Seventeen-year-old Grace and her best friend Kya are inseparable, and they plan to keep it that way by using their mad paintball skills (yes, paintball) to make the all-women team at Seattle University.
At least that’s what Grace thought the plan was. But the closer the girls get to realizing their dream, the more Kya begins to unravel. Knowing that her friend carries scars from a secret past, Grace risks everything to try and save Kya from herself. With so many “buds before studs” novels out there to choose among, Grace and Kya’s story fails to distinguish itself. It’s difficult to root for the duo when their friendship never seems worth the fight to begin with. Readers must rely on Grace’s word that there was a time that she and Kya shared a meaningful and reciprocal relationship, since it’s difficult to find evidence of it in any of the book’s 28 chapters. Manipulative and self-destructive from the start, Kya never shows any true affection for Grace. Surely, what happened to Kya was terrible, but while Grace uses it as an excuse for her best friend’s destructive and hurtful behavior, readers will find themselves rooting alongside a host of more appealing secondary characters for Grace to wise up before it’s too late.
This friendship story fizzles. (Fiction. 14 & Up)