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The Friendship Lie

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Description: Cora Davis's life is garbage. Literally. Her professor parents study what happens to trash after it gets thrown away, and Cora knows exactly how it feels--to be thrown away. Between her mom and dad separating and a fallout with her best friend, fifth grade for Cora has been a year of feeling like being tossed into the dumpster. But Cora has learned a couple of ...more
272 pages
Published August 1st 2019 by Capstone
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Schizanthus Nerd
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Cora is 11 years old and has a twin, Kyle. She also used to have a best friend, Sybella, who she met on the first day of second grade. The twins’ parents both work in environmental science.
Their dad ran a garbology project that studied what happened to peoples’ trash and recycling after they put it all in their curbside bins. Their mother worked on the technology that tracked each lucky piece of garbage that was part of the project.
Now it’s the fifth grade and Cora and Kyle’s parents are div
Kimberly Dawn
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Middle grade readers should enjoy and identify with this interesting friendship drama.

“One person can’t fix a problem that two people made.”

Cora and Kyle are twins entering fifth grade. They have been best friends with Sybella since second grade.

The three have invented an elaborate fantasy game together they call Aquafaba.

A new girl, Marnie, arrives on the first day of fifth grade, and the trouble begins....
For the first time ever, the friendship between Cora and Sybella is threatened.

Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Friendships in 5th grade are complicated, as Cora is just starting to discover. This was supposed to be the best year for her, her twin brother, Kyle, and her best friend, Sybella, but things have gone terribly wrong. When a misunderstanding that neither Cora or Sybella fully understands comes between them, they're not sure how to find their way back to each other. Even the school's Trash Team Trashlympics and art project, which the friends had assumed they'd be doing together, couldn't help the ...more
Melanie Dulaney
Cora has the best twin brother, but she also has a mom who has moved to Belgium to think about her future, divorced parents, and friend trouble. Those are all great elements for a middle grades, realistic fiction, pre-teen angst-filled novel. But there is also a very childish sounding pretend world called Aquafaba and frequent time jumps as the story goes from present to past scenes that happen as Cora’s friendship with Sybella disintegrates. There’s also a diary of a teen who is recording her o ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central

Cora and Kyle live in San Francisco with their father, who is an environmental scientist who studies where trash goes after it is discarded. Their mother is a similar scientist, and when the parents divorced, the mother took a year long assignment in Belgium. In addition to missing her mother, Cora is dealing with a misunderstanding between her and her best friend, Sybella. A new girl, Marnie, has started at the girls' school, and wants to be best friends
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A big thank you to NetGalley and Capstone Books for sending me an advanced e-copy of The Friendship Lie” in exchange for my review.

There are a few things about the story that I liked. Firstly, I loved the whole concept of introducing Garbology to the plot. I had never heard of the term before, and it was very interesting to see how people research garbage to study human behavior as a science. I really enjoyed how the author smoothly introduced this in the story-line. The author also makes the co
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Friendships in 5th grade are complicated, as Cora is just starting to discover. This was supposed to be the best year for her, her twin brother, Kyle, and her best friend, Sybella, but things have gone terribly wrong. When a misunderstanding that neither Cora or Sybella fully understands comes between them, they're not sure how to find their way back to each other. Even the school's Trash Team Trashlympics and art project, which the friends had assumed they'd be doing together, couldn't help the ...more
Josephine Sorrell
Sep 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery-2020

