Best Friends by Carys Jones
Published: 1st February 2018
Available in Paperback and on Kindle
Four friends, a terrible secret, and one week to stay alive. . . Grace doesn't have a family. That was taken away one dreadful day when she was just six, and her twin brother Peter was killed. Instead she has her best friends and flatmates – Jasper, Franklin and Aaron – and nothing can tear them apart. Living in London, and trying desperately to make a living, the four friends are rapidly running out of money and hope. So, when they find a discarded suitcase in a skip, they can't believe their eyes when its contents seem to answer all their prayers. But then a there is a knock on their door, and a very disgruntled thug with revenge on his mind, gives them one week to return his belongings, or they will pay with their lives. Soon the fractures in their friendships begin to show, and when one of them ends up fighting for his life, the stakes are raised even higher. Will any of them get to the end of the week alive, or will the best of friends become the deadliest of enemies. . .
Best Friends is the first novel by Carys Jones that I have read and is a novel which I found gripping in places with a sinister undertone throughout. Best friends Grace, Franklin, Aaron and Jasper all share a two bedroom flat in London while they struggle to makes their dreams of fame and fortune a reality. It’s almost rent day and with no fixed employment between them the friends have once again struggled to find the rent money. After yet another day of let downs and setbacks the friends decide to head out and drown their sorrows with a drink or two. Many drinks later the foursome head home facing possible eviction from their flat. Franklin in his drunken state decides to have a rummage in skip they pass by, what they find in the skip changes their lives but not quite in the way they first expect. They’ve found a case with £20,000 and all their prayers seem answered. Until the owner of the case wants it and its contents back. Having spent all the money the friends have just seven days to pay back what they owe, or they will pay with their lives. What follows is an intense week where these four friends are tested to their limits.
Each of the friends are longing to pursue their dreams of fame through various creative outlets. Aaron is a guitarist in a small band struggling to hit the big time, Franklin longs to be an actor and Jasper is in the middle of writing a novel while working as a freelance writer and Grace, a classical trainer dancer longs to find that special dance company where she can finally feel she belongs. As the week progresses they each question if they really can make it to stardom or whether to give up and get a regular job. I liked that there are hints of romance between Grace and Aaron which has gone wrong but I would have liked more details of how their relationship fell apart.
I wanted to love this novel as I thought the premise was unique but sadly it left me a little disappointed. It started out well and I was gripped with how the friends reacted to finding the money and then their struggles as they tried to pay it back. I found myself racing to the end to find out what would happen but sadly the ending felt very anti-climactic and that ruined the story for me, after so much build up I was expecting a little more. I also found it strange how Grace’s past is mentioned throughout the book as I didn’t feel this fit with the rest of the story. It also seemed odd that the four friends just seem to take the stranger demanding the money at face value and didn’t seem to question who he was, where he came from and if the money was actually his.
Best Friends is an interesting read which centres around the concept of every action has a reaction and it might not be the one you’re hoping for. It’s a novel which takes a good look at friendship bonds and examining just how far they can be pushed. Although not my favourite book it was still an enjoyable read and one which may appeal to those who want something a little different.
Thank you so much to Aria for sending me a copy to review honestly and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.