Brandy Kuhn
June 09, 2015 1:00 pm

In case you haven’t read it yet, A Tale of Two Besties is an awesome book written by HelloGiggles’ very own Sophia Rossi. It follows two best friends, Lily and Harper, as they try to maintain their friendship while growing as different people at different high schools. Since I have had the pleasure of reading it, I’m actually incapable of keeping to myself what makes it so great. Seriously, I just want everyone to read this book so we can all fangirl out about it together. There are four main reasons I wasn’t able to put A Tale of Two Besties down, and they’re the same four reasons that you need to get a copy of the book today and fall in love with it for yourself.

Warning: There will be some spoilers in this article so watch out if you can’t handle them (or, you know, just read the book ASAP so you can enjoy the article spoiler-free).

Reason #1 – Sophia Rossi teaches us that we should embrace ourselves (regardless of whether we’re completely hipster, mainstream, or somewhere in between).

At her new artsy/hipster school, Lily seems to be embracing what makes her awesome and unique,  but she actually loses some of her identity when the limelight is focused only on her suddenly-popular quirks. Likewise, Harper loses a little of who she is with her transition into high school and loss of popularity (she was the effortlessly-popular girl in middle school, but in high school, she has a harder time fitting in). Both girls try a little too hard to be liked (understandably because who doesn’t?) and end up not feeling satisfied with themselves. Since this is a HelloGiggles book, there’s a happy ending though; in the end, they finally realize that they don’t have to follow their schools’ ideals, and they become a lot happier with themselves. This is a really good message for teens everywhere because no matter what society wants you to become, the most important thing is staying true/happy to yourself.

Reason #2 – Derek (Harper’s initial crush), who is totally not sweet and kind of demeaning towards girls, gets slammed.

It’s a natural part of teenagedom to sometimes fall for the wrong person. Sometimes, even the best of us have a hard time seeing past a pretty face to the truly not cool person within,  so when Harper falls for Derek, I think we can all relate. At first, he seems kind of cute and likeable but soon, we see him trash-talk his “it’s complicated” girlfriend and publicly humiliate Harper (whom he’s supposed to like). Derek represents all the shallowness and objectification that exists in the world, while still managing to come off as kind of cute and smooth (ugh). It’s definitely not easy for Harper to recognise his true colors but when she does, she slams him in a perfect exchange of wit and snark. That’s right, the “dreamy objectifier” gets called out! If only Sophia Rossi could write the world.

Reason #3 – Lily’s quirks are celebrated.

How often is it that fairy wings, intellectual wit, and mumbling solo are celebrated in high school? Rarely, if ever! That’s why seeing Sophia Rossi turn Lily’s quirks into something acceptable and adorable is rad! So okay, Lily’s new school might’ve honed in on her quirks a little too much, but having a book where flaws and oddities are positively acknowledged at all is so empowering. It teaches us that, while not everyone might feel motivated to embrace their own quirks through noticing ours (and let’s face it, sometimes we’ll even be shamed), the awesome people in our life will not see fault in them and might even think they’re kind of awesome in all their glorious weirdness.

Reason #4 – Harper and Lily are not flawless

The two protagonists of this awesome novel both have situations where they behave far–from-perfectly. They lash out irrationally and sometimes fail to think things through. While that might not sound awesome in itself, I personally loved it because it shows that the two besties are human. Also, choosing to show a character’s flaws like Sophia Rossi did makes them much more relatable, real, and three-dimensional. Kudos for all of Lily’s scenes where she fails to see the bigger picture and also for the ones where we see some of Harper’s selfish shallowness because these scenes show girls that having flaws and making mistakes doesn’t subtract from the likability and “goodness” of their character.

+1 – It’s written by Sophia Rossi (ahem, the reason you can read this article on this site at all).

I know I said I had 4 reasons the book was awesome, but I had to throw in a bonus reason that’s all about the book’s author, Sophia Rossi. I’ve mentioned the author’s name a lot in this article but it’s because the person attached to that name is an absolutely wonderful human being. She’s one of the three founders of this site and just so happens to be an exquisite writer as well. I had the pleasure of meeting her at an autographing session during BookCon and let me just say, besides being ridiculously talented, she is superbly nice and just lights up the room. So, if my reasons weren’t enough to get you to buy the book like yesterday, Sophia Rossi is surely reason times ten. Regardless, it’s such a fun and warm read so I know you won’t regret picking it up.

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