Cora, her twin brother Kyle, and their friend Sybella have been inseparable since the second grade. As they start fifth grade, though, conflict arises between Cora and Sybella, and their best-friendship seems doomed. Told through the perspectives of both girls, Rebecca Donnelly’s The Friendship Lie is a story for young readers who’re realizing that relationships aren’t always simple.
The story unfolds in non-linear chapters titled by their place in relation to “the event.”
Shaye Miller
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc
My sincere thanks to Capstone and NetGalley for approving this digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. The Friendship Lie is Rebecca Donnelly’s debut middle grade novel. The story follows the friendship of Cora and Sybella, two 5th graders who (along with Kyle, Cora’s twin brother) created an elaborate fantasy world they named Aquafaba. They are incredibly committed to this world and the it grows and changes as their imaginations take flight. Cora and Kyle’s parents (who specialize in garb ...more
Dekotah Thompson
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I also loved how open the book was, how relevant it is in today's world.
Cora was such an amazing character for me, one that I saw a lot of myself in when I was that age. She was scared and angry and sad and happy and just this big rollercoaster of emotions that I guarantee many kids and adults will relate to. I know I would have related just as much, if not a whole lot more, when I was a kid.
The book itself is great in looking at friendshi
Kristin Crouch
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Capstone for sharing an ARC of The Friendship Lie by Rebecca Donnelly.
Middle grade friendships can run the gamut from fantastic support systems to destructively influential. Cora and Sybella's friendship is strong and positive...until it isn't. As the story unfolds, we find that there are a number of variables that play into the end of their friendship, but one thing remains the same throughout: both are devastated at the loss. Both try to fix it, with varying results. Both are suff
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interest Level: 3-6; Reading Level: 5.6

Have you and your best friend ever had a fight? How would you feel if your best friend replaced you with another friend? What if things just fell apart and you don't really understand why? This is exactly what happened to Cora and Sybella. When Cora and her twin brother, Kyle, created an imaginary land, it was supposed to be their secret. But when Sybella overhears them, she joins in and their twosome changed to three. They are now going into fifth grade an
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had the opportunity to read a NetGalley digital ARC of this middle grade novel in exchange for a review. Middle grade readers will definitely be able to relate to the ups and downs of friendship at this sensitive age. At this age, kids can be friends one minute and enemies the next, and usually the rift in the friendship is over a misunderstanding. Once the relationship suffers this kind of blow, it can be really hard for both former friends to extend themselves and/or apologize for what happe ...more
More reviews and book-ish content @ Club Book Mobile & Andrea RBK

The Friendship Lie by Rebecca Donnelly was a middle grade read all about what happens when conflict hits a friendship. Cora and Sybella used to be best friends, but now they're not. The story treks through the days before and the day after of their friendship. In addition, part of this involves an old journal they find that involves the chronicle of a fight amongst friends. I looked at this one through the lens of me as a kid as I
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
[I received an electronic review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.]

Great friendship story! Lots of rich pieces in this that would make it ideal for book groups or a classroom read aloud (around 4th-8th grade). The garbology pieces are also places where families or schools could get involved in recycling/sustainability/environmental issues. This book feels like something so much bigger than just something you read and then move on from - o
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I recieved a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

This book is a great idea for probably around 4th graders... young readers who are environmentally aware, but who can read past that to the conclusion. There really is a great lesson in this book about getting to the bottom of misunderstandings, and the struggle to apologize even when it's hard to admit part of the fault.

