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Friend or Fiction

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  316 ratings  ·  142 reviews
One creative middle-schooler schooler discovers that the best friend a girl can have is the one she makes herself in this charming magical realism read.

Jade's life hasn't exactly been normal lately, especially since her dad's cancer diagnosis. Jade wishes her family could leave their no-name town in Colorado already--everybody else does sooner rather than later, including
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Charlesbridge
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  316 ratings  ·  142 reviews

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Abby Cooper
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This book is so special to me. I can't wait to introduce you to Jade, Zoe, and Clue! ...more
Kimberly Dawn
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Jade Levy is lonely at her new school and longs for a lasting friendship. Alone at lunch, she hugs her big yellow writer’s notebook to her chest, then opens it and begins writing of an imaginary girl named Zoe. Jade imagines all of the fun she will have with Zoe as a best friend who will never disappoint her or move away.

To Jade’s surprise and delight, a girl named Zoe soon moves in across the street. Has Jade’s story in the yellow writing notebook (sprinkled with a few drops of m
This was absolutely delightful, thoughtful and a must read for kids!

4.5/5 stars

Many thanks to netgalley for the copy.
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jade is tired of all of her friends moving away so she decides to create her own friend named Zoe that she writes stories about in her notebook. What would happen if her best written friend came to life? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good fantasy slice of life YA middlegrade novel. If you like these types of stories, be sure to check this book out at your local library and wherever books are sold.
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The story, first of all, felt very original. The part that I liked most was that the main character, Jade, was aspiring to be writer. She is writing "oppservations" in her diary and that were the most fun parts for me, since the questions she asks there, are pretty philosophical and would be good for Middle Graders to think about. Sadly, I was annoyed by the main character most of the time, and didn't
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is such a cool book, and it has two levels. One level is that Jade is lonely and so writes about her imaginary friend. Zoe is the perfect friend, and all her stories tell of how perfect she is, how fun she is, and what a good friend she is.

The other level is why Jade has created an imaginary friend to write about, and how Clue notices this, and understands, and so decides to help her by using magic water to bring Zoe to life.

I loved how Zoe was exactly what Jade had imagined, down to not h
Amber Webb
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jade lived in a town where people didn't really stick around for long. Because Jade's family has decided to be in Triveda a little longer, Jade struggles to make any real friends. So instead she turns to her journal where she writes the best friend stories she could dream up. While she is busy writing stories she is missing out on a few things. But a strange turn off events with a boy named Clue have her questioning if her friendship stories are real or fiction. With a little magic, important te ...more
Lorie Barber
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I always forget how much I love magical realism until I read a middle grade book that takes issues so familiar to upper elementary kids and gives it a slight fantastical twist, making the impossible seem possible.

Such is true with Abby Cooper’s latest, Friend or Fiction. Set in Colorado, Jade and her family are struggling with her dad’s diagnosis and treatment for a serious illness, and Jade herself is finding it easier to write about an imaginary world than try to connect with the kids in sixt
Wendi Lee
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Jade's had a rough couple of years. The small town she thought her family was just drifting through turned out to be more permanent than she expected. Her father was diagnosed with liver cancer, plus all the friends Jade managed to make have moved away. Writing stories in her notebook is the only way Jade feels in control of her life, and she creates a literary best friend for herself: Zoe.

Things get very interesting when a real life Zoe shows up to school, and Jade's frenemy, Clue, admits that
Nicole M. Hewitt
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

This book is an exploration of what it truly means to be a friend. But it also covers many other relevant topics for kids today, like economic challenges, terminal illness, and loss of friendship due to moving. Jade lives in a sort of "stepping stone" town---people don't stick around for long there. So, she's struggled to make meaningful friendships and has resorted to an imaginary friend named Zoe who she writes about
Shaye Miller
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc
12-year-old Jade Levy writes stories. Since she doesn't have a best friend anymore, she creates a fictional one named Zoe. They have all sorts of adventures together and Jade even enjoys spending her lunch period creating more episodes in her notebook. 

Jade's father has cancer and he finds comfort in listening to Jade's stories. But one day, her friend Cue takes her writing notebook away without explanation. And when a real-life Zoe suddenly moves in next door, looking and acting exactly like th
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.

One creative middle-schooler schooler discovers that the best friend a girl can have is the one she makes herself in this charming magical realism read.

Jade's life hasn't exactly been normal lately, especially since her dad's cancer diagnosis. Jade wishes her family could leave their no-name
Seema Rao
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sensitive ~ Thoughtful ~ Endearing

tl;dr: Friends can help you see the real you.

This sweet tale of young girls learning that being themselves is important. This story was well-written and sweet, telling the story of Jade, an observent, gentle girl, and her new friend Zoe. The writing is tight, and age-appropriate. But, what I appreciated most how Cooper brings emotion into subtly crafted sentences. In the end, this book is learning how to be honest with yourself and learning to love your imperfe
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Don’t mistake the long lull between start and finish for anything more than extremely BUSY January. I loved the story of Jade and her family. Jade’s dad has cancer and she doesn’t make friends since they all leave the town anyway. She’s a writer! She writes during lunch and is supported by her teacher. Well one day her sort of friend Clue takes over and suddenly her writing comes true. There is a new girl named Zoe enters her school. Is it coincidence that Zoe is the best friend she has always d ...more
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This book will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you, Abby, for the precious gift of including a boy that loved books in your story.

