The two of us — along with another recent-transplant friend, let's call her Claire — soon became inseparable. I watched her career explode; she supported me through the publication of my first novel and the birth of my first child. And then, after six intense years of friendship, Jessica ghosted. First she stopped returning Claire's calls and emails — "She wasn't elevating me," Jessica told me when I tried to play intermediary — and then, not long after, it was my turn.
She just … vanished : My phone went silent; texts disappeared into the ether; an invitation to a dinner party got a strange, terse response: "Can't make it, have a blast. As if our entire history together had been erased, overnight. It's shocking when a friendship dies that way: It feels impossible that you can experience total platonic love and devotion for another woman — BFFL all but tattooed on your heart — and then, abruptly, realize that you didn't know that person at all. That your friendship was not what you thought it was; that it was just a way-stop for the other person on their path to bigger, better things.
Those of us left behind in Jessica's wake turned to each other, hurt and confused: Was it something we had done? Were we the failures here? Aren't your closest friends supposed to be the one thing in life you can rely on? This particular self-doubt was, unfortunately, familiar to me: This wasn't the first time a close friend had dumped me. While I have had lovely, lifelong friendships with women, my history has also been peppered by a series of intense friendships that felt more like romantic relationships, both in their duration years and in their termination abrupt, confusing, and ultimately devastating.
In my experience, friendship is often something that burns hot and strong before dying without warning, like a lover jilting you at the altar. Women don't talk as much about those kinds of toxic, temporary friendships. Instead, we like to romanticize the forever-friendship, idealize enduring sisterhood as the norm — Thelma and Louise driving off the cliff together, to hell with men, just them against the world.
But the truth is that many friendships have something festering under the surface — some resentment, some inequality, or just the inevitable annoyance that comes with spending insane amounts of time with another human being. Healthy friendships overlook these flaws or address them straight-on, but both parties have to be onboard. Looking back at my years with Jessica, I can see how unhealthy our relationship was, how I overlooked the unsettling signs of imbalance in the name of friendship.
I see now that I wasn't allowed to challenge her; she was a classic narcissist who needed me to be in thrall. And there were things in her history that should have rung alarm bells early on: the string of old friends she didn't talk to anymore, all of whom had been guilty of mysterious personal betrayals; a certain knack for reinvention that she had clearly mastered along the way.
The way she seemed so keenly interested in people with power and money, of which I had neither, and also so condemning of our friends' weaknesses. So while I was in it , for keeps, she had probably always had her eye out for the next big thing. Maybe I should have seen it coming. After all, Jessica wasn't the first best friend who had ghosted me — in my late 20s, I'd had a nearly identical experience. We were glued at the hip for several years: we traveled together to Mexico and rented a ski house together every winter; I watched her cat when she was out of town.
When I went through a drawn-out, painful breakup with my long-term boyfriend, her shoulder was the one I cried on. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again.
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Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Softly Say Goodbye by K. Softly Say Goodbye by K. Sprayberry Goodreads Author. Erin Sellers, an eighteen-year-old high school senior, hates teen drinking. She and her three friends — Bill, her guy, Shari and Jake - decide to use Twitter to stop a group, the Kewl Krew, from using their high school as the local bar. But the members of this group are just as determined to stop anyone from messing up their fun. Despite veiled threats to her safety, Erin Erin Sellers, an eighteen-year-old high school senior, hates teen drinking.
Despite veiled threats to her safety, Erin continues her crusade. To make matters worse for her, the stress of school and extra curricular work mounts and suddenly, shockingly, booze-fuelled tragedy strikes. Erin is now under greater pressure as she spends all hours to produce a mural and other work to commemorate the death of a teen friend. Bill, Jake and Shari support her in all this Get A Copy. More Details Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Softly Say Goodbye , please sign up.
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Can you imagine going though your school years known by nothing but your initials? If you have one of those first names handed down by the family for generations, like Lucinda or Horace, you might agree too, but what if your initials weren't so great? What if they spelled a word you'd rather not be known as? Parents sometimes don't take time to realize how detrimental names and initials can be.
Such is the case for poor old Alex, Can you imagine going though your school years known by nothing but your initials? Such is the case for poor old Alex, the freshman hero of K.
