Bad Best Friend Syndrome

04/07/2011 at 8:41 pm (book recommendation, Reading) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

The other day I started reading “The Unidentified” by Rae Mariz, and for the most part I really liked it.  The style of writing is easy to get into, the main character, Kid is someone I can relate to, and one of her best friends is likeable too…but it’s her other best friend who I have the problem with.


Ari, the bad best friend, is flighty and unreliable, and she only has one common interest with Kid, and even that she doesn’t seem really all that into anymore.  Plus, I don’t think Ari sounds like a good person.  I get the feeling that she would totally sell out her friends to achieve her goals.  So I don’t really understand why Kid is friends with her in the first place.


The thing is, “The Unidentified” is not the first book that I’ve read that has this bad best friend syndrome.  Earlier this year I also read “XVI” by Julia Karr, and it had the same problem.  There was also “The Iron Thorn” by Caitlin Kittredge that I was reading and put down for a while, and in that book I just wanted to reach into the pages and punch the main character’s best friend in the face.


So, what’s up with this?  Has anyone else come across this trend, or am I just gravitating to the only books like it?




  1. lunaleo said,

    In “Nevermore” by Kelly Creagh the main character has the worst best friend I’ve ever seen. Actually, all of her friends are pretty terrible – they turn on her like a pack of hyenas the first chance they get.

    I think the reason so many books have the awful best friend syndrome is because, first of all, in real life there are a lot of people who are friends with someone just because they’ve been friends with them for a long time, and for no other reason. So, as awful as that person might be, they always think, “well, we’ve been friends since kindergarten, and so-and-so is just like that…”

    Second, it introduces a lot of drama. If the main character can’t rely on his/her best friend, it makes them have to do more things on their own. Or at least, those are the only reasons I can think of, because you’re right, it happens in books a lot.

  2. Kati Bartkowski's storysketches said,

    I keep hearing a lot about this “Nevermore,” I’ll have to check it out sometime, even if I really dislike the bad best friends. I guess it does happen sometimes in real life, but it’s just so frustrating to read about in books.

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