Another great middle grade realistic fantasy that explores friendship, family, and dealing with loss. Fans of Sticks and Stones and Bubbles will be super excited to read Abby’s latest novel! I’m excited to share it with students.
Smart Bookaholics Inc Bookstore
This book was so inspiring! I loved everything about it! Having a best friend is amazing when your young and losing one can be awful and trigger all kinds of coping mechanisms! Thank you netgalley for the free arc in exchange for an honest review!
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
**I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

A sweet middle grade story—but I was left confused by some aspects.

Friend or Fiction contained some cool themes that I really loved, presented in an original, fun, and upbeat way. It had well-developed characters and a magical, imaginative storyline. However, the ending left me hanging... and not in a positive way.

Our main character, Jade, hasn’t exactly had the best luck with friendships. She lives in a “tr
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Jade is going through a rough time, things are less than perfect for her at school and at home. She lives with her family in a no-name town where no one seems to stay for good. When Jade gets a best friend they always end up moving away, so she decides to make up an imaginary best buddy. At home things things are even more complicated since Jade’s dad has been battling cancer.
Things get really interesting for Jade when her imaginary friend becomes real. At first it seems too good to be true, bu
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and Charlesbridge for an eARC of this book.

What if you could write a story, and your characters came to life in the real world? Better yet, what if you could write yourself a best friend, and by continuing her story, she could be everything you wanted her to be. That's what Jade things has happened to her when a classmate steals her writing journal and uses some magical water on it. At first, Jade is delighted to have Zoe come to life, but she soon discovers that it's not
Elly Swartz
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jade's wish for friendship leads to the discovery that to have a friend, you first must learn what it means to truly be a friend. Abby has created a story filled with heart. I loved it and highly recommend! ...more
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story about friendship and what it truly is to be a friend. Also great for young, aspiring writers. Great advice!
Jenn Bishop
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored reading this book about Jade, an aspiring writer whose fictional creation comes to life as her new BFF, Zoe. There's so much to appreciate in Cooper's third novel, a perfect follow-up for fans of her first two books. I loved the sensitive portrayal of a girl struggling with her father's cancer recurrence and chemo treatment. I loved the budding friendship between Jade and Clue, a boy at school with similar struggles. But what I loved most of all was how the book as a whole is ...more
Eve beinguniquebooks
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jade is alone but not lonely, in school she hangs out by herself writing about her best friend Zoe, only she's imaginary until school mate Clue, somehow makes her come to life!

Jade and Zoe become inseparable and as Jade also deals with her dad having liver cancer it's a welcome distraction and amazing to live out her stories she invented even though she then learns she has to deal with the consequences of what she did and didn't include in her stories.

I really love the concept and design of the
Kath Lau
*Huge thanks to NetGalley for the earc. This did not affect my overall opinion of the book.

Jade and her family live in a town where people, including her best friends, come and go all the time. She loves writing and she's longing for a friend so she has decided to write about Zoe, her imaginary best friend. She writes about their perfect days and amazing friendship. One day, a girl named Zoe appears in her class and happens to live across her house. Is it just a coincidence? or is she Jade's ima
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Actual rating: 2.5

I was sent an eARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

First off, only after I was approved for this book, I noticed that it's described as magical realism, which is obviously problematic, as the author is white so magical realism isn't a part of her culture. It also goes to show how limited publisher's understanding of magical realism is, because adding a fantastical element to your otherwise realistic story does not suddenly make it magical realism
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interest Level: 5-8; Reading Level: 5.7

Have you ever had an imaginary best friend? What would you do if that friend came to life? Well, Jade doesn't have to imagine anymore. Her imaginary best friend actually came to life. Jade lives in a town in Colorado where people come and go all the time. Every time she thinks she has a best friend, they up and move and never stay in touch. She is so tired of being alone that she decides to write about the perfect best friend, Zoe. Jade and Zoe go on all ki
Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen)

A huge thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in return for an honest review.

Friend or Fiction immediately caught my attention because of the cover, and then summary pulled me in. Imaginary friends are such a big and important phenomenon, yet so tricky to cover. Cooper used Jade's writing and I thought it absolutely brilliant.

Unfortunately the book let me down somewhat, as I wasn't fond of how easily Jade used her control over Zoe, even if she at times felt un
A fabulous read for middle schoolers!

Full of childhood wonder, Friend or Fiction by Abby Cooper is a superb novel jam-packed with magic, wisdom and humour, but also contains a large sprinkling of realism. Set in Colorado, Jade Levy and her family are struggling with her dad’s diagnosis and treatment for a serious illness, and Jade herself is finding it easier to write about an imaginary world in her notebook than try to connect with the kids in her grade. Jade felt more like a good friend to me
Sara Magnafichi
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Charlesbridge for sharing a copy with #collabookation! It's been tough for Jade, as she has been left alone to deal with her father's cancer diagnosis and treatment. As someone who lives in a transient town, it is difficult to make friends. As soon as you get to know someone and get close, they end up moving away, never to be heard from again.

As a result, Jade buries herself into her writing. She creates the perfect fictional friend named Zoe and spends most of her free time creati
Friend or Fiction is a super cute and straightforward middle grave novel about family, friendship, and writing. The magic of an imaginary friend/character coming to life is a fun concept perfect for the intended audience. The story addresses typical themes found in middle grade novels such as friendship, jealousy, life's hardships (in this case a cancer diagnosis), and family bonding, all with a positive ending. The writing advice throughout is also helpful and appreciated. Friend or Fiction is ...more
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Abby Cooper lives in Minnesota with her miniature poodle, Louis, and a whole bunch of books. A former teacher and school librarian, her favorite things in the world (besides writing) are getting and giving book recommendations and sharing her love of reading with others. In her spare time, she likes eating cupcakes, running along the Mississippi River, and watching a lot of bad reality TV.

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