Friendship Never Ends by Ella Dyson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time Taken to read - 2 days
Pages - 252
Publisher - Trapeze
Source - ARC
Blurb from Goodreads
A big-hearted comedy about friendship, the 90s and the greatest girl band in the world
Three independent women - and one man who lives for drama - haven't spoken to their best friend in 20 years, after an epic talent show disaster tore them apart during the height of Spice-mania.
Self-appointed gang leader Carmen then decided to go it alone - Geri style. But now, in 2018, the school reunion is fast approaching. Friendship Never Ends tells the story of Carmen's plan to win back her former besties - Jemma, Ellie, Laura and Benny - ahead of the big night. But has Carmen really changed? And can their friendship ever really go back to how it was?
Split between past and present, we open in present day and meet Carmen who bumps into an old flame who happens to be a high profile football player now. Carmen knows she has to win him back and the school reunion is the place to do it, she just needs to get the old gang back together. Her high school friends she hasn't seen since the talent contest at school twenty two years ago, when their friendship was ripped apart. Ellie, Laura, Jemma, Benny and Carmen made up their wee group, all spice girls fanatics and the inspiration for their talent show performance.
A story about the struggles of adult hood before we go back to their high school days, their friendship dynamics, coming of age and eventually what happened that day to break up their friendship. We come full circle and back to present day and Carmen trying to get everyone back together and her plan to woo Darryl Kenny.
Carmen is not a nice character, she is shallow as an adult and a spoilt self centred brat as a kid. Each of the group have their own issues and demons to face, a lot of the story centres on their teenage time leading to the big "event". For some this might be a bit too teen angst but for me, I loved it, it was a trip down memory lane. The friendship dynamics, the learning dances/songs, picking who was who in the spice girls line up, the music, the things they chatted about. I loved that and the memories it evoked fantastic. We are actually planning a mini holiday/reunion with some of my oldest friends so this book was just bang on perfect timing.
Some cringe moments, funny, horrifying, sexuality, self discovery, stereotypes among other issues and I would be shocked at anyone reading this and not being transported back to some part of their teenage years or school days. Light hearted, funny, sad, mortifying a wee bit of a journey for the kids and adults. A book that doesn't take itself too seriously and one you can chuckled away at. Leave your adult responsibilities behind for a few hours, grab some popcorn and settle down to stroll down memory lane espesh if you were a teen when they Spice Girls crashed into the world of pop! This is my first time reading this author I cannot wait to see what else she brings out, 4/5 for me this time.