Today it’s back to Mandie who has a blog tour review of Friendship Never Ends by Ella Dyson. Thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting us to join the tour and to publishers Orion for providing the advance copy for review. Here is what it’s about:
About the Book
A big-hearted comedy about friendship, the 90s and the greatest girl band in the world
Three independent women – and one man who lives for drama – haven’t spoken to their best friend in 20 years, after an epic talent show disaster tore them apart during the height of Spice-mania.
Self-appointed gang leader Carmen then decided to go it alone – Geri style. But now, in 2018, the school reunion is fast approaching. Friendship Never Ends tells the story of Carmen’s plan to win back her former besties – Jemma, Ellie, Laura and Benny – ahead of the big night. But has Carmen really changed? And can their friendship ever really go back to how it was?
Friendship Never Ends centres on a group of school friends who had drifted apart after a disastrous incident at a talent show at school when they were teenagers. With a school reunion just around the corner can they forgive the past and become the friends they once were?
The book starts in 2018 with Carmen, Jemma, Ellie, Laura and Benny all at different junctures in their life. With the exception of Carmen all the others in the group had remained in touch and managed to maintain some elements of their childhood friendships. When Carmen finds out that there is going to be a school reunion and that there is going to be a talent contest she sees it as a means to get the whole gang back together and once again enter the contest. Her life didn’t quite work out how she expected and she is now working in a supermarket with debts mounting up and she realises that she has no real friends that she can count on. What she didn’t expect was the resistance she encountered, had she really been that bad at school.
You are then transported back to 1998 at a time as the title may suggest when the Spice Girls exploded into the lives of many young girls and you learn about the dynamic of the group and the incident that lead to the breakup of the gang. I loved this part of the book as even though by this time I was 28 and had just had my son everything just dragged me back to that period and the highs and lows of school life.
I couldn’t help but find myself chuckling at some of the things that happened and the attitudes of the group towards their beliefs and attitudes towards their parents, school and life in general as it showed that no matter what the year is essentially some things never change right down to the crushes on pop stars and the plans we all make for the future. Carmen was a hard character to like in some respect as she was quite selfish in her attitudes to the others. As the leader of the group she called “The Huddies”, she always made sure it was her way or no way especially when it came to the talent show. She was the one who decided who was going to be which member of the Spice Girls tribute act “The Spice Rack” – and I am sad to say that name just made me smile every time I read it. You couldn’t help but feel a little bit sorry for Ellie as she struggled with her weight and the fact that her nick name was Ellie-phant, but she loved being part of the gang as she did feel a little protected from it all.
With the story being told from the perspective of all the girls in the gang you really got a better sense of the group dynamic and saw the events that unfolded from every angle and how they affected each person. I think the only thing for me was that although Benny was part of the gang and did feature quite a lot during the school years I wish there had been an element of the story from his point of view as he was quite a colourful character.
From the way teenagers talk to the trends of the time Ella Dyson has certainly managed to capture the feel of the 90’s. For anyone who at school at that time this book will certainly make them feel like they were back in time. A great read that shows that sometimes friendships really can stand the test of time and childhood mistakes.
If you would like a copy of the book it is available now from the following retailers:
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