Review: I Had Such Friends by Meg Gatland-Veness

17 year old Hamish isn’t popular. But when a boy in his year dies in a car crash, it sparks some new friendships for him, and causes him to question some important things.

Sometimes I come across a book and I get a feeling that I’m going to adore it. This was one of those times. And that feeling was right. This book was powerful and beautifully written, and I would read it again without a second thought.

Hamish is a super awkward but very lovely character. He lives on an unsuccessful farm and doesn’t have a great relationship with his parents, and his sister is no longer alive. He has a nerdy friend, Martin, who loves zombies and school, who also happens to be his only friend.

One day, a popular guy named Peter wants to hang out with Hamish. And so he does, time and time again. They go to the beach and they swim and play football. The Australian setting I feel is a perfect match for this book and you really get a feel for the surroundings.

The prettiest girl in Hamish’s school, Annie, starts talking to Hamish, too. Annie was in a relationship with Charlie, the boy who died. He always knew she was lovely based on one time when she willingly sat next to Martin. The two get close, likely due to the grief they both hold close. Or is there another reason Annie wants to help him out?

I had a feeling from the start that this book was going to be gay and I was right which made me so happy, but there was homophobia so read with caution. The relationship was a slow build which I loved and it was ever so sweet and cute from the beginning.

I was majorly invested in the characters and what would happen to them, and I was desperately hoping good things would come to them as they deserved. This book goes into pretty heavy, emotional topics but they were all written with care.

I would easily recommend this book, and it’s absolutely one of my favourite reads so far this year. Thank you very much to Pantera Press via Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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