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Your Friend Forever

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4.55  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Paperback, 410 pages
Published April 15th 2021 by Unbound
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Average rating 4.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  33 ratings  ·  17 reviews


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Chris Limb
Apr 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
One of the best ways to experience a story is to have someone tell it to you. Your Friend Forever does so starting in the 1980s with the letters teenage protagonist Maud writes to Tom, the singer from her favourite band. Before long the reader is fully invested in Maud and on the edge of their seat as the events of her life – small in the grand scheme of things but all consuming to her – move in unpleasant directions with horrifying inevitability. Fast-forward to 2011 and fortysomething Maud has ...more
Claire
Apr 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is the funniest thing I've ever read. If you are a child of the 80's I guarantee you will be laughing out loud every other page and chuckling in between. Maud the teenager is SO touchingly funny. Adrian Mole has nothing on this character for laughs. Now my husband is reading it and keeps putting in down every two minutes to wipe his eyes from laughter, saying 'it's too much!". Which is annoying as I'm trying to finish Circe but good cause get to go "go on then, which bit is it?" and then la ...more
Lisa
Mar 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Such a funny and touching book. The lead character Maud brings you into her world and you root for her throughout. Watching her and her relationships develop and suffer and strengthen is wonderfully real. Full of whip smart lines and pop culture references this book is one I know I will go back to again and again.
Misfits farm
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it

For those of a certain age- think “ The diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 ¾” (Sue Townsend-published 1982). This is slightly different in that we are in 1981 to begin with and Maud aged just 13 writes to Tom who is the lead singer with Horsefly, her favourite group. She tells him of her life and the ups and downs and you can't help but feel sorry for her at times. Her father has left home, mother is struggling and there is very little food and everywhere is damp. She explains things to Tom to the poi
...more
Veronika Jordan
Apr 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Your Friend Forever is written mostly in the form of letters from the young teenage Maud to Tom Harding, lead singer with 80s Indie punk band Horsefly. There are also some interactions between Tom and his manager Gary, Maud and her best friend Sarah and articles from pop magazines of the time such as Melody Maker.

In Part One Maud’s home life spirals downwards when her father walks out and she has to watch her mother deteriorate day by day. With no-one to confide in, apart from her crazy, sex-mad
...more
Stella
Apr 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
What a lovely surprise.

It's 1981. Maud is 13 years old. She lives at home with her parents and her brother Simon. Her best friend is Sarah and she loves the band, Horsefly, especially the lead singer, Tom. Maud writes Tom fan mail, but then Maud continues to write to Tome, with stories of her life. She sends poems. She talks through her parents divorce, poverty, her hopes, her dreams, and more. Tom never replies, however, he does reach out to Maud once.

Then, it's 2011. Maud is now a married wo
...more
Joanna Howard
Apr 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
‘Your Friend Forever’ is an absolute delight from start to finish. Maud is such a brilliant character: righteous, indignant and hilarious! There’s plenty of 80s nostalgia, but what you notice most is this brave girl, holding it together against the odds with a combination of humour, tenacity and blind hope that something better is around the corner. The importance of friendship is a huge theme in this novel, with Maud’s friendship with her bf Sarah continuing into adulthood as the two support ea ...more
Emma Hardy
Apr 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Ohmygoodness I just loved this. The early letters Maud sends to her pop star hero Tom are just adorable, from matter of fact family life, to frankness of women's bodies, to real laugh out loud moments involving cottage cheese, £12, a donkey and many more.
Second half sees a grown up Maud, with adult dilemmas, more clued up on sex and relationships, and still with her love for Tom.
This made me laugh but I also wanted to hold her tight at times. Definitely relatable to me with the scatty thought p
...more
Britt's Book Blurbs
Thanks to NetGalley and Unbound for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided.

I was not prepared for how much I was going to love this book.

