Best friends don’t lie.
Best friends don’t ditch you for a guy.
Best friends don’t post your deepest, darkest secrets online.
Bailey’s falling head-over-high-heels for Ryder West, a mysterious gamer she met online. A guy she’s never met in person. Her best friend, Meg, doesn’t trust smooth-talking Ryder. He’s just a picture-less profile.
When Bailey starts blowing Meg off to spend more virtual quality time with her new crush, Meg decides it’s time to prove Ryder’s a phony.
But one stupid little secret posted online turns into a friendship-destroying feud to answer the question:
Who is Ryder West?
Bailey & Meg are having a rough patch. At some point during every friendship this happens & more often than not it's over another relationship. The twist in this plot is that Meg doesn't trust Bailey's too-perfect boyfriend, who doesn't even exist! That's right, while having never met him in person and spending all her free time with him electronically, Bailey doesn't see that Meg is just trying to protect her from the unknown.
Coming from similar heartaches rooted in paternal abandonment, these two each have their own obsessions and must learn to trust one another with their advice when it comes to the guys in their lives. But one little slip threatens to destroy the minute progress they've made towards rebuilding their relationship. Can it all be saved or are some things better just left alone?
I have to say that while this one didn't "wow" me, it was passable. I really enjoyed Bailey being a geekier girl with popular girl tendencies. It gave her more personality than I was expecting. Meg was tough to deal with at times. She was very broody & difficult, but her artwork, her passion, really made me give her a chance.
What really didn't work for me where the absentee parents. This is a disturbing trend in YA, and maybe in familial relationships in general, but it just allows way too much to go on and paints parents in a bad light. I know we all rebel against our parents at some point in time, but that isn't even necessary when they're too busy to care. Another thing that bugged at me were the obvious "daddy issues" that these girls have. They fall under the stereotypical paths of behavior in response to that void. It made me respect the girls a little less that they were so hung up on this stuff and ignoring the wider implications.
The dialogue, mannerisms, & behavior were quite engaging through the whole narrative. Even the filler characters helped round out this story a bit more. We learn a lot through observation & these other characters helped with that. Sadly the catty behavior & underwhelming climax left me feeling a bit disjointed. It really felt like there was either something missing or something still to come. While not a must read, it's a good filler if you want a broody, angsty read.
ARC graciously provided by Around the World ARC Tours