Second book in Carlson’s Life at Kingston High, “The Best Friend” not only explores the true meaning of friendship but delves into some pretty serious issues faced by today’s teens. Primary character Lishia Vance was feeling pretty left out after her best friend apparently found a new best friend. Not only that but it seemed as though the rest of her friends from church had abandoned her also. So Lishia was a prime target when cheerleader Riley decided that Lishia would be the perfect best friend for her. So, desperate to be accepted and even popular, Lishia allowed herself to be manipulated into doing things she wouldn’t ordinarily do even though she felt uncomfortable doing them. Eventually she had enough but found it difficult to extract herself from the situation – a situation that had even become dangerous to her.

At my advanced age (old enough to have teen grandchildren), it is difficult to imagine some of the things our young people come face to face with every day. It would be nice to believe that they don’t need to be warned about some of the things depicted in “The Best Friend” but I am afraid that would just be denial. I am so thankful that Melody Carlson is brave enough to write about the things most of would like to ignore and that she does so in a manner that teens can enjoy and relate to. I only wish these books had been around when my own daughter was in high school.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


With her signature insight into the lives of teen girls, bestselling author Melody Carlson explores the treacherous world of friendship, loyalty and choices girls face in high school in The Best Friend, a Life at Kingston High novel.

Lishia Vance is flummoxed. One day she has friends. The next day everyone has turned against her. No explanation. Just complete social isolation. Even her best friend Janelle isn’t giving her the time of day. When she makes a connection with Riley Atkins, a popular cheerleader, things start looking up. But is Riley really as good a friend as she seems? Or is Lishia better off without her?


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington’s, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, The Jerk Magnet, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. Melody was selected for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books in 2010 and 2011. She and her husband live in central Oregon. For more information about Melody visit her website at