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Best Friends

(Real Friends #2)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,144 ratings  ·  251 reviews
Sequel to Shannon Hale's award-winning graphic novel memoir, "Real Friends", this new graphic memoir picks up where "Real Friends" left off. As Shannon grows a little older, the rules of friendship always seem to be changing, leaving her guessing and trying her best to just keep up. "Best Friends" shares its predecessor's frankness, compassion, and enthralling, heartfelt v ...more
Published August 27th 2019
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Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,144 ratings  ·  251 reviews

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F***KKKK wait, this is a children's book. i probably shouldn't swear. FOOOOOOORRRRRRRK THIS WAS SO GOOD! REView to come!!
Oh my GOSH OH my GOSH! I'm crying because I'M SO EXCITED
Truebluedah ♪
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing


Edit 9/5/19:
I just read it last night in about an hour or so than stayed up till midnight marking each page with sticky notes for my review. Expect one soon! ;)

See it on my blog:
(I promise I’m not trying t
Jessica Woodbury
I read BEST FRIENDS right after REAL FRIENDS and I was a little skeptical that it would be as good, but it delivers. While the story is more condensed, once again there's all kinds of different aspects of friendships and the strange unwritten rules of older children. The characters from the previous book are mostly still there, and the dynamics are not all that different, but Shannon herself grows up a lot as she starts to recognize more and more how her place in "the group" is holding her back ...more
3 1/2 stars

Sixth grade is so hard. Your friends form new groups, your body becomes a stranger, your brain chemistry explodes, and everyone starts pairing off in strange pre-dating rituals. This book does a lot to help eleven year olds make sense of it all, and my daughter really appreciated it.
How do I put this delicately?

If you don't like Shannon Hale, you're wrong.
Abby Johnson
So good. This standalone sequel to Real Friends dives in deep to Shannon’s 6th grade year and her struggles with the girls she’s friends with. They’re not always nice, but she’s not always nice either. Is friendship really supposed to feel this way? And what about the bad thoughts that sometimes take over? Does everyone experience those?

This is a great book to explore tween friendships but also it shows Shannon experiencing anxiety and the wats it affects her life. She writes more ab
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Lucy (8yo) read this book twice on the evening of its “book birthday” and said it was “SO good.” A really great follow up to the stellar Real Friends. This story has the same themes as the first book, so some of the details are repeated. But the explorations of beginning adolescence are deeper—we see a scene where an adult comments on young Shannon’s body shape and Shannon feels weird about it. The comic format adds clarity and emotion to those weird feelings. There are scenes where Shannon feel ...more
Oh my gosh, Shannon Hale has captured how hard it is to understand friends in Junior High. I so sympathize with this memoir of her life in sixth grade. I too wrote stories, and couldn't' understand all the rules that my friends had.

She is so right that it is like a game where the rules are constantly changing.

This is a sad book, but so needs to be said. Girls can be mean, without being Mean Girls™

The crushing anxiety must have been so hard, but I'm glad that s
Barred Owl Books
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Fresh and funny.” —New York Times Book Review

Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends—and why it's worth the journey.

When best friends are not forever . . .

Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a ci
Heather Johnson
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This “sequel” to Hale’s graphic memoir, “Real Friends” is just as amazing as her first book! This time, readers experience Hale navigating 6th grade with Jen, Jenny and Adrienne. As an adult, I drew so many parallels to my own experience as a 6th grader and was struck by the brilliant way Hale addressed anxiety, romantic relationships and gender expectations, and making new friends. I loved this book!
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shannon. Freaking. Hale! I love you!! I loved this book, its like she was in my 6th grade brain!! This story, like Real Friends was spot on, with the drama, insecurity, and fear that come with growing up. I would recommend this to ALL the kids! A million stars!
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love this. So much.
This was so perfect and accurate that it was almost painful to read. Anxiety! Friendship drama! Middle School !
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the depiction of anxiety and struggle for friendship in middle school very realistic.
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dear Shannon,

I would have been your best friend in sixth grade, because I, too, wanted to be imaginative and fun and not some Stepford Wife-in-training whose only concerns were boys and what was "in."

To all of you who were or are those fun, imaginative sixth graders: I hear you. I see you. This book hears you. This book sees you.
Never surrender or apologize for who you are.
Never give up.
Melanie Dulaney
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Readers of Libenson’s “Invisible Emmie” and Hale’s “Real Friends” will flock to the continuation of her making friends/fitting in/finding one’s self graphic novel series. The illustrations are bold and engaging and the plot, although completely predictable, will ring true with predominantly girls in grades 3-6. Librarians and ELA teachers will be thrilled that their students are reading, but will not find many examples of literary elements to use in class or for reinforcing skills in small group ...more
First sentence: In summer, nothing ever seemed to change. The sky stayed blue. The air stayed warm. And friends stayed friends forever.

