Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The Best of Friends - by Lucinda Berry

©Lucinda Berry
Available: 8/18/20
Pre-Order →Here!
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
"Becoming a mom birthed my biggest fear -losing him." Lucinda Berry's description of motherhood and loss ripped straight through to my core. Utterly heartbreaking.

Childhood best friends, growing up together, getting married, falling pregnant, and raising their children altogether, it's no surprise that their eldest sons all became the best of friends as well. But what happens one night when misguided and influenced minds go sideways is every mother's worst fear: the dreaded phone call that something has happened to your child.

Lucinda Berry certainly knows how to set the mood for a breathtaking, tearjerker of a read! I was hooked right from the prologue, aching to find out what really happened that night. Berry has just the right touch, digging into your psyche in the darkest ways possible, not that I'd expect anything less from this 'former clinical psychologist and leading researcher in childhood trauma.'

I will admit, The Best of Friends took me a little longer to read because, quite honestly, it's a difficult topic - especially as a mom. Berry forces her readers to acknowledge that these situations could happen to anyone; we don't always understand our kids as much as we'd like to believe, and we usually haven't a clue what goes on behind closed doors. I even had to take a few mental breaks to sort myself out, but mostly to hug my children close and remind them that they're loved and mean the absolute world to us.

I did find myself getting slightly lost at a few points as I had to swipe back to remember who was who, I ended up taking a few notes and writing down character names, relatives and feelings. However, I do see and value each narrative and character for what they brought to The Best of Friends. The only other aspects of the story that felt slightly amiss were mentions of an eating disorder and a former prom, I'm still not quite sure how they related to the overall storyline. Character-wise though, each had their quirks and relativity. Although Dani drove me crazy, I just could not understand her and Bryan. The way Bryan treats his family is entirely inexcusable, and the fact that Dani puts up with it, to a point, is unfathomable to me. Yet again, I know, relationships like this do exist, and I feel that Berry did quite well at detailing pieces of what these lives, and experiences might look like. 

Bottom line- I was quite intrigued and mesmerized from start to finish! The Best of Friends' explosive prologue grips readers. It leads right into the aftermath of the investigation and the effects that each woman's grief has atop of their already chaotic lives. Lucinda Berry's craftily articulated writing further goes to exemplify the very idea that things aren't always as they appear. What remains of the lives of these teenagers and their families are forever changed. One thing's for sure, nothing will ever be the same again.

I would recommend this book to fans of the psychological thriller genre. I'm looking forward to adding The Best of Friends to my paperback collection come August 18, 2020! I simply cannot wait to see what twisted tales this brilliant mind comes up with next! Thank you to NetGalley, the publishers at Thomas and Mercer, and the author Lucinda Berry for providing me with an advanced reader's copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Blurb:
An unthinkable tragedy forever changes a group of teens and turns family against family in this edge-of-your-seat thriller that begs to be read in one sitting.

Best friends Lindsey, Kendra, and Dani endure every parent's nightmare when a tragic accident befalls their teenage boys, leaving one dead, another in a coma, and a third too traumatized to speak.

Reeling from the worst night of their lives, the three mothers plunge into a desperate investigation of the bizarre incident. How could something so horrible happen in their wealthy Southern California suburb?

They soon discover that the accident was just the beginning, and troubling discoveries lead to chilling questions: Do they really know their children? Do they even know each other? As more secrets surface, a fog of doubt and suspicion threatens to poison their families, their friendships, and the whole community.

With the illusion of happiness and safety long gone, these women must now confront the hazards of heartbreak, the consequences of jealousy, and the dangers of living double lives.

About the Author, Lucinda Berry:
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Dr. Lucinda Berry is a former clinical psychologist and leading researcher in childhood trauma. Now, she spends her days writing full-time, where she uses her clinical experience to blur the line between fiction and nonfiction. She enjoys taking her readers on a journey through the dark recesses of the human psyche.

She enjoys taking her readers on a journey through the dark recesses of the human psyche. If she's not chasing her eleven-year-old son around, you can find her running the streets of Los Angeles prepping for her next marathon.

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