That being said, the ending saved this book's rating for me. I am pretty sure part of the pur
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Told from the points of view of Cora and her friend Sybella, this is a perfect middle school book to teach about the value of a lasting friendship. Cora is lonely because her mom has moved to Europe to do research and it seems that Sybella is not as close a friend any longer. Cora’s reaction to Sybella’s distancing herself is a lesson to all of us that we have to communicate to really know what is going on. There are diary entries and messages that Cora desperately sends to her mother that make ...more
Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I think I'm judging mostly on the way I feel after I finished this book. It left me with a very sweet feeling, a relatable, heartbroken reminder of the difficulties of early friendships. I think that central idea - that friendships are more difficult to maintain and retain than we think - was worthwhile and handled nicely. But looking back on it, I wonder about the choice to have the falling out (or fallings out) be chalked up to purposefully meddling new girls; I felt, especially on the part of ...more
Angela (Kentuckybooklover) Brocato-Skaggs
I found this book enjoyable and enlightening in regards to recycling. In being a substitute teacher, I have learned that fifth grade is a lot harder than I remember and The Friendship Lie shows that very well. More and more kids deal with situations that when I was younger were few and far between like parents splitting and one moving away and I am not talking about just across town. Kids worry more about the environment than ever before. They understand that we are depleting our natural resourc ...more
˗ˏˋ ellis ˎˊ˗
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley & Capstone for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this book so much. The characters were so loveable and the plot was amazing. Even though this is a middle grade book, it thought really important lessons in such a nice way. The main topic of the book might be friendship but it talked (even if not in depth) about divorce and how hard it can be for a kid to deal with it. I loved the narrative so much, it was so nice to read and it thought real
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Friendship Lie By Rebecca Donnelly
Cora’s dad is a Garbologist at the Univeristy of California and her whole family tries to use less and recycle more to reduce waste.
She struggles to come to grips with a lot of changes in her world including starting 5th grade, divorce, and a big fight with a friend. At this age (9-10) it’s hard to navigate fights with friends and how to make up or move on, and this book handles it all really well.
Readers bounce from the time before the fight to the time a
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an electronic ARC from Capstone through NetGalley.
Interesting family background for this story. Cora's parents are Garbologists who study garbage and recycling and ways to protect the earth. Cora and Kyle are twins struggling with their parent's divorce and their mom's move to Belgium for a year.
The book begins near the end of the story after the friendship traumas have taken place. Cora and Sybella are not speaking and both are grieving the loss of their friendship. A third young gir
Kate Atkinson
Sep 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
{Received from NetGalley for review}

Definitely for younger readers, mid-late primary I'd suggest, this story was sweet and had many interesting elements. Unfortunately I just couldn't warm up to one of the main characters, Cora, who is feeling angry, lost and defiant about her broken friendship with Sybella. The two fifth-graders, along with super positive Kyle (Cora's twin), share a beautiful imaginary world, and they go through many relatable ups and downs (divorcing parents, difficult relatio
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Review based on an ARC received from the publisher. This is solid story for middle readers (ages 9-12) about friendship, family, and environmentalism. Best friends Cora and Sybella have to navigate the tricky territory of 5th grade and misunderstandings that create a deep rift between them. I appreciated the messages about empathy and forgiveness woven into this story and the fantastic presence of garbology (a real thing!) via Cora’s garbologist parents. It’s a subtle yet effective primer on the ...more
Oct 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Thanks to @CapstonePub for providing #collaBookation with a copy of The Friendship Lie.

5th grade is turning out to be a difficult year for a long-standing friendship between Cora and Sybella. We learn about the problem through both Cora's and Sybella's perspectives. Sometimes those tellings take place "Before" and sometimes they take place "After" the problem begins.

It's easy to remember back to elementary school and how friendship breakdowns happen so easily. As a reader, I felt sympathy for bo
Nannette Demmler
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
ARC provided by Capstone via NetGalley for an honest review.

It is often so hard for me to tell with ARC’s how much more work the publisher’s and authors might do on a book before publishing. This one could have done with a bit more polishing which I hoped it received because at it’s core it is a very good story that I think kids will enjoy.

What went right:
Both Cora and Sybella are very engaging kids. You could tell that they just had that bond that will keep them friends even through the tough t
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a great story for young teens. It tells of friendships, how fragile they can be, and how a small misunderstanding or a supposed thought can create havoc between friends. Cora and Sybella go through one of these bumps, in fifth grade, after being friends for 3 years. Cora's parents separate, and the mother moves away for her job. What will she do when her whole world seems to be falling apart. The format is different and adds to the enjoyment of reading the story. ...more
Liesl Miller
I enjoyed the garbage metaphor throughout this book. The way the narrative cuts back and forth between the past and the present was flawlessly executed, and the characters of Cora, Kyle, and Sybella were three-dimensional and relatable.

Not my favorite book, but I think kids will certainly enjoy it!
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I received this ARC from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

There is a lot about this story that middle grade readers will find relatable. Cora and Sybella are close friends who have had a falling out that neither can really explain and both really want to reconnect without knowing quite how.

My only criticism of this is that to me it felt slow at times.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the perfect book for my students! Every year, I have friends who get into some kind of disagreement with each other. This is the perfect book to hand them!! I'm going to need several copies so I always have one ready to hand out! ...more
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