Premise/plot: I’m tempted to keep it simple and short and merely say Shannon Hale’s newest book should be required reading for humanity. It’s one of those meaning of life books. Those aren’t as common as you might believe. So what is this one about? It is the follow up to her previous graphic novel, Real Friends. Both books are inspired by her childhood. Both bo
Maureen Agnes
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the story to the sequel of, "Real Friends." "Real Friends" grabbed me by the first panel, but "Best Friends" took me a while to get into (mean while I am 33 reading about sixth graders...I don't think I'm the targeted audience), but once it pulled me in, I loved it!

Even though I'm an adult reading these books, she speaks on universal, ageless truths that even a 33-year-old can relate to -miscommunication, reacting explosively/projecting our sadness and anger onto people who lov
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this in advance of gifting it to a young friend and I'm glad I did because I'm not sure it's quite appropriate for her age. I'm going to let her parents decide.

As a continuation of Hale's memoir (started in Real Friends), we see young Shannon in 6th grade. It's a lot more fun to be the oldest in the school and it's fun to watch as things go well for Shannon.

I loved seeing Young Shannon writing and learning how to craft a story and I really loved seeing how a writer starts.
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
As she enters sixth grade, Shannon is feeling pretty good about things. She’s sharing a locker with Jen, the most popular girl in school, so she’s definitely part of the in-crowd. Things can get confusing, though: the imaginative games she used to love aren’t cool any more, sometimes the popular kids are mean, which she knows is wrong, and then there are boys... and the rules for interacting with them seem to have changed. Sometimes all of these things make her so nervous that her stomach hurts. ...more
Lily Williams
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Real Friends is one of my all-time favorite books and when I picked up my copy of Best Friends, I knew it would be like returning into something sweet, painfully honest, and a reflection of how I felt so much of the time at the same age. Yet, it exceeded all of my hopes and dreams. If I could, I would give it 10 stars. This book shattered my heart and remade it, all while digging up and honoring so many feelings I had buried long ago. Thank you to Hale and Pham for creating yet another masterpie ...more
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I try to read most of the books my daughter's are reading so I can talk to them about them. When my daughter finished this one, she said, "mom you should read this, you will really like it." And she was right. It's such a good book for young preteen girls to read. It's a great way to open up a dialogue with our girls about friends and being true to ourselves. My daughter is getting very close to this age. The age of mean girls and clicks and popular girls. Hopefully books like this will help her ...more
Really great! I wasn't blown away by the first book, Real Friends, which dealt with how Shannon saw friendships change through her childhood. Best Friends was much more about internal struggles and gets to the complicated feelings late elementary and early middle school children feel. I could easily draw parallels to my own childhood experiences of friendship, budding romances and non-romances, anxiety, and gender roles/expectations. It felt really genuine and honest and I really enjoyed the end ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Riveting and real. Several times I had to put the book down and just stare and yet I read it all in one sitting.
I seldom buy paper books (I move often) but after reading Best Friends, I knew I'd want this one for my son's bookshelf. It's a fantastic exploration of what it means to be caught halfway through childhood and growing up while the rules always change and friendship is a rollercoaster and all of the sudden I'm supposed to care about boys for some reason?
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was the perfect distraction from my children post full moon. It so perfectly showcases the messiness of being a pre-teen and the simple power of a well-executed graphic novel. The parts about anxiety, in particular, were incredibly well done. Shannon as both an author and a main character have a lot of heart and I’m grateful for this story.
Shannon Hale picks up her memoir from where she left off in Real Friends. This portion begins as she enters sixth grade, and tries to maneuver her way through the labyrinth of middle school. She experiences the roller coaster ride of making new friends, and keeping her dream alive of becoming a writer all while trying her hand at being popular.
I wish I had a book like this in 6th grade. The evolution of friendships and relationships at this age is so stressful for kids. It’s hard to navigate socially acceptable norms and yet be your own person. It’s good to hear someone say they had anxiety in school. I felt a lot of what Shannon felt in school. A good story with a good ending.
Enjoyed the literary side story and the strong emphasis on creativity. A lot of the drama (and time skips) felt choppy, with the former seeming a bit familiar, but overall I’m sure this graphic novel will resonate with its target audience.
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book that I think that everyone should read!!! I can really relate to what Shannon was going though with her friends. Thank you for writing this book and for writing "Real friends" which by the way, I also love too!
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful sequel, I loved the inclusion of Shannon's creative writing. Both Real - & Best Friends shows how complex friendships are. It's so political and stressful to fit. Much of the story was like a memory trip.
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Shannon Hale is the New York Times best-selling author of six young adult novels: the Newbery Honor book Princess Academy, multiple award winner Book of a Thousand Days, and the highly acclaimed Books of Bayern series. She has written three books for adults, including the upcoming Midnight in Austenland (Jan. 2012), companion book to Austenland. She co-wrote the hit graphic novel Rapunzel's Reveng ...more

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Real Friends (2 books)
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