13-year-old Maud is writing letters to her rock star idol, Tom. After the first letter, I had no idea how I was going to make it through 400 pages of this. By the end of the second or third, though, I was hooked. These are diary entries masquerading as letters and every thought Maud seems to have is expressed on
...more
Annie
Apr 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Maud is a 13-year-old in 1981 writing letter after letter to her favorite singer, describing her life and asking him questions. She was so endearing and charming and weird. I just loved this from the first page. It was kind of heartbreaking all the things Maud had to deal with, between poverty and her father's abandonment, yet I also cannot remember when I have laughed so hard at any book as I did at Maud's letter to Prince Phillip. I really could not have loved this book more. The ending was pe ...more
Amy Laidler
May 24, 2021 rated it liked it
Your friend forever
By Zena Barrie
⭐⭐⭐
#randomthingstours @annecater14

*Synopsis*
Preston, 1981. Maud, who is twelve and lives with her dysfunctional parents and her elder brother, spends a lot of her time in her bedroom writing letters to her favourite popstar, Tom Harding, the lead singer of a punk band called Horsefly.
No one really understands her or tries to and she thinks Tom just might have some answers to her many, many questions... 


Okay so I'll be honest this isn't my usual genre I read. I'm
...more
Sharon Rimmelzwaan
Jun 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
'Your Friend Forever' by Zena Barrie is contemporary fiction/humerous fiction too for me. This book took me right back to being a teenager and reading 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole 13 3/4.
This book begins in 1981and we are introduced to Maud a thirteen year old girl who writes to the lead singer of her favourite group, Horsefly. She proceeds to bare her soul to Tom. We see her teenage ups and downs. My heart went out to her quite a few times, we see her parents split up and her dad leaves. I
...more
Kimberly
May 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Many thanks to Zena Barrie and Damppebbles Blog Tours for providing me with a digital copy of Your Friend Forever with a request for an honest review.

Your Friend Forever was nothing like what I expected. I thought it would be a young girl obsessing over a famous musician. A comedy of sorts that includes a typical teenage girl. However, Zena Barrie tells a poignant tale about a girl in crisis finding solace in the unattainable.

This novel has an unusual format using only letters, interviews, and p
...more
Claire
Meet Maud, a 12 year old obsessed with Tom Harding (not to be confused with Tom Hardy), lead singer of punk rock band Horsefly. I remember being that age and obsessed with a celebrity. Think for me, it was Bono but I didn’t go to the extent Maud did.

I loved the inane chit chat Maud thinks her dreamy pop star wants to hear. Well maybe not what she thinks he wants to hear; more her outlet for sharing, given her problems at home. There are little hints from Maud’s letter that her home life is troub
...more
Claire (c.isfor.claire_reads)
If you loved The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4 then you are almost certain to enjoy read this. It's written mostly in the form of letters from Maud as a teenager to Tom Harding, the lead singer in a punk band called Horsefly. Maud writes to Tom on a regular basis, she tells him everything going on in her life. Maud doesn't know if Tom ever reads her letters at all. The letterd are interspersed with some dialogue between Tom and his Manager Gary, and Melody Maker headlines. The storylin ...more
Lucy
May 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Ahhhh how I loved this book. Maud is a fantastic character and it’s a pleasure to step inside her mind and share her hilarious musings on anything from Duke of Edinburgh awards to the density of ejaculate. (Both D of E! That really wasn’t intentional). She faces some incredibly tough situations, but her spirit, unshaking optimism, tenacity and self-belief carry her through. The letters - and after a thirty year gap, emails - she sends to her punk idol, Tom, through which we learn about her life, ...more
Meredith Heaton
THIS BOOK IS SOOOOOOO FUNNY AND ABSOLUTELY AMAZING I WOULD REALLY RECCOMMEND IT!
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Zena Barrie lives in Manchester and runs the Greater Manchester Fringe and the Camden Fringe. She ran the Kings Arms pub and Theatre in Salford for a while and also the Etcetera Theatre in Camden, as well as working in a wide variety of roles at the Edinburgh Fringe (from street performer to venue manager). In the 90s she did a degree in Drama and Theatre Arts specialising in playwriting. Up until ...more

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