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Sprayberry's new YA novel, Inits. Alex dreads his freshman year in small town Georgia where everyone is known by their initials rather than their names. His brother, RAS, a senior, is the high school's star quarterback, while he's a member of the school's marching band. When I read the first paragraph, I was plunged into memories of the line "One time, at band camp," but Alex takes his music seriously. In fact, being on the school band isn't his problem--it's PAT, the school bully, who goes out of his way to make Alex's life, and that of his best friend JAZ, miserable.
In her novel, K. As Alex works through his freshman year, attempting to deal with all of his bully-related problems and hopes and dreams, everyone who's ever been the target of a bully will empathize. This is a great novel--well written with touches of pathos and humor, and a reminder to all to think twice before naming their children.
Well done. Nov 12, April Erwin rated it really liked it. KC Sprayberry has done a great job of allowing the reader to see through younger eyes with a new perspective. Too many of todays YA books fail to represent the youth that are responsible, moral and driven to help others. Erin and her crew aren't your typical selfish teens. They see what underage drinking does to their friends and their families and they want to make a difference. Taking a stand costs them all a great deal, but they have families that support them and help them stay strong.
What a KC Sprayberry has done a great job of allowing the reader to see through younger eyes with a new perspective. What a fantastic example to other teens that they aren't alone in their decisions to stay sober and clean. The story had me be both chuckling and shedding tears. Very touching and empowering. I recommend it to the young reader and the young at heart. Feb 21, Debra Hartmann rated it it was amazing.
If you are looking for a book to put in the hands of your teenager, this is it. The author successfully brought me back to my own days in high school and though the lingo and terms used have changed a LOT, I was able to quickly learn and follow along. This is important; your teens are more likely to read something written in their language and hip style that they can relate to. There will probably be regional differences, teens seem to be far ahead of the trends and slang and such and it varies school to school and state to state but this author kept it so balanced between the story line and making it teen friendly that it should translate well in any region, any teens hands.
With that technical point aside and more importantly, this book deals with some very serious topics that all parents and kids will face. I talked to my son about it while thinking over what to write for this review; he wants to read it and he was thrilled that I read it and took an interest in something close to his age range, his interests, and his challenges in public school.
With teenagers, every little common ground we can find helps keep the lines of communication open and this book is good for that in addition to being very touching and inspiring! So many layers of responsibilities and common teen issues are present while the writer clearly focused her style on keeping it all at a level that our kids will relate to by speaking to them and not at them. The characters have various backgrounds, social status and popularity making them very realistic. It was gripping and I laughed and cried while I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent reading this book.
Some links to learn more about the author, KC Sprayberry: www. Nov 25, Teresa Nordheim rated it it was amazing. When a group of high school students, known as the Kewl Krew, begin filling their water bottles with alcohol, everyone seems to be turning their backs. Other students fear retaliation for ratting out the offenders and teachers seem to be ignoring the growing problem.
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Erin Sellers begins to use the internet and a Twitter account to send anonymous messages to the school officials. She encourages several friends to do the same. Erin is a strong heroine whose mad artistic skills and stubborn determination keep her head above the water.
Well, that and her incredibly sweet, football player boyfriend, Bill Lomax. Erin and her friends increase her efforts to stop their peers before another death occurs, but when the Kewl Krew learns who is behind the mysterious Twitter posts, Erin, Bill, and all of their close friends become targets. Who will survive and who will fall?
KC Sprayberry is a strong writer who brings her characters to life with ease. The subject of underage drinking is a difficult matter to broach and to convey to teens. However, this author does just that and she keeps the wording on a young adult level. The information is presented in the form of a romantic suspense and does not come across as preaching or reprimanding.
A great, gripping page turner! KC Sprayberry's new series for teenage boys is off to a roaring start. Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates is a rip-roaring, gripping mystery set on a space station in the 24th century. Seventeen-year-old BD Bradford, intrepid investigator, starts his day just like any other day--working toward becoming a law officer like his dad was before he died. But that Thursday, BD's life changes, and he's drawn into a mystery that includes his father's death, an att A great, gripping page turner! But that Thursday, BD's life changes, and he's drawn into a mystery that includes his father's death, an attack from space pirates, and his ex-girlfriend who may or may not forgive him for the awful thing he did.
