Chewy’s Book Review: BestFriend

Cover of BestFriend

Chewy returns with another book review! Because we all know you’ve been waiting with bated breath (or with dog breath…really, people, get some Greenies or something). Today’s review is of William Van Winkle’s novella¬† BestFriend.


About the book

Twelve-year-old Nyshell has more than her share of challenges, but that’s why she received an implant. By having built-in tutors and other tools piped into her brain, Nyshell and those like her have a shot at succeeding alongside the kids who could afford such enhancements. Normally, the installation of apps into implants is adequately controlled by parents. But in a near-future society still much like our own, parenting can slip. Things happen that shouldn’t. And when all a girl wants is to have one friend, even if that friend exists only inside her head, that desire may change the lives of millions…if it doesn’t destroy her first.


This novella is over 27,000 words and is rated PG for one semi-violent scene.

Chewy’s Review

This book is about kids — yay! Kids run and play with dogs. I like that.


I know the main character in this story would play with me if she could. She’s 12 and still loves horses and puppies. She can’t throw a ball very well because she has some developmental problems, but that’s OK. She has a brain implant to help her, and she doesn’t read Twilight books — which leaves more time for playing with dogs!


I can only give this novella four stars, though, because the girl, Nyshell, wants a best friend. Instead of getting a dog — hello! obvious much?! — she gets an artificial intelligence program downloaded into her head. This is good…for a while. Then it’s not so good. A lot of things go wrong, all of which could have been avoided if she’d just gotten A DOG.


Eventually, Nyshell is in a fight for her life, and the fate of thousands or millions or some really big number is at stake (mmmm, steak…) all because she wanted one friend in the world.


I like that this story was 27,000 words and moves along really fast, because you can read it a hurry, and that means you’ll have more time to play. With me. Right now.


I’m also only giving it four stars because (SPOILER ALERT) at the end of the book…nobody has a dog. Not. One. Person. That makes this a tragedy, if you ask me. I cried. Well…I drooled. That’s close, right?