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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dawson strikes gold again!
Firstly I want to explain that this is the only review I have ever written on a website, this is how strongly I feel about this novel and I'm completely shocked by a few of the not so positive reviews here, so I have been spurred into action!

I read Lucy Dawson's debut novel 'His other lover' and was totally gripped. Her style is not that of your usual chit...
Published on 23 Nov. 2009 by Ms. Rj Thompson

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was ok...
Initially this book had me gripped and I couldn't put it down. But, as it went on I could see everything coming a mile off. The blurb hinted at a big twist, which I waited for, but it never came.
It was an ok read and I read it quickly. I just felt it was a bit predictable and boring at times.
If this is your first time of reading Lucy Dawson, I would try her...
Published on 3 Jun. 2009 by C. Rucroft


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dawson strikes gold again!, 23 Nov. 2009
This review is from: What My Best Friend Did (Paperback)
Firstly I want to explain that this is the only review I have ever written on a website, this is how strongly I feel about this novel and I'm completely shocked by a few of the not so positive reviews here, so I have been spurred into action!

I read Lucy Dawson's debut novel 'His other lover' and was totally gripped. Her style is not that of your usual chit lit, it has a dark unpredictable nature, opening on cliff hangers and ending in just the same way, my mouth was literally opened wide in amazement!

I was not left disappointed by her follow up 'What my best friend did'. The characters were realistic, intelligent and subtle allowing the reader to form our own conclusions and become completely engrossed with what Gretchen will do next or indeed what she has already done to Alice, that Dawson is waiting to reveal. To say this book is a page tuner is a serious understatement, I read it within a day, as I just couldn't put it down, (nearly caused some serious accidents coming off the escalator on the tube, as I didn't want to come back into the real world, I was happy in Dawson's)!

I am completely shocked having just read the previous review (1 star...a disgrace), do not listen to this review, if your after a meaty, exciting and dark read that goes against the grade of the usual chick lit, this book is for you!

Hurray up Dawson and get another book out, before Christmas ideally!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What DID her best friend do..., 18 Dec. 2011
By 
Leah Graham (Tenerife) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: What My Best Friend Did (Paperback)
What My Best Friend Did starts off in quite shocking fashion. Alice is talking to an ambulance operator because something has happened to Gretchen, who we learn is Alice's best friend. Alice is frantic with worry over Gretchen and it immediately got me hooked. We then, as the book progresses, learn how it got to the point where Alice was in Gretchen's living room waiting for an ambulance to arrive. It's a very clever way of telling the story. We get a few chapters of the present and then a few chapters leading up to the event of the present with no indicators to tell you it's changing, not that it's hard to tell the difference, I must say! It also means that instead of having everything come out all at once, it's as if it's building to this big massive event and I just couldn't wait to get there to find out what it was.

I thought What My Best Friend Did was a little slow-going to start with (after the pacey opening chapters) but I was soon gripped and it got to the point where I just couldn't put it down. I think that's mainly down to how fantastic Lucy Dawson is at creating her characters. What My Best Friend Did is very character driven, it's the characters that drive the entire thing rather than the plot which is unusual but it works. Alice and Gretchen are like rubber and glue and yet somehow their friendship not only takes off on the pages but comes across incredibly realistically too to me, the reader. In Gretchen, Lucy has created a stunning character, she's hugely flawed but it's also so easy to see why Alice falls under her spell. Gretchen was, for me, the most realistic character of the bunch and she was fleshed out really really well. A lot is revealed about Gretchen as the book progresses and it all makes her more and more real in my mind. Don't get me wrong, I didn't like her, not at all, but she is the type of character who will stay with you long after you've finished the book.

In actual fact, none of the characters in What My Best Friend Did are in any way likeable. Not even Alice, our protagonist. Not really. And yet I still liked her; I can't explain it. She was a bit mean at points, downright nasty in others, but somehow she pulled me in and I did like her. Usually when I dislike a character, it feels as if I'm just tolerating them for the rest of the book. Not so with Alice. If you've read the book, you can probably see where I'm coming from. It's hard to explain in a review, it's more of a `you have to read it to understand it'. Apart from Alice and Gretchen the only other two main main characters are Tom and Bailey, Tom who is Alice's ex and Bailey, Gretchen's brother. I don't feel we really got to know either men well enough for me to judge accurately but they both have their flaws, too. A lot goes on between Alice, Gretchen, Tom and Bailey and not all of it is particularly nice but I thought it was all unravelled and explained very well.

