Book Giveaway: In Honor of Best Friends

wehopeyoulikethissongWho’s your best friend? Is she the same one from fourth grade? Is she your sister? Your cousin? Do you have two best friends? Perhaps you have a best friend for all the different phases of your life? Or are you more of an acquaintance kind of girl? In honor of friends everywhere, I’m giving away a copy of We Hope You Like This Song: An Overly Honest Story About Friendship, Death, and Mix Tapes by Bree Housley You can read an excerpt below and watch the book trailer (Kleenex alert).

All you have to do to be entered to win is leave a comment here or on our Facebook wall telling us all why you love your best friend. I’ll start: my best friend accepts me despite my many shortcomings as a friend. I love that every conversation with her feels like we’re starting in the middle, never at the beginning. The winner will be chosen at random on January 7.

 We Hope You Like This Song: An Overly Honest Story About Friendship, Death, and Mix Tapes

Prologue: When Bree Met Shelly

“Laverne and Shirley. Carrie and Miranda. Hillary Whitney and CC Bloom. Goose and Maverick? You bet your ass. Whether they’re sipping martinis or flying motherfreakingjets,these pop culture pairs have effectively proven to the American public that soul mates are not just for the marrying kind. These characters demonstrate the caliber of friendship that every non-murdering human being yearns to find. As much as I adore these fictitious duos, I’m here to tell you it can happen in real life. The Cagney to my Lacey wasn’t a made-up character from TV or film. Her name was Shelly Warner, and we’re proof that BFFs really do exist.

Shelly and I met in the pocket-size town of Walcott, Iowa, before we understood the importance of showers, clean teeth, and, well, personal hygiene in general. (Ironically, this tiny town is also the World’s Largest Truckstop. Need a T-shirt featuring a wolf or a woodland creature? Ring me.)

I cherish the day “the new girl” fluttered into Miss Seagull’s homeroom class. It was in the fourth grade, that special time in life when the only thing that truly matters is friends—and maybe math. When Shelly’s bright blue eyes locked with my timid brown eyes, an odd version of love at first sight occurred. She was the popular blonde and was super cool. I was the mangy brunette and was super lame. She had a dazzling ponytail and perfectly tight rolled jeans. I had a dazzling mullet and badly hemmed culottes. (It wasn’t the average business up front, party in the back mullet, either. Nope, thanks to the bang perm kickin’ it up front, this mullet partied all the time.) I’ll never know what possessed a lovely social butterfly like Shelly to befriend a skittish moth like me. She had the world at her fingertipseveryone loved her. My fingertips were usually covered in Doritos cheese dustno one really even knew I existed. I’m just glad she picked me as her favorite.

Bree Housley

Bree Housley

We spent our elementary school years doing kid stuff, like playing Barbies and freebasing Fun Dip. Her popularity grew by the day. She was already going with a boy by the end of fourth grade. I just had a secret crush. (And a massive boner for Chad Allen of Our House fame.)

Junior High was a different animal. We were exposed to a new species of girl. This species wore name brand fashions. (Hello, Jordache. Pleasure to meet you, LA Gear.) There was suddenly pressure to be cool and say things like “bitchin!”Once again, Shelly’s friend count multiplied like wet gremlins. Once again, she situated me on a pedestal above every one of them.

Our friendship carried on that way throughout high school. Her clump of friends grew bigger and bigger. My clump remained a clump. I didn’t need a lot of friends; I had her. She had the energy of a wildebeest on Red Bull. Her laugh was loud enough to wake a town of bears in December. And only those of canine descent rivaled her loyalty. No one had a friendship as bulletproof as ours. (Evidence: Remember those pathetic couples that had senior class pictures taken together? Yep, we did that. I was the boy. She’s perched all ladylike on a rock and I’m standing creepily behind her, in a jean dress. Not okay.) Shelly brought me out of my shell by placing me at the center of her world.

We coached each other through boyfriends and breakups. We dried each other’s tears of rejection. We made each other laugh in ways no one else understood. We worked together as Subway Sandwich Artists. We played together in the school marching band. And finally, against the advice of many, we chose to be roommates when we went off to college at Iowa State. You know the rule: Never room with your best friend in college or you will end up bloodied and alone. Well, not only were we both still alive at the end of college, we were devastated when it was time to split up for the first time in eleven years.

