Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: The False Friend

Title: The False Friend
Author: Myla Goldberg
Publication Date: August 23, 2011
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Recommended If You Like: psychology with your suspense, books examining childhood, reverberations from the past, the questioning of memories

The Book:

Celia's childhood best friend went missing two decades ago, something Celia has tried her hardest to accept and move on from. But suddenly, she starts remembering what truly happened that day so many years ago. The only problem is, no one believes her-and she's beginning to wonder if she can trust her own mind.

What I Liked:

This is such a great concept. I love books centered around secrets from the past, the questioning of the reliability of memories, and the examination of the stories we tell ourselves and others.

Anything I Didn't Like?

While I am okay with ambiguous or open-ended endings when they serve a purpose, this just felt unfinished. The last page feels tacked on and almost renders meaningless everything that came before.

It was also hard to connect with any of the characters, especially the main characters. Despite Goldberg's attempt to highlight how our present selves might not even recognize (or admit to) who were as children, her characters felt somewhat one-dimensional and stuck in place.

Also, just as a warning for readers, there are some very descriptive paragraphs of childhood bullying that can be very difficult to read. These are actually where Goldberg's writing really comes alive, as she makes these scenes painfully vivid and heartrendingly real.


I had such high hopes for this book, but I just didn't love it. It was good enough to hold my interest and keep me flipping pages, but I think that was from holding out hope that the fascinating concept would come to fruition. In the end, I just felt unsatisfied.

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