Together with his friends and fellow investigators Carl and Terry, the four teens delve deeper and deeper into the mystery. Will they solve it before the pirates destroy the space station? I could not put this book down. Sprayberry grabs hold of you from the first chapter and doesn't let you go until the story is over--and then you want to read more. BD Bradford is a very likeable teenage boy with problems any teenager can recognize--girl trouble, trouble with authorities especially the dumb or crooked ones , a mother who can terrify him with the crook of a single finger, and a yearning for his long-dead father.
Add his detective agency into the mix, and Canoples Investigations becomes a story that you'll want to read more than once, and then pass it along to your friends. Definitely a great read for 13 and up, but their parents will like it, too. Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book. But I'm going to buy the next one in the series! Nov 25, Jessica Tornese rated it it was amazing. Sprayberry gives a glimpse into the pressures of teen life, both social and emotional. With a mixture of tragedy and relief, Sprayberry weaves a story of strong emotions that portray real life results when underage teens mess with drinking.
Once, twice, third time lucky
Main character, Erin Sellers, is a tribute to strong teens who don't struggle with their identity. Her support group of friends help her face the Kewl Krew, a group of teens intent on bringing down everyone around them while drinking at school. All too often, Sprayberry gives a glimpse into the pressures of teen life, both social and emotional. All too often, rumors of illegal behavior at school surface in everyone's home town. This book shows everyone how important it is to report the behavior and act upon it, before it's too late.
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Teens need to know the message of courage and not backing down, no matter what the threats, as the consequences are always worse if nothing is done. Thanks to Sprayberry for giving a book full of real characters that teens can identify with and be encouraged by. Softly Say Goodbye is an important read for any teen faced with the pressures that come with high school. Julie cares deeply about her close friends who are dealing with difficult home environments as she is and she shepherds them carefully in their last days of high school.
Her flashbacks of a school shooting when she was five kept me tense knowing something was going to erupt during her senior year too. The book was solidly in the viewpoint of a high school senior and her world, and it felt very authentic to me. I found this to be a very gripping book. BD Bradford and his team from Canoples Investigations are thrown into a day that never seems to end for them. BD is just trying to make a few bucks for himself while making up with his girlfriend Cassie Wells. The past comes back to haunt BD and endangers his friends Cassie and Carl. Space Pirates have arrived at Canoples Stations led by a man all thought dead!
If you love Sci-Fi, read this book! I couldn't put it down and cannot wait for Book 2: Canoples In I found this to be a very gripping book. Hailey Hatmaker is a great character and is Ghost Catcher extraordinaire.
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Hailey and the ghosties fight her nemesis, Limbo and the fire demons. A ghost every kid would love. Thanks, K. Haily Hatmaker has been chasing ghosts since seventh grade. With two friendly ghosts, Haily and Sly head out to save two of her friends and to finally rid the town of Limbo, the baddest ghost ever. This story's action never stops. It like a roller coaster ride! I would recommend this cute story to anybody!
The reader sees life through the eyes of a sweet teenage girl in this realistic tale. She's modern and thoughtful despite disliking her controlling mother and missing her father. She longs to forget the past and enjoy her life, but a traumatic events haunts her, which warns of a similar occurrence to come.
The excellent writing style pulls you along to the satisfying conclusion. Nov 26, Kay LaLone rated it it was amazing. This book brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't help but cry with Erin. KC has developed such real characters that I connected with them. This book is about teen drinking and the problems it can cause. But this story is also about love, friendship, and family. Thank you for a good cry as well as a good read.
View 1 comment. Apr 13, Suzanne Montigny rated it it was amazing. Kathi Sprayberry has done it again. She's created a feel good story that not only deals with strong teen issues, but has us cheering for the heroine in the end. I stopped thinking of Erin as 'a teenager' early on in the book and began loving her like a daughter. Her strength is inspiring. I highly recommend this book to any teen. It's a believable and heart-rending YA look at teen drinking, which includes tragic consequences. You might need a tissue for this one. Apr 30, Penelope Bartotto rated it it was amazing.
There are times when you start a book that it takes a bit of time to get in the flow of the story, this was the initial case for me. Once I hit the flow of this fabulous story, I was compelled to read it as fast as I could. I was then compelled to start spreading the word about the message this book is sending - teen drinking is a problem. Wait, don't turn away and think I am going to preach to you about the topic, that is for another time and another place. I want you to read this review to disc There are times when you start a book that it takes a bit of time to get in the flow of the story, this was the initial case for me.
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