I got an internship in Fort Lauderdale, which turned into grad school in Miami and then a job in Chicago. She got a teaching job in Iowa Falls where she met her future husband, Brad. Being so far away from each other was difficult, but phone calls were like Elmer’s glue for our friendship: delicious and necessary. We called each other to share good things, bad things, funny things, and “hey, remember that?” things. It always seemed as if no time had passed. But then one day, I got a different kind of phone call regarding Shellythe kind that should only exist in nightmares.

I had stood next to her on her wedding day in September of 2004, but just less than half a year later, in January of 2005, I was standing by her again at her hospital bed as she died. A common pregnancy condition called preeclampsia was the villain. Just as instantly as we were brought together, we were tragically torn apart by her sudden death. The same day I said goodbye to Shelly, I said hello to her newborn baby, Hailey.

So yeah, my best friend is dead. But that’s not exactly what this story is about. You’ve already seen that story—it’s called Beaches. This book is about the beautiful chaos my friendship with Shelly inspired, both while she was alive and while she was not.”

[hana-code-insert name=’bree’ /]

40 comments for “Book Giveaway: In Honor of Best Friends

  1. Jessica Bracho
    January 2, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I love my best friend because no matter how long it has been since we last saw each other we can always pick up just where we left off.

    • January 2, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      Jessica, thanks for commenting. That’s one of the best things about best friends.

  2. christina lutz
    January 3, 2013 at 12:34 am

    25 years have gone by since I met her..we have been through a lot and still talk daily.

  3. January 3, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Other than my husband, my best friend would have to be my older sister, Ronda. Love bopping over to her house on a weekend morning (still in my jammies) to have coffee/tea and chat to about such a wide variety of things. Before I know it, I’m driving home (still in my jammies) in the middle of the afternoon! We love going grocery shopping (at Walmart) together, we can laugh so hard at the silly things we see, but most of all, we can almost pee our pants with the silly things we say and do ourselves. We are 6 years apart in age and ever since I could remember, she has ALWAYS been there for me. From sharing a room (and bed) when we were very young, to teaching me about my menstrual cycle when it started, to staying up late the night before my wedding still working on my bridal veil and helping me to memorize my vows. ~ My Sister IS My Best Friend ~ I Love Her with all my Heart.

    • January 3, 2013 at 8:27 am

      Lynett, sounds great. Coffee time with friends is one of my favorite indulgences.

  4. Calli
    January 3, 2013 at 1:05 am

    I love my best friend because she understands me, even if it doesn’t make any logical sense. She just knows it’s part of who I am and embraces it, rather than judging it.

    • January 3, 2013 at 8:26 am

      That’s the key Calli. Don’t judge. just understand.

  5. Dianna Thomas
    January 3, 2013 at 1:36 am

    My best friend has always been my best friend–he is always there when ever, where ever–we don’t get to see each other much any more–but when we do its non-stop–go go go–and we stay up all night laugh, crying,fighting,and hugging –it will never change..Thank God for best friends

  6. Linda Leslie
    January 3, 2013 at 2:47 am

    WONDERFUL story, downloaded and didn’t put it down until I was done! My best friend and I met around 4th grade at confirmation class at church – EVERY time we’d leave class we had our little song and dance across the parking lot singing “Tea for Two”… everyone thought we were nuts. 35 years later and we STILL do that every time we see each other. She lives many states away but I can talk to her several times a week, once in a month or even less and it STILL feels like she lives next door! :-)

    • January 3, 2013 at 8:25 am

      Thanks for sharing Linda, my best friend and I had a routine in a church parking lot too!

  7. Kate
    January 3, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I love my best friend because she knows me so well, and she “gets” me. Whenever I want to talk to someone that will understand and agree wholeheartedly with how I feel, I can talk to her. Plus she’s a lot of fun!

