Jennifer Weiner. Best Friends Forever.
Best Friends Forever has a good hook, or maybe several good hooks, right at the beginning; any one of the first four chapters could have come first.
In spite of being estranged for 10 years after Addie “tattles” to her parents about the goings on at a party senior year, she doesn’t hesitate much in acquiescing to whatever Val wants when she shows up at Addie’s door the night of their high school reunion, fearful she may have accidentally killed a former classmate. Addie reflects on her childhood and difficult high school years as she and Val flee to Key West, pursued by a local police officer who has taken on the case of the belt found at the scene of the crime.
Except for the mystery part, this reminded me SO much of Blume’s Summer Sisters: the unbalanced friendship, casual parenting, disabled brother, missing person, summer/beach/swimming theme… even the portrayal of the best friend through multiple narrative voices, never her own. And, since I was a class of ’92 grad, this story had special appeal to me–lots of allusions and references that hit home.
Weiner is a decent writer who mixes intrigue, romance, and comedy with a healthy dose of wry sarcasm. A solid read.