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Reviewed by Amy Powers for Readers' Favorite
Good Pals by Michael C. Barrett is a young adult novel that alternates between the perspectives of two teenaged outcasts, Nick and Rachel. Nick is working on a long-term plan to ask his crush to the Spring Fling, but he still has months to go. Rachel’s step-mom is pushing her to be just as popular as she was in high school, but that’s never going to happen. Nick’s best friend’s girlfriend steps in to set up the two of them on a date, practically blindsiding Nick and Rachel into an arrangement they never wanted to agree upon. Despite the unexpected way they were forced together, Nick and Rachel find common ground and manage to become friends over the months – best friends, in fact. As they help each other overcome their own obstacles, they begin to wonder if there could be something more than friendship going on beneath the surface.
Don’t get too comfortable unless you already have a tasty drink and a cozy blanket at hand, because once you pick up Good Pals, you won’t be putting it down until you’re finished. Michael C. Barrett has managed to bring not only humor to the table, but also strong emotions as they connect to a variety of relationships such as love, family, and friendship. Between Nick and Rachel and all of the crazy people they associate with, there is never a dull moment. It is fun to see how Nick and Rachel differ in their perspectives of similar events, and it is funny to see how misunderstandings happen so easily. Young adults can definitely relate to the characters and events of Good Pals, and I would highly recommend this story to anyone who loves a good tale about friendships, family, and innocent romance.