Review: My Best Friend is a Goddess by Tara Eglington

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

My Best Friend is a Goddess by Tara Eglington
Released: 24th October 2016
Published by: HarperCollins Australia
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Author
Pages: 386
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Two best friends crushing on one very cute guy ... someone's going to get their heart broken. Emily has been friends with Adriana since Year One, way back when Adriana had a huge gap between her teeth and was super skinny. Emily wasn't any less awkward looking, but the girls are the best of friends and that is the way it has always been. When Adriana's mother dies, very suddenly, everything changes. Adriana's father accepts a job in Borneo and the girls spend Year 10 apart. Despite the rubbish internet connection (on Adriana's side of things) the girls manage to stay in touch. And then Adriana returns home. And she has gone from awkward to AMAZING and turned into a goddess!

But the saving grace is that Adriana is no different on the inside. She's still the same best friend Emily knows and loves, and they're certainly not going to lose their friendship over the fact that Adriana has lucked out genetically. Emily just wishes that one guy, any guy, would want to get to know her for some other reason besides being Adriana's best friend. In the meantime, she's committed to helping Adriana manage the throngs of potential suitors that are texting, emailing and adding Emily on Facebook in the hope of an introduction to 'the goddess', as Adriana is still pretty shy around boys and no-one's made her want to step out of her shell.

MY BEST FRIEND IS A GODDESS is about what happens to a friendship when two girls change - and not just on the outside.
Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Best Friend is a Goddess is a fun and fresh take on the highs and lows of being best friends, and how these relationships transform. I've been a big fan of Tara Eglington's novels since her 'Aurora Skye' duology How to Keep a Boy From Kissing You and How to Convince a Boy to Kiss You. There's an immediate sense of familiarity when beginning this latest release as it is also set in Jefferson. However, Emily and Adriana share their own unique hurdles; from coping with the enduring implications of grief, to dealing with a crush on the new guy. This novel is one which proves that a compelling contemporary read doesn't have to be the 'dark and serious' kind to be an excellent one. Instead, My Best Friend is a Goddess stands as an example of a story which does have the drama and humour, while remaining grounded by honestly exploring the real issues teenage girls face.

No, my fantasy is all about me talking to art-guy about everything I can't discuss with anyone my own age. The type of nerdy stuff that would make any sixteen-year-old guy at Jefferson back away from me, but which hot-guy-in-art class will go crazy for. He'll ask me questions about art. Look at me like...Henry Cavill/Four is looking at me right now, like he's dying to hear what I have to say.

There are some of the 'stereotypical' tropes which may cause some eye-rolls when they come up in a book, and the 'love triangle' is one of them. But dare I say it - in this case it actually is done well, and doesn't necessarily play out in the way you would expect. Perhaps there is a place for these plot devices after all, and Tara Eglington has shown that you can make it work without it being too cheesy or predictable. Theo is the type of guy that almost any girl would be interested in - he's got the looks, the gentlemanly demeanour and the intellect to be genuinely interested in things like art. Like the other teens in this book however, he too has his own issues to work through, and it's this depth in the characters overall which makes them so endearing.

I don't want it to get to me. Happiness shouldn't have anything to do with 'pretty' or 'not pretty'. And yet none of that logic stops me from falling into the oh-so-predictable trap of looking in the mirror and wishing I looked different. And with that, I let 'pretty' rule my world too. 

Emily and Adriana are best friends with a complex dynamic. Both of them have struggled with their own insecurities about their appearance, and with Adriana coming back from Borneo looking like a goddess it's no wonder that Emily is feeling like she's left in the background. What the story achieves is portraying those internal perceptions of inadequacy or simply not feeling attractive enough in a realistic light. Through the alternating perspectives and insights into 'secret thoughts of Adriana Anderson' and 'Emily's Diary' sections, we really get to know how these young women are developing together and as individuals. From falling into the world of the instagram-obsessed and pressures of 'accentuating your assets', to accepting your imperfections as something which don't have to be a hindrance, this book tackles many themes which will hit home for its target audience.

I might look like a swan and quack like a swan and have everyone around me fooled, but in the back of my mind I'm always waiting for the other birds to realise it's all an illusion and then attack me, stripping my feathers with their beaks. 

Finally, a unique aspect of this book which I really appreciated was the research that had gone into making references to artworks and mythology along the way. In the scenes of Emily's art class, it's these little quirks like explaining the history of Rodin's 'The Kiss' to 'Dante's Inferno' and the Renaissance which add a subtle touch of culture and extra point of interest for the reader. It's refreshing to have a contemporary novel which can strike the perfect balance between the character drama and extra information which you also may learn something from.


My Best Friend is a Goddess is my favourite book of Tara Eglington's so far. It's a well-written, relevant and bitter-sweet story on the evolution of a friendship and young women finding the confidence that was within them all along.


  1. Ooh I love that it incorporates parts of the Renaissance and art!! That's something I didn't know about it. Sounds like a very cute read :)

    1. It was a lovely surprise to have those different elements make an appearance - it really rounded out the story well. Hope you get to reading this one, I think you'd enjoy it :)


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