereotypical crazy ex-girlfriend, except that there's another stereotypical crazy ex-girlfriend around, and...and it's two crazy ex-girlfriends too many.

So. Enjoyed it. Wanted more. Hell, I wanted Colette to follow up her Greece trip with a service project (Costa Rica, Appalachia, wherever) and be forced to consider some of those questions about faith/religion/belief/upbringing...and then I wanted Louisa to go off to boarding school in Japan, and for there to be a follow-up book from her perspective as she tries to deal with that and with shifting dynamics between her friendship and Sadie's friendship with Colette. (But then, I never said my book-wants were reasonable!)
Profile Image for Shane.
Author 32 books657 followers
June 9, 2014
My Best Friend, Maybe started out a bit slow, but after Colette got over certain guilt and made a decision, the story picked up for me. It turned out to be quite an interesting reading experience because I'm not sure I would have done the same thing had I been in her shoes. While reading, I kept thinking how I would have reacted when a friend who stopped speaking to me for years suddenly came up to me, wanting me to travel out of the country all because she "needed" me and I'm supposed to honor some promise from way back.

First of all, I would demand answers, and that bugged me a bit about Colette's character because she didn't speak out enough about stuff that confused or annoyed her. On the other hand, it is sort of understandable when you get a sense of the way she grew up. She had to spend her life trying to be perfect and doing everything right in the eyes of her mother and everyone else. And when she finally went on the trip to Greece (the description was wonderful by the way) and started to question everything, she kind of started to have a mind of her own. Though it took too long, I'm glad she found her voice and demanded answers. Not only from Sadie but from her mother. Still, it was obvious and she seemed a bit naive at times.

I liked how the story depicted friendship and how the characters placed such a strong value on that. It was rather moving, on an emotional level, the way they reconnected and grew up from their misunderstandings. I'm happy they had a nice ending in spite of all the issues and giving a sense that it won't work out in previous scenes.

Of course, it wasn't just about Sadie and Colette's friendship and what caused it to stop for a while. There were other aspects of the story that impacted them. Like Colette's parents' marriage and the issues they were facing, as well as a teen girl coming to terms with her sexuality. It definitely had a lot going to hold your interest, not just two girls going back and forth with who's to blame.

Overall, it was a good story and I don't want to say more about it and risk spoiling it. But it is great writing and interesting themes that will have you thinking. Good job, Caela. I look forward to reading more of your work.
Profile Image for Thea Boyne.
118 reviews
November 18, 2016
I just stayed up way too late on a school night finishing this... yikes I make good decisions.
I really, really enjoyed this book. It was light, fun, and engaging to read but it had relatable themes to deepen it-- how to be true to yourself, the nature of best friendship, breaking away from your family/church's expectations of you, what it means to be a family, homophobia coming from religion. I liked how youthful and realistic the flashback scenes of Colette and Sadie's felt, and they really helped push the plot forward and explain what happened between them. They really worked for the book! I liked how well-rounded this book was-- Colette had her own conflicts and development, as did Sadie, and Colette and Sadie had the primary conflict of the book. All of the conflicts were intertwined together well and made it a page-turner! I especially liked how the plot climaxed and Sadie's secret was revealed (granted, I'd kinda guessed Sadie's secret was that's she's gay based on the flap, but the buildup to the reveal was so dramatic and interesting!). I felt that Sadie and Colette's sometimes strained friendship, and the feelings of missing a friend and wondering what went wrong, as well as Colette's feeling used in Sadie's request, were realistic and reminiscent some of my own experiences with friendship. I also loved the Greek setting (in some ways, this book reminds me of Love and Gelato and Anna and the French Kiss bc they all have exotic European settings but this one has a different focus and isn't written quite as well) and Sam/Colette (so cute!).

My main two complaints, in a list:
1. Colette and her family's religion. The exact denomination of Christianity they practice is never specified to my knowledge. But I think that identification would helped to reinforce the "very religious family" aspect of the book. Although that aspect was definitely present in Colette's thoughts and behaviors, it could have been pushed a little more heavily to better convey the point.
2. I wish Louisa had had a bigger purpose in the story. She was a nice character, and she even got her own conflict, but wasn't too important to the main plot and I wish she had a bigger purpose.
Profile Image for Bee.
815 reviews210 followers
September 4, 2015

Istyria book blog ~ B's world of enchanted books

If I hadn't spend the majority of the book being annoyed and frustrated by Sadie and Colette, I probably would've enjoyed this book a lot more. I did like it nonetheless, just not as much as I'd hoped I would.

Three years ago, Colette and Sadie stopped being friends. And Colette has no idea why. After three years of not being friends, Colette has moved on. Until Sadie asks her to come to Greece with her family. And the plane leaves in a week. A week later Colette finds herself on the plane next to Sadie. Suddenly without a boyfriend and her best friend Louise preparing her study abroad in Japan. In Greece Colette not only finds the friendship with Sadie she thought was lost, but also herself.

I like the premise of this book. And overall I did enjoy it. I started out liking the story and the writing was good. But soon I found myself frustrated by Sadie and Colette. Obviously they had some unresolved issues, but it took too long for them to talk it out. They didn't even give each other a chance. That annoyed me so much! But still, I liked the story and in the end they redeemed theirselves for me.

My biggest issue was the romance. It's so obvious that there is a romance coming between Colette and Sam, Sadie's brother, when they see each other again after three years, but I didn't like it. First off, Colette had a boyfriend. Mark was sweet and yeah he was angry at Colette when she suddenly changed her plans to go to Costa Rica because Sadie asked her to go to Greece last minute. I would be too! I would've loved it if they'd just gotten back together and Mark showed up in Greece or something. The romance between Sam and Colette felt a bit forced and even a tiny bit insta-love-y.

Overall I did enjoy My Best Friend, Maybe. It still tackles a few tough issues and I liked how the author did that. I would recommend this to fans of Young Adult Contemporary, if only for the way the author worked those issues into the story.
Profile Image for Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee).
1,399 reviews34 followers
December 24, 2014
I enjoyed My Best Friend, Maybe so much! I really liked the friendship between Colette and Sadie, and how complicated things were for them. The entire book, I was wondering what drove these two girls apart, and I liked that it slowly unraveled over the course of the book. I really liked how it came together, and I was surprised (in a good way!) by the secret that Sadie kept. I liked that we slowly learned Sadie's side of the story.

I will say that I didn't quite understand Mark (Colette's ex-boyfriend) and his issues with Sadie, and why he doesn't want Colette to be around Sadie. Other than Sadie not being a part of the church youth group and no longer being friends with Colette, I'm not really sure where his feeling are coming from. It did become grating after a little bit. While Mark's feeling did get slightly irritating, I found myself confused- and then angry- at why Colette's mom didn't like Sadie and why she didn't want Colette to go on a vacation with Sadie.

I really liked how Sadie and Colette were trying to figure things out after several years, and that maybe they could be friends, but not best friends. Everything really is a big misunderstanding- Sadie thought Colette knew but Colette didn't because Sadie never told her. I'm glad they finally figured out what went wrong and it's such a complex, layered look at friendship.

Let's Rate It: My Best Friend, Maybe is such a great story about friendship! I liked how complicated things were between Sadie and Colette and how Colette was there for Sadie because she promised she would be, no matter what. There are some really great moments between the two girls. I feel like a tough issue was handled really well and very realistically, and I liked that Colette was never sure of her decisions. And that she started to question everything. My Best Friend, Maybe gets 4 stars.
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