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We Used To Be Friends

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  469 ratings  ·  192 reviews
Two best friends grow up—and grow apart—in this innovative contemporary YA novel

Told in dual timelines—half of the chapters moving forward in time and half moving backward—We Used to Be Friends explores the most traumatic breakup of all: that of childhood besties. At the start of their senior year in high school, James (a girl with a boy’s name) and Kat are inseparable,
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Amulet
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Average rating 3.55  · 
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 ·  469 ratings  ·  192 reviews

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5 stars because right book, right time. I went through a gradual yet intense friendship breakup over the latter half of 2019 and We Used to Be Friends got me in all of my feels, like every single one of them. Amy Spalding’s novel follows James and Kat, childhood besties about to start their senior year of high school. They both have life stuff going on: James broke up with her boyfriend and her parents are separating, Kat is dating a girl for the first time and is adjusting to her dad looking ...more
Irena BookDustMagic
I know it's only January, but I'm pretty sure We Used to be Friends will be one of my favourite reads of 2020.

This was so good, amazingly written with capability to send me on my own reminiscing journey.

Full review to come.
Kate Welsh
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
SO MANY FEELINGS. This made me cry ON A BUS. Friend breakups are so terrible and we so rarely talk about them!
so 2020 will be a good year when we finally acknowledge the pain of friend break-ups! neat!


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Lea ♞ That_Bookdragon

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest opinion and happy release day to this book!

"It's strange to think you could grow up right alongside someone and be one category of person when it turns out they're another entirely."

We Used To Be Friends follows two best friends as they grow up and ultimately... grow apart. Told through different points of view, one moving forward and the other moving backward, the reader gets to
Nov 28, 2019 rated it liked it
*I received an earc of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

It's been a few hours since I've finished this book and I really can't find strong feelings for it one way or another. I really love the premise of the story, the queer representation, the characters, the relationships, and the realistic feels of everything. Despite all of this I just wasn't really able to get into the book. I found myself accidentally skimming parts of it, the timeline was pretty confusing because
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, 2020-releases
Real rating: 4,5 stars.
We Used To Be Friends was such a brilliant read and a necessary one, too. There are too few books about friendships and friendship break-ups and how painful that can be, too, and this book NAILED IT. I loved the dual POV and the originality of going back and forth in James and Kat's relationship. Bittersweet and emotional, this is such a good read I'm definitely going to recommend.

Full review coming soon on the blog!

Thank you to Amulet Books UK / Abrams & Chronicle
Sometimes a friendship ends with something huge. Other times, two people grow apart for a variety of reasons that aren't necessarily big bangs, but a ton of small ones that inevitably break them apart. Spalding digs into this kind of friendship breakup in a story told in a creative -- and effective -- timeline. James's narrative moves backwards from her leaving for college after the summer post-senior year, while Kat's moves forward from the first month of senior year and as readers, we see all ...more
michelle (magical reads)
3.75 stars

read on my blog

**I received an ARC from Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

Everything felt so easy then: friendships, boyfriends, the future,. But now my feelings are too messy. It’s like something has been rotting from within and now there’s no way to know when it started.

I was intrigued by the title; I mean, We Used to Be Friends is very on the nose, but it’s exactly what this book is about, and I loved it for that. I feel
Samantha (WLABB)
Kat and James had been best friends since they were serendipitously paired together in Kindergarten. Both were looking forward to senior year for different reasons. Kat just wanted to get though this last year, and was anticipating all the new experiences waiting for her in college, while James was eager to be a senior and to enjoy her final year of high school with her best friend at her side. However, neither expected it would be the end of a decade long friendship.

I am telling you, right now,
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
"By the time you realize you're thirsty, it's too late. You're already dehydrated. Therefore, it stands to reasons that if you feel the end coming, you're already there."
This was such a bittersweet book - in the best way. I just feel really sad and filled with pain about this friendship that just falls apart over time. It definitely hooks you and pulls you into the story. You're so invested you feel the heartbrea and pain alongside Kat and James.

I loved that this story was told in two
* I received an arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

This book definitely did things most books don’t do. It focused on a friend breakup instead of a romantic couple. Anyone that has had a friend breakup knows that sometimes those can be worse than romantic breakups.

I thought this book was extremely well written. The queer rep was amazing. The flow of the book was effective in the way that we got both POV of the friendship, and it works from present day to going back in time so
Alexis Nalley
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
“I had no idea how you could stand right next to someone and yet have no clue how to get back to them. Though I guess that now it’s more that I’m standing behind someone.”

This book. This book, you guys. We Used to be Friends follows two girls, James and Kat as their friendship dissolves. It’s no one’s fault and no one person is totally to blame, just something that sometimes happens- you grow up and you grow apart. This book is told in alternating points of view. James’ part of the story is told
Thank you to Amy Spalding, Amulet Books & NetGalley for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I'll be completely honest and say that the cover was the exact reason I picked this book. I like LGBT and best friend battles in young adult novels, but the cover is what really got me. The curiosity of what makes these two best friends separate is what pulled me in through the beauty of the front of the book.

I thoughtWe Used to Be Friends was very realistic. I think that Amy
Karen Barber
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The title pulls no punches. This is all about the break-up of all break-ups, and though it’s upsetting on occasion I couldn’t help but warm to both James and Kat.
James and Kat were paired together in kindergarten and have been best friends since. Our story opens with them about to go to college, and things are no longer looking as rosy as they were.
The premise itself is quite straightforward. Two friends are developing and their relationship is shifting. They’re dealing with family issues,
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
2/5 stars:

I think 2020 should be the year I realize YA contemporary is just not for me. There are VERY few contemporaries I end up loving and this definitely wasn't one of them. In fact, it is one of contemporaries I've enjoyed the least in recent times.

