Review: Friends Like These by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez

Friends Like These by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez

Friends Like These
Jennifer Lynn Alvarez
Delacorte Press
Published November 1, 2022

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Friends Like These

Twisted secrets that will have readers guessing with every flip of the page. Perfect for fans of GONE GIRL, WE WERE LIARS and Karen M. McManus.

An end-of-summer party. A prank gone wrong. A body on the beach. Who’s to blame?

Tegan Sheffield’s annual end-of-summer beach party is the only way to start their senior year. At least that’s what Jake Healy tells his girlfriend Jessica Sanchez.

But when a video prank from the party goes viral and a body is discovered at the beach, Jake and Jessica find themselves at the centre of a national media storm and a police investigation.

It’s a race to uncover the truth before the killer strikes again.

Readers love Jennifer Lynn Alvarez:

‘An emotional rollercoaster!’
‘You won’t be disappointed’
‘Damn this was entertaining’
‘A mystery thriller done to perfection’

Friends Like These on Goodreads

My Review

One of the things I discovered reading this book is that I don’t enjoy books where the most significant thing about a character is that they love a boy. I felt like the obsession with Jake was the majority of what both Tegan and Jessica’s characters were about. I would have liked to know more about Tegan’s tense relationship with her mom. Or about anything that isn’t Jake that Jessica loved to do or was interested in.

Jake also spent a lot of time wrestling with his feelings about the girls, but he had a lot more going on, I felt like. He’s recovering from losing his dad, and from his alcoholism. After the night of Tegan’s party, he’s wrestling with the truth that he was assaulted and what that means. So I felt like his character was deeper and more complex than the girls were.

I liked the twisty-ness of the plot, though. A lot of things happened that I didn’t expect, and I liked the way the story made me question information I took for granted without really examining it. I also thought the decision to explore recovery from sexual assault but from a guy’s perspective was an interesting choice.

On the whole, if you’re looking for a twisty, fast-paced story, FRIENDS LIKE THESE could be a great pick for you.

Friends Like These on Bookshop

Content Notes

Content warning for domestic violence, drug and alcohol use, and sexual assault.

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Representation
Major characters are white.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used fairly frequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. References to sex. One scene shows two teens undressing leading up to having sex.

A seventeen year-old boy and an eighteen year-old girl are caught having sex. Police intend to press charges on the girl. The age of consent in California, where the story takes place, is eighteen, so the girl can be charged with statutory rape.

See spoiler section at the bottom of the post.

Spiritual Content
None.

Violent Content
References to domestic violence (happens off-scene). More than one scene shows or references people fighting. In another scene, a boy slams a girl’s face into a tree accidentally.

Drug Content
Teens drink alcohol and take drugs at a party.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of FRIENDS LIKE THESE in exchange for my honest review.

SPOILER

Jake learns both him and Tegan were drugged the night they slept together.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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