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Best Friends

(Real Friends #2)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  2,718 ratings  ·  472 reviews
Best Friends is the vividly honest follow-up to the runaway bestselling graphic memoir Real Friends.

Sixth grade is supposed to be perfect. Shannon's got a sure spot in the in-crowd called The Group, and her best friend is their leader, Jen, the most popular girl in school.

But the rules are always changing, and Shannon has to scramble to keep up. She never knows which TV
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by First Second
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Summer How do I even open the book im only in middle school wanting a good book!!!!
Vivi (they/them) Yup, I deal with all her anxieties and struggles every day.
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Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,718 ratings  ·  472 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
Oct 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tweens and young teens

Best Friends isn't as strong as the first installment, Real Friends, but it's still emotional and will be relatable to many. This continues where Real Friends left off: This time Shannon Hale is a sixth-grader and has high hopes that this school year will be much better than the previous. She's still with the same clique of mean girls, though, so upsetting things still happen all the time.

Hale struggled with crippling anxiety and OCD during these years (and maybe even younger),
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kids can be such assholes. I believe every word of this book, and it made me kind of sad and upset. As if Shannon didn't have enough to deal with, having undiagnosed anxiety and OCD, she had to navigate the complete stupidity of friends who "test" you by asking you if you like other kids, and suddenly announcing that you're weird or that they never liked doing the things you used to do together. It's life, it's growing up, it's a big bag of suck. I liked that she ended on a somewhat happier ...more
How do I put this delicately?

If you don't like Shannon Hale, you're wrong.
Truebluedah ♪
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


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 to get y’all to go on my blog. My post has videos that I’m not able to put in a goodreads review! :D)
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.
While I was indeed looking rather forward to reading Shannon Hale’s 2019 continuation of her 2017 autobiographical graphic novel Real Friends (which I did very much enjoy and appreciate even though I also had some major reading issues with how Shannon’s mother in particular chose to so regularly ignore the physical abuse Shannon was constantly experiencing from her older sister Wendy), I do have to with frustration admit that no, I certainly have not all that much been impressed with and by the ...more
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
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 about it in
Brenda Lower
Open and frank discussions of friendship, anxiety, and how friendships change. I relate in so many ways to this book!
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
Not bad for my 1st read of the year and the 1st giveaway I won on goodreads! Gave me flashbacks to my own memories of being a 5th grader *shivers*.

The storyline is good and I liked that the author incorporated Shannon (MC) wanting to become a writer and her story she worked on, including everyday experiences into her fantasy novel.

Included scenes of: anxiety, being creeped on by grown men, bullying, a teacher assaulting a student -> kids then taken on "field trip" -> a trial for that same
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 she came into her self, in this volume
Barred Owl Books
“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 circle of friends called The Group.
Melanie Dulaney
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 ...more
Cheriee Weichel
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this book Shannon Hale explores the difference between being part of a popular group, and having real friends. Her grade 6 year is full of near crippling anxiety. Her worries about fitting in get in the way of her just being who she is. She makes some terrible mistakes before she comes to understand that it is ok to follow her own passions.
Heather Johnson
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
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!
This was so perfect and accurate that it was almost painful to read. Anxiety! Friendship drama! Middle School !
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this. So much.
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Decatur Elementary and Muirlands Junior High School would’ve been a whole lot less dramatic if I’d had these books (Real Friends and Best Friends) to reassure me that everyone feels awkward, sometimes says stupid things and no one really knows what to say and how to act. Ah, sixth grade. Delightful. Word and illustration are seamless in this delightful, heartbreaking, jubilant graphic novel.
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found the depiction of anxiety and struggle for friendship in middle school very realistic.
Deanna Siegel
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best Friends doesn't shy away from the cringe-y, awkward behavior and situations that go along with middle school. Throughout sixth grade, Shannon tries to keep up with her popularity and her extreme anxiety. This is also when she begins writing, and realizes that she wants to do this as her career. Overall, I enjoyed Best Friends more than Real Friends, and hope she continues.
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Loved the illustrations but the plot was very similar to the first book in the series.

Just like the first book, Shannon struggles with how to stay popular and how to make friends. I would have liked for her to have learned something from the first go-round.
Leanne Ellis
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet and relatable. I like the exploration of anxiety. I think my middle schoolers will eat this one up.
Maureen Agnes
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.

She also
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book ''Best Friends" is about a girl named Shannon. The book '' Best. Friends" is like the second part to the book " Real Friends". Shannons life is going perfect she is started middle school with her best friends. Although she dose have her best friends she seems that she cant keep up about what her friends are doing. Not only that but her ex bully is starting to hang out with them and although her ex bully Jenny is not being mean she feels like she is trying to put her friends agenst her. ...more
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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Real Friends (2 books)
  • Real Friends (Real Friends, #1)