The ending of What My Best Friend Did is shocking. I saw a few of the revelations coming, but not the most important one of all. It made me re-evaluate everything I'd already learned about the characters and my opinions of them certainly changed. It was definitely a satisfactory revelation. It wasn't as if it was all built up and then fell flat, I thought it matched the rest of the book very well. My only problem was the actual ending itself, the last page in fact. I was expecting an epilogue of some sort because it just ended. I know that sometimes endings are a bit more open-ended but with such a strong book with such a dark undercurrent, there were lots of things left unfinished which is a shame.

Overall What My Best Friend Did is well worth reading. It truly was a stunning read despite my feelings over the last page of the book. Lucy Dawson is a fantastic writer and the quote from Louise Candlish saying that Lucy's style of chick lit is much darker than the norm is spot-on. I highly recommend both of Lucy's books and I eagerly await her third novel, due out later this year!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent novel from Lucy Dawson..., 20 Mar. 2009
This review is from: What My Best Friend Did (Paperback)
I don't normally buy 'chick lit' as I usually prefer to opt for something more literary, but I think Lucy Dawson is a female author who is definitely worth reading.

I enjoyed her debut 'His Other Love' and this is even better. It is a dark pageturner that had me gripped from start to finish. Dawson is brilliant at creating flawed characters and even better at plot twists, none of which I saw coming. Her observations are subtle and intelligent and she allows enough room for the reader to also draw their own conclusions about the characters.

My only slight criticism was that around Chapter 19 there were suddenly lots of shifts in relationships and so much seemed to be happening at once - I wanted the pace to slow down and a little more background. But it is a minor quibble, given how much I enjoyed the pacing of this book, which rockets to an explosive climax.

I did feel, however, that the title of this book did not do it justice. It sounds like a tweenie book for girls and doesn't convey the depth, darkness or maturity of the writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely awesome!!!, 11 Oct. 2010
By 
S. Hogg "sarahhogg" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: What My Best Friend Did (Paperback)
Every now and then you stumble upon a book that you can not bring yourself to put down until you have got to the very last page.
When I started reading this book I did not have any expectations but I was instantly gripped, so much so that I nearly missed my stop on the train on the way home from work! This is the type of book that stays with you and leaves you thinking about each character, how they got to be where they are and above all what will happen to them.

Lucy has a clear has a talent for story telling. She manages to write a compelling and fast paced story without sacrificing character development. I did not agree with the way that Alice acted but the detail in the book allowed me to understand her thought process and how she got herself into that situation. The detailed description of Alice's emotion and reactions really draws you into her world and her dilemmas.

I would seriously recommend Lucy as an author her books are a brilliant form of escapism. Dark, thrilling and ridiculously dark to put down!

I can't wait for the next one to come out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was ok..., 3 Jun. 2009
By 
C. Rucroft "The little bookworm" (North Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: What My Best Friend Did (Paperback)
Initially this book had me gripped and I couldn't put it down. But, as it went on I could see everything coming a mile off. The blurb hinted at a big twist, which I waited for, but it never came.
It was an ok read and I read it quickly. I just felt it was a bit predictable and boring at times.
If this is your first time of reading Lucy Dawson, I would try her first book 'His Other Lover'. This is much much better.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a head-scratcher, 4 Jun. 2009
By 
This review is from: What My Best Friend Did (Paperback)
"Dark chick-lit", they said. Sounds interesting, I thought.

But what happens when you get to the very end of the book and it's unfinished? Not in a cliff-hanger open-ended sort of way, but almost as if pages are missing. It's certainly possible, as it only runs to 270-odd pages, and thinking back to it (not too long a journey as I finished it just 2 minutes ago) it feels a little like I read an unusually long short story.