  8. Jennifer Weinberg
    January 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    I love my best friend because it seems as if we are so different but we balance each other out. We have been friends since we were in middle school. She moved over a thousand miles away recently but we still talk everyday!!

    • January 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Thanks for the comment Jennifer. Opposites attract.

  9. Maria Kiguthi
    January 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I love that we can go months without seeing each other, but never have any problem understanding each other. If I need something she will be there. Or the flip side. Just need to let me know and I’ll do it. I actually have a couple of best friends one since 1st grade and one that I roomed with in college. They are both awesome in their own ways – but the same defining best friend issues are there.
    maria_nay at hotmail.com

    • January 4, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      Maria, thanks for commenting.Picking up where you left off, no matter how much time has passed, is a defining best friend issue for most of the women who’ve commented. That’s what I love about my best friend.

  10. Lauren
    January 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Sounds like a beautiful story. I’m grateful to have a few best friends and I love them all for various reasons…but something they all have in common is that they accept my quirks and nerdiness and don’t try and change me.

    • January 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      Thanks for the comment Lauren. Acceptance is key with bffs.

  11. January 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    This sounds like an amazing story.

  12. michelle gilliland mcafee
    January 4, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    My best friend seems to know exactly how I feel, what I’m going to say, is non-judgemental and always there. She is wonderful, no matter how long or short we just spoke, it always seems like yesterday. This sounds like an amazing book.

    • January 4, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      Any book that talks about best friends and mix tapes, has to be good. Thanks for commenting Michelle.

  13. Sunnie
    January 5, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    My sister was my best friend. Shes been doing drugs for a few years now so its different. Were raising her kids now, I pray so hard we get to keep them. I miss her so much. We used to laugh until we cried when we were together.

    • January 6, 2013 at 11:29 am

      Thanks for sharing Sunnie. I hope you get your sister back someday.

  14. January 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    I love my best friend because she is very patient. I am hard to get along with, and she understands.

  15. Nancy
    January 6, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    I love my best friend because she is upbeat, energetic, and encouraging!

  16. nichol tone
    January 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    My bestfriend is my friend wether I see her every day or every year.

  17. Lisa
    January 7, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I love my best friend because she is always there for me and we always have such great times together.

  18. Renee
    January 7, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I have had a best friend since grade school. Even though i have moved away a few years ago we still talk once a week. I go back to visit once a year and she comes and visit me once a year. Distant will never come between are friendship. We have been though child birth, Marriages, Deaths and children growing up together. I love her like a sister

  19. Audrey Griffis
    January 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    i love my best freind w ho is liek a sister to me we have been friends since we were 5 and were about to turn 35 :)

  20. Jessie Goodwin
    January 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I love my best friend so much, I married him! I have been married to him for nearly 20 yrs. He is always there for me and supports me completely.

  21. January 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    I love my best friend because she gets me. She knows when I need to talk or shop. We can pick up right where we left off if we haven’t seen each other in a while. I’ve known her for about 16 years now.

  22. January 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    I love my best friend because she’s exactly the touch of insanity that I need in my life. I’m steadfast, responsible, low-key, and introverted, while she is spontaneous, fast-talking and fast-moving, and sunny. We always joke that I keep her grounded while she teaches me to fly. Without each other, we would both be too much of what we are.

    I was getting all teary-eyed, just reading the summary of this book above!

  23. Emi
    January 7, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    why you love your best friend? because no matter how bad my day has been or how bad my situation is, she is willing to listen.

  24. January 7, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    My best friend is my husband. He is understanding and loves me unconditionally.

  25. January 7, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    My best friend is always there for me. And when I went through some rough times with my son’s autism diagnosis and prognosis, she let me talk and listened. She let me be the main character in our story and she didn’t make me listen to her problems at that time.
    And now that my life is on a more even keel, I hope I repay when she’s in the down times of her life. We can talk for hours and feel like we just started.

  26. Debbie Lewis
    January 7, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    My best friend has always been a rock to lean on. We laugh so much and we understand each other .

  27. Amanda Pennington
    January 7, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I love my best friend because weeks can go by when we don’t talk, but when we see each other again, it’s like we’d seen each other 5 minutes ago…

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