Both in writing and plot I don't think this book does anything special or remarkable.

The story moves between the two main characters' POVs -Kat and James- and although their personalities and likes/dislikes are pretty different their tones and
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: aty2020
I would have liked it a lot more if not for the fact that it jumps around the entire year a lot. I got confused a few times about what was going on with the characters when it skipped so far in the past and then back to the present and such.

But, it was a very relatable story. Friendship breakups are the worst.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
This was brutal, in a very real way. The dual POV's telling the story in two different orders really made the book for me. I think people's reactions to this book will vastly depend on who you see more of yourself in.

Reading a lot of romances, one thing I’ve noticed is how often the romantic relationship is seen as it. I mean, obviously it being centred in a romance makes sense! I’m very happy that’s the case! But frequently it feels like that relationship is all the MCs are allowed to have in their lives. When I think there’s room enough for that not to be the case.

We Used To Be Friends isn’t a romance, but that doesn't matter because it’s an unapologetic love letter to friendships instead.

The plot is
Traci Wilmoth
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. There are a million books written about a broken heart about a break up, but it is true that our friends can break our hearts as well. Those long-lasting friendships or just as and often more significant to our lives than romantic ones.

High school and college are about making big decisions and changing and growing, and sometimes people we love grow apart from us. We Used to Be Friends is a delightful and poignant book about the changes that happen to our relationships over
Feb 04, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm also a book blogger: Vee_Bookish

My expectations from this book before I read it was that we would meet one friend at the start of the friendship or a high point in the friendship, and one at the end of the friendship, slowly meeting in the middle and there would be some sort of big reveal as to what caused the break-up. I fully expected to bawl like a baby by the end. This... did not happen.

We Used To Be Friends is, well, it's a bit of a mess. Instead of what I thought would happen, the
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqia, bi-books, 2019, arcs
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review – thanks so much to Netgalley for sending this to me!

I have been excited for this book ever since the announcement, because the main comp title was my favourite musical of all time, The Last Five Years. The musical follows Cathy and Jamie, a young couple who meet, fall in love, get married… and then get a divorce. What really makes the musical interesting, though, is its non-linear narrative: while Jamie tells his
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

Former best friends Kat and James (a girl) tell the story of how their friendship fell apart. Kat’s narration is from past to present, James’s from present to past. The girls handle hardship differently. Introverted James retreats, extroverted Kat shares. Kat sees James as secretive, James sees Kat as attention seeking.

Although I’m more like James than Kat, I found James the less sympathetic friend. She blames Kat for not asking about Big Things like her parents’ divorce and college
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the emphasis on heartbreak is the romantic kind, the ones that give us butterflies, and inspires songs, the importance of friendship can get left behind. We Used to Be Friends tells the story of James and Kat. Told through dual POVs and timelines, we are able to witness the ways we drift apart from each other. Stop speaking that same silent language of unspoken gestures. The ways our plans go awry so fast that it seems like an accident of a moment, when in fact it had been breaking down for ...more
Chantal Aurora
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow this book was incredible. Finally a book that deals with friendships and friendship break ups which are never talked about. This book was so well written. I felt so much for both characters they both made me angry in how they treated the other but I could also understand their point of view. The nuance in their relationship was done so well. Both of them were at fault for their break up and it was so heartbreaking to read. I love that Kat comes out as bisexual and starts dating a girl. Their ...more
Update: Long review now up at my blog Trish Talks Texts.

Interesting, different but same.

Review to come at my blog
Elle Gutierrez
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it

Thank you to NetGalley and Amulet Books (an imprint of ABRAMS) for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are exclusively my own.

Romantic heartbreaks hurt… a lot.

Friendship heartbreaks? Now that’s true pain.

I really feel like we need more books about friendship heartbreak. About friendship in general. Yes, this had some romance in it, but it was not the driving force of the story and I really really liked that.

The story is about two
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Update! I decided to go with 4 stars.
So many feelings and thoughts on this one. I really don't know what to rate it! I think I want to say 3.5 stars but I definitely stayed up until past midnight to finish because I couldn't put it down so maybe it's really a 4? It really did hit close to home in a lot of ways. Kat reminded me so much someone I USED to be BFFs with and I related to James' feelings on the matter a lot. I think that's why I'm conflicted on the rating. Because I just didn't
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've never been happier to feel so little like the girl I was last year.

I am surprised how emotional I got at this book! At first, it sounded like it was going to be sort of basic, but that's honestly part of its charm. Hear me out! So many YA contemporary novels try to jazz up the writing, to make the teenage narrators some philosophical, wizened people who are so enlightened about love and life. This book is just about two girls who have to deal with life as it throws some of the hardest
Elle Gutierrez
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley and Amulet Books (an imprint of ABRAMS) for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are exclusively my own.

Romantic heartbreaks hurt… a lot.

Friendship heartbreaks? Now that’s true pain.

I really feel like we need more books about friendship heartbreak. About friendship in general. Yes, this had some romance in it, but it was not the driving force of the story and I really really liked that.

The story is about two former
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Amy Spalding grew up in St. Louis, but now lives in the better weather of Los Angeles. She has a B.A. in Advertising & Marketing Communications from Webster University, and an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School. Amy studied longform improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

By day, she manages the digital media team for an indie film advertising agency. By later day and night, Amy
“It’s incredible how many things can be interpreted as I miss you and want you back and also deeply want to have sex with you when the recipient is desperately seeking that meaning.” 0 likes
“And Kat’s . . . a little self-centered. I worry there’s no room for you in your friendship sometimes.” 0 likes
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