Release Date: May 11, 2004
Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she’s carrying his baby, she’s devastated. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley. Though their friendship may be tested by the strain, like a true friendship, it will endure.
I picked this book from a “new releases” endcap, so I was very surprised to find that the “new” is the cover. It has been around for quite awhile and has even been made into a movie. Oh, well, I guess that is a lesson learned about trusting bookstore signs.
The first half of the book sucked me in completely. The relationship between the best friends feels so real to the reader. The delicate balance as one mourns a dead boyfriend and the other begins to fall in love…it is just wonderful.
Sadly, the book starts to lose its appeal after Scarlett discovers her pregnancy. There are a few tense moments as parents are told and choices are made, but then the realism begins to fade. The story alternates between preachy passages elucidating that “bad things happen when you have sex” and the wholly unbelievable “look at all these cute baby things I can buy as a part-time grocery store cashier.” The take away is that bad things happen, unless you and your friend really believe in good things. Huh?!
My verdict: Read it–maybe. I really enjoyed the first half, so perhaps a less cynical person might also enjoy the end. I would keep this book far away from teen girls who think “having a baby to love them forever would be so cool.” This book definitely supports the idea that they can make it work as long as they have a best friend and a minimum wage, part-time job.