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

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  2,947 Ratings  ·  326 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. Wel
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published January 6th 2009 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 2009)
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Brooke Shirts
Jul 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Neila Fitz
Sep 22, 2015 rated it liked it
I don't know if a lot of people notice that almost like every book that we read is realistic fiction. In my book it's exactly the same it is realistic fiction that's what makes it boring for once I want to read a book that is not realistic but romantic I can sometimes find a book that is romantic but it's rare. The genre once again is realistic fiction. I thought the book was amazing I can almost say that it's better than other books that I read but the number one book for me is called Better O ...more
Eva Mitnick
Feb 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children

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
Chelsea Couillard-Smith
Nov 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
May 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
May 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
May 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-fiction
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
Sep 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Claire M.
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
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
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was about two friends that drifted apart because they are from two different worlds. Marylin is a cheerleader in the popular group. Kate is an outsider no one never really notices her. Marylin wishes that Kate would fit in with her and her friends.Kate doesn't like any of them because Kate feels like they are spoiled.Both of them want to stay friends but its harder than ever to stay friends in middle school because that were you drift apart from your friends and notice you really are.
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: juvenile
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
Apr 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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.)
Emily Pierson
Jan 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
I think it was better than the first one. Can't wait for the third!!
Jazmin Scott
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kate is the main character and she is very unique. The main conflict of this story was that Kate and her friend Marilyn weren’t as close as the used to be which is why the book is called The Kind of Friends we Used to be by Frances O’Roark Dowell. Marilyn became a cheerleader and Kate became a girl that was obsessed with becoming a guitar player. Kate ended up finding a few new friends named Matthew and Lorna. Matthew become her crush but they never ended up dating, even though Marylin and Kate ...more
Feb 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Small deviants aside, little kids are friendly folk. Catch `em young enough and you can turn them into friends if they both like making chocolate chip cookies and having sleepovers. They are discerning, but friendship often trumps their differences . . . for a time. Then puberty appears on the horizon and all bets are off. Suddenly kids have to form strategic alliances with their peers. And that friend you made in the second grade? Suddenly you're beginning to realize that you two have very litt ...more
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I have not read the first book in this trilogy, so perhaps the story would've been more enjoyable if I had.
The book is a very quick read about two girls in middle school who used to be friends but are growing apart. There are a lot of stereotypes in the book (the goth girl, the smart one, the cheerleaders, the football jocks, the unlikely friend, etc.) but the author actually breaks some of the stereotypes and uses them as a means of teaching that not everyone is always who they appear to be on
Liz K
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I think that I chose the wrong time to read this book because it was beyond easy and I was at least 10 levels above this type of reading. Although, I would have loved it nonetheless in elementary school if I had read it.
Foluso Bolaji
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
you know those friends who ditch ou because they think you're not cool enough or don't think your worth hanging out with anymore? well then you can relate to one the girls in this book, great book read it in the 6th grade
Janelle Hammonds
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This is refreshingly relatable, the relationships, the situations, and the overall story. Middle school can be tough, we all need friends by our side.
Katie Fitzgerald
This combined review of The Secret Language of Girls and The Kind of Friends We Used To Be also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

You could share a history with a person, know their mom and their little brother and what kind of laundry detergent they used [...] but the second that person became a middle school cheerleader, forget it. It's like all that stuff never existed.
-Frances O'Roark Dowell, The Kind of Friends We Used To Be, page 19

I can't even count at this point the number of times I'
Kayleigh Anderson
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The kind of friends we use to be by Frances O'Roark Dowell is a great book. Kate and Marilyn have been friends since they were little but in 7th grade they start drifting apart. I recommend this book for anyone in jr.high or upper elementary because it is a basic book with a good story. I love this book because it is clooesly related to my life.
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Kiran Galsinh
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Marylin and Kate are very complicated. One year they want to be friends the other they don't. As they are trying to fix their relationship they become even more different than before. It makes the both of them think whether trying to fix the relationship is even worth it. Marylin is trying to change Kate's appearance and Kate is trying to change Marylin's friends. Kate tells Marylin to find new friends because they bully she but she is to scared to leave them. Only time can tell if their friends ...more
Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lindsey Haas
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jaime W
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The book The kind of friends we used to be, by frances o’ roark dowell is a sequel to The Secret Language of Girl. This book is very interesting there are two girls that are totally opposite. Marylin and Kate are the two main characters. Kate is a girl who wears jeans and plays the guitar. Marylin wears pink leggings and skirts and is of course a cheerleader at there middle school. They used to be friends and then separated when they noticed they weren’t the same they didn’t have most of the sa ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

The friendship adventures of Kate and Marylin continue in THE KIND OF FRIENDS WE USED TO BE. The girls were in sixth grade in THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF GIRLS, and now they are in seventh.

Marylin continues to hang out with the cheerleaders, although she is gradually beginning to realize that the controlling Mazie does not always have her best interests in mind. When Marylin meets Rhetta, the new girl, she never dreams that they could h
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This was an awesome book!!! 1 2 Aug 15, 2016 07:30PM  
I think its boring what do you think 36 42 Aug 01, 2014 02:37AM  
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While Frances O'Roark Dowell (Dovey Coe, The Secret Language of Girls, Trouble the Water) is best known for her award-winning novels, she also hosts the popular "Off-Kilter Quilt" podcast, where she talks about her latest quilt projects with friends and fellow quilters around the globe. Her own little corner of the globe is Durham, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and a ...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

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