Not gonna lie, I wasn't thrilled when I started reading this.
Now, that may just be because this is the companion book to The Dead Inside, which I actually have not read yet.
So Cyndy Etler just spent 16 months in Straight Inc., a tough love rehab center. (I don't know much about the center because it's mostly addressed in the first book)
From what I gathered, Straight is a no bullshit center that mentally destroys the patients. They tear them down, calling them druggie. Including Cyndy who smoked pot once and had a sip of alcohol. They referred to her as a "dry druggie" meaning that she is addicted before she even had a choice. Which honestly I find ridiculous, but that's on the treatment center, not the author.
We Can't Be Friends picks up as Cyndy is getting out of Straight. She's still attending AA meetings, but how does a 15 year old make it through a meeting where she has no peers... She finds a young people addiction group which she begins attending and that starts her slippery slope with boys. These boys only want one thing, sex. Which she learns rather quickly that "no" meant virtually nothing to some of them, but it's okay because she felt loved for a few minutes.
This book also deals with a lot of popularity issues. The cover itself even begs the questions "How far will you go to fit in?" I feel like that's something every teenager goes through, which is why it was so relatable. No one wants to be the odd one out, everyone has to have someone and honestly I feel like that was one of the biggest overall topics for the book. You can't let others love you before you love yourself.
All in all, I think this was a testament to finding yourself, discovering who you want to be and how you want to get there.
Huge thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for providing me with a copy!
If you want to learn more about the author check out my post Meet Cyndy Etler!
Mark your calendars, We Can't Be Friends hits shelves October 3rd!