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Friended
Kilby Blades. Luxe, $14.99 paper (228p) ISBN 978-1-79314-211-5
High school junior Roxy Vega recently relocated from L.A. to Rye, her parents’ California hometown, to live with her father after her parents’ divorce. After years of neglect, Roxy’s mom has gone on tour as a backup singer and her dad has gained sole custody. Classmates consider Roxy pretty but prudish, though Roxy’s best friend Zoë believes Jagger Monroe, Trinity High’s resident hot guy with a bad-boy reputation, has a crush on Roxy. Unbeknownst to Jagger, his close buddy Declan sends Roxy a follow request from Jagger’s private Instagram account. Roxy, skeptical, eventually allows Zoë to hit confirm, and soon Jagger and Roxy are exchanging messages. Both music enthusiasts have hidden sides, and as they discover commonalities, a deep relationship forms—only to be damaged by a lie of omission. Blades’s archetypes adhere to genre mainstays, and mentions of child neglect, abusive boyfriends, and rape feel contrived. While today’s teens may not resonate as strongly with Blades’s nostalgic references to movies such as Say Anything, this YA mosaic novel uses music as an effective backdrop for a tale of social media, drama, and romance. Ages 14–up. (Self-published.)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 11/08/2019

Release date 12/01/2018

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