You’re my best, best friend. I’ll wear your clothes, cut my hair like yours. I’ll be with you all the time. Everyone will know how close we are. Your parents will like me. You can’t have any other best friends….. I’ll make sure of that. I’m the sweet, normal, innocent, patient one and you are the anxious, nervous, suspicious, paranoid one. Everyone will think that you, and not me, is the one who is crazy.
The Best Friend, is a Pocket Book novel, written by R. L. Stine as part of the Fear Street Series. It was published in 1992 by Parachute Press, Inc. as an Archway Paperback, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. It is a young adult horror fiction book.
Robert Lawrence Stine was born October 8, 1943, in Columbus, Ohio. He grew up in Bexley, Ohio in a Jewish family. He began writing at the age of nine, when he found a typewriter in his attic. He wrote short stories, joke books, and comic books for his friends. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1965, with a Bachelor of Arts in English. While attending college, he edited the OSU humor magazine The Sundial . He has written under the pen names of Jovial Bob Stine, Eric Affabee and R. L. Stine. He is a novelist, short story writer, television producer, screenwriter, and executive editor. He lives in Manhattan, New York with his wife Jane, their son, Matt, and their dog, Nadine.
R. L. Stine is the best-selling children’s author in history. He has also been referred to as the “Stephen King of children’s literature” [Cape Cod Times October 26, 2007]. He is the author of hundreds of horror fiction novels, including the books in the Fear Street, Goosebumps, Rotten School, Mostly Ghostly, and The Nightmare Room series. Some of his other works include a Space Cadets Trilogy, two Hark gamebooks, and dozen joke books. He has also produced the Goosebumps TV series that ran for four seasons and was the co-creator and head writer for the Nickelodeon children’s television series Eureeka’s Castle.
Among the awards R. L. Stine has received are the 2002 Champion of Reading Award, The Disney Adventures Kids’ Choice Award for Best Book-Mystery/Horror (three-time recipient) and the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards (also received three times). During the 1990s, Stine was listed on People Weekly’s “Most Intriguing People” list and in 2003, the Guinness Book of World Records named him as the best-selling children’s book series author of all time. He won the Thriller Writers of America Silver Bullet Award in 2007, and the Horror Writers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. His stories have inspired R. L. Stine’s Haunted Lighthouse, 4D movie-based attraction at SeaWorld (San Antonio and San Diego) and Busch Gardens (Williamsburg and Tampa).
The Best Friend is a novel about how a person can turn a fantasy world into a dangerous and deadly obsession. Becka Norwood is a typical teenager at Shadyside High School. She has an ex-boyfriend that her parents don’t approve of and it causes a lot of arguing, screaming and conflict between them. She has a personality that is filled with anxiety, guilt and insecurity. Physically, she is attracted: green almond shaped eyes, short blond hair and a nice figure. Her best friends are Lilah Brewer and Trish Walters. Lilah is tall, has long brown hair and is the sensible one in their group. Trish is short, chubby, has braces, and curly red hair. She is mischievous and funny.
The trio of friends are in Becka’s room talking about boys, Christmas vacation, and Christmas parties when a girl bursts into the room.
Before Becka could finish her sentence, the bedroom door was flung open. Beck dropped her knitting. Lilah sat up straight.
Trish leapt to her feet. All three of them stared in surprise as a girl with a mane of long auburn hair excitedly swept into the room. “Hi!” she shouted, her eyes darting from girl to girl, finally landing on Becka.
“Becka!” the girl cried. Stepping over Lilah, she bent down, threw
Her arms around Becka, and wrapped her up in a tight hug. “Becka!
Becka! I’m so happy to see you!” she squealed.
Her mouth open wide in bewilderment, Becka struggled unsuccessfully
to free herself from the girl’s hug.
“I can’t believe it!” the girl cried. “I just can’t believe it! Becka, it’s
You! It’s really you!”
Becka gasped, utterly speechless. Who is this girl? She asked herself.
I’ve never seen her before!
The girl was Honey Perkins. She told them she and Becka were best friends in the 3rd and 4th grade. Also, that she was moving into the house next door. Becka couldn’t remember having a best friend named Honey. The more Honey talked about their friendship, Becka started
to feel guilty about not remembering her. When Honey finally left, the girls were in a state of disbelief. They were all in the 4th grade together and none of them remembered Honey. They found a 4th grade class picture and Honey was in it. They remembered she was weird, shy, no one liked her, she had no friends and she was scary. They decided she must have an awesome fantasy life.
Honey moves into every aspect of Becka’s life. She is always at her house, walks with her to and from school, eats lunch with her, starts wearing her clothes. She plays the innocent, quiet and friendly person. Becka is becoming more annoyed with Honey and her intrusion in her life.
Becka finds ways to avoid Honey and spend more time with her friends. When she and Lilah are riding their bikes, Lilah’s brakes fail. She is hit by a car and seriously injured. Becka remembers that Honey was standing by their bikes just before they started their ride.
Becka sneaks out of the house to be with her now not ex-boyfriend Bill. While they are parking and talking about Becka’s suspicion that Honey may have had something to do with Lilah’s accident, Becka gets so worked up, that she thinks she sees Honey watching them. She runs out in the cold and snow looking for her. Honey is not there, but a red scarf is in a tree. Becka wakes up the next day with the flu. Trish called a few days later and was surprised when Becka answered the phone. She told Becka that she thought she would be in the hospital. Honey had told everyone at school that Becka had had a breakdown. Becka becomes furious and wants to confront Honey about spreading lies about her. Honey comes up to Becka’s room and has her hair cut exactely like Becka’s.
Honey shows up at Trish’s Christmas party wearing the same outfit that Becka has on and comments on how they look like twins. Becka gets mad at her and tells her she wants her out of her life. Trish is at the top of the staircase holding a big cake. Becka sees Honey behind her and then Trish falls and breaks her neck.
Becka is in shock and faints. She wakes up the next day in her bed. Her mother and doctor are there. The doctor puts her on tranquilizers and bed rest. The medicine makes her sleep. She has bad dreams and feels sad when she is awake. She thinks she is going crazy. She can’t think straight. Her Mom goes out for awhile. Honey calls I wants Becka to come over to her house. She tells her she has a surprise that will make her feel better….Was that Bill’s voice in the background?
The mind is a complex part of human beings. A person can live and believe in something so much that it becomes reality to them. Honey is an example of someone who has a psychotic personality disorder. Her reality is that she believes Becka was and is her best friend. This novel explores her psychosis and what she will do to ensure her world is what she believes it is.
I chose this book after reading the back cover. It caught my attention. It reminds me of movies like The Roommate, Fatal Attraction, and others that have characters who are obsessed with another person. Their fantasy becomes their world and they will do whatever it takes to make their world real, including getting rid of anything or anyone who is in their way.
This book is classified as a young adult horror fiction novel, but not in the usual monster horror way, unless you consider the monster that can be in all of us. If you like books or movies about people who live in their own fantasy world, but bring it into the real world, I recommend you read this book.