My Worst Best Friend
by Dyan Sheldon (Author)
My Worst Best Friend is a contemporary view of teenage life and concerns. Gracie Mooney is a typical high school girl, ordinary to the point where she disappears. Gracie's claim to fame comes from being the sidekick of flamboyant, beautiful Savanna Zindle. Savanna appears as a broad caricature of popular, attractive types; self-concerned and obsessed, boy crazy and out to serve only herself while also appearing very sweet and endearing. When Savanna pulls Gracie into a deception involving an older college boy, Gracie sees that her 'best friend' is manipulative and controlling. Gracie begins to question the dynamics of this friendship. What does it actually mean to be Savanna's best friend? And when, exactly, is Savanna there for her?
Written in a genuine voice, Gracie's character provides us with a constant running monologue as she examines the world around her in a light, easy style. Some very important issues are presented through the story, individuality and integrity within relationships, without becoming heavy-handed or preachy. However, the truly interesting aspects of this novel are touched on without much scrutiny. Boys, parents and other friends appear as mere background scenery in a superficial manner. The novel has a strong enjoyable beginning but as the plot develops it does meander a bit. Sheldon reaches a fitting conclusion, as Gracie comes to terms with the person that Savanna is, how relationships ebb and flow and, more importantly, who she is herself. All in all, a satisfying read for young teen girls.