Review| We Used To Be Friends – Amy Spalding

We Used To Be Friends was released in January and it’s not one that I saw around a lot. Then I saw a couple of reviews and it sounded like a book I needed to read. I was happy to see if was available on Storytel and I listened to it last week when I was on the bus to work. Today I wanted to tell you what I thought. Let’s take a look!

Review| We Used To Be Friends – Amy Spalding

Two best friends grow up—and grow apart—in this innovative contemporary YA novel   Told in dual timelines—half of the chapters moving forward in time and half moving backward—We Used to Be Friends explores the most traumatic breakup of all: that of childhood besties. At the start of their senior year in high school, James (a girl with a boy’s name) and Kat are inseparable, but by graduation, they’re no longer friends. James prepares to head off to college as she reflects on the dissolution of her friendship with Kat while, in alternating chapters, Kat thinks about being newly in love with her first girlfriend and having a future that feels wide open. Over the course of senior year, Kat wants nothing more than James to continue to be her steady rock, as James worries that everything she believes about love and her future is a lie when her high-school sweetheart parents announce they’re getting a divorce. Funny, honest, and full of heart, We Used to Be Friends tells of the pains of growing up and growing apart.  

We Used To Be Friends by Amy Spalding
Published by Amulet on 07/01/2020
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 384
Format: Audiobook

High school is a time where there are a lot of new things. New school, friends, relationships, thinking about college. It isn’t an easy time in a teenager’s life. Our main characters James and Kat have been best friends for as long as they can remember, but their friendship is definitely on the rocks their senior year.

I loved how this story was told. The chapters switch between James and Kat and the time of year. I have to say I did have to get used to the fact the books jumps from past and future. The story still did flow, but I had to pay attention to this. We Used To Be Friends felt realistic. High school is a big time of change and friendships don’t always survive.

James sees Kat as a popular girl and she’s along for the ride with the other girls. Her life is turned upside down with her parents’ divorce and the world doesn’t seem fair. The only thing is she doesn’t know how to tell her best friend this story. Kat is still dealing with the aftermath of her mother’s death and her father opening himself to new love. Add exploring a side of her sexuality she hadn’t thought of yet. This doesn’t always leave much room for friendship.

“I assumed if something was going on, you would have told me,” I say. “I tell you everything.” “God, don’t I know it,” she says. “When would there have been room for my problems? For me at all?” Whoa. “James . . . it’s not like that. I tell you everything because you’re my best friend.” “But it’s not like that,” she says. “It’s like I’ve been your therapist. You dump all over me and then you don’t even stick around to reciprocate. At least therapists get paid. I’m just doing all of it for free.”

This was a nice change in books that always end happily ever after. Friendship isn’t always pretty and doesn’t always survive high school. I think it’s a good book for people going through this type of situation. Relationships can take over the time you normally give your best friend, things can happen that you don’t feel comfortable telling your best friend and sometimes you just change. That doesn’t mean the friendship didn’t mean anything, but sometimes you just grow apart!

I didn’t give this book five stars, because there were some things that just didn’t do well with me. The ending, while I understand doesn’t always have to be one I like, felt really abrupt and not really fitting in this story. Also, at times, Kat did annoy me. It’s good that the characters weren’t perfect, but she did rub me the wrong way at times. That being said, I really still think this is a good book. Kat was really open about her sexuality and it was nice to see her proud. The parents felt realistic in this story and I like the way they were a part of this book. Even if I did need a little more character growth.

All in all, a good story about friendship. And even if you grow apart, it doesn’t make the friendship any less special while it lasted!


I was really surprised how many different themes this story has. It was nice to have a book that wasn’t only romance! Friendship, family and discovering your sexuality was all fit into this story. Have you read any books with important messages lately? Let me know in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Review| We Used To Be Friends – Amy Spalding

  1. “It was nice to have a book that wasn’t only romance! Friendship, family and discovering your sexuality was all fit into this story.” Oh, yes, yes, yes!! I’m so excited to read this one!

  2. I love the sound of this book and I hadn’t heard of it before! Thanks for reviewing 🙂

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