It needs to be said that Dawson can definitely write. Some of the dialogue was hackneyed and clunky ('"I don't get it myself. If it were my child I'd walk into the mouth of hell and snatch them back from the edge of oblivion if that's what it took," he says, suddenly fierce.' [p. 189]) Humm. But more often than not, she's hugely readable, and it speeds along nicely.

I'm baffled, though, as to the apparent twists... it cements my belief that my copy is missing some chapters as there weren't any. Really not a single one. Everything is sign-posted in flashing neon and there's a portly bloke with a tannoy shouting "Over there!" Equally, nothing overly momentous actually happens, so there really is nothing that could be classed as a twist, even using the loosest definition. It flickers between now and the recent past with the two time-lines converging in the penultimate chapter, at which point it fizzles out with a whimper.

The 3 stars is because it was still interesting, mostly well written, and 2 stars would feel harsh. But after reading such glowy reviews, I'm definitely disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, emotional and thought provoking, 25 Mar. 2010
By 
Bamba "Bamba" (Midlands, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: What My Best Friend Did (Paperback)
I will start by saying that the only reason I have given this 4 stars instead of 5 is the ending. It definitely needed another chapter/possibly two. Too much at the end was left to making your own conclusions, which is sometimes good but I thought the readers really deserved more.

Secondly, this is a fantastic book. Its so interesting and thought provoking and you are completely in line with the main character Alice. It is a page turner from start to finish and I would highly recommend this intelligent book to any one.

I read in a previous review that someone found the characterisation of mental illness offensive. I think it was incredibly believeable. There is such a fine line between as Alice says in the book - giving people leeway because they are ill & them manipulating you. This is a question I have asked a few people including people I know who work within the mental health sphere & it has opened up quite a few topics of conversation & none found this offensive. This is surely a major plus point of any book, if it leads you to be constantly thinking about it and discussing it. I don't want to give away too much but the way Dawson wrote the book, it seemed to me she had great empathy & knowledge of mental illnesses. I liked the main character Alice a lot and the fact that several days after finishing the book, I still feel a bit teary about it, says it all!

Overall this is a fantastic, gripping and highly intelligent book. If it had not been missing approx 2 chapters at the end, it would have been a perfect book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read, 10 May 2011
By 
JM (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: What My Best Friend Did (Paperback)
This is my first novel by this author, chicklit is not my thing at all, but in spite of the title and cover I got the impression that there was a little bit more to it than that so thought I'd give it a try. It's quite dark and all the better for that.
Alice is a normal happy girl with her own photography business who lives in a nice flat with the ideal boyfriend at the start of the book. Then she meets Gretchen, who suddenly becomes her new best friend. But all is not as it seems with Gretchen, and things become increasingly chilling as Alice realises the truth.
The book started a bit slowly, but that was simply setting the scene and showing how the two girls became friends. Once it gets going the tension moves up a notch and it becomes a gripping read.
I think Lucy Dawson has been wrongly marketed with her books aiming for the chicklit sector, I (and obviously a lot of other reviewers) think she should really be put across as a writer of psychological thrillers. Will certainly be trying her other books now.
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3.0 out of 5 stars First half was dull, second half good, 14 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: What My Best Friend Did (Paperback)
I did enjoy the second half of the story. It became much faster paced and made me want to read on. However the first half of the book really did drag quite a bit - I found it dull, boring and unnecessary, as if just put there to bulk out the book with more chapters. The first half focuses on these 2 friends and how they met and their socialising and chatting and laughing etc.as they grow to consider themselves 'best friends'. It alternates with the present, and scenes in the hospital as Alice waits and worries about Gretchen, and these chapters again go on and on just too much, with machines beeping and Alice an emotional wreck. I don't think this author is for me - this is the first book I've read by her. But overall it was an okay read because the later part really did make up for the tedious first part.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 8 Feb. 2012
This review is from: What My Best Friend Did (Paperback)
Another great book by a fantastic writer. I have read all 3 of Lucy Dawson's books & recommend them all. Only criticism is the endings just leave you wanting more, which is a tad frustrating. I will be looking out for more Lucy Dawson books to read in the future.
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What My Best Friend Did
What My Best Friend Did by Lucy Dawson (Paperback - 19 Mar. 2009)
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