Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.
It's been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn't racked with guilt over her role in her best friend's death. Dara thought nothing could be worse than confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it isn't half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey's brother, every day. Not just because he's a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she's betraying her best friend one final time.
I hadn’t read anything by Rebecca Phillips before I read These Things I’ve Done, so I took a chance on an unknown (to me) author and it paid off massively. These Things I’ve Done is a tough subject matter. Dara, the main character, returns to her hometown after having spent a year away. Dara spent the past year away from hometown because she accidentally killed her best friend.
It’s incredibly rare for me to read a book and love every single main character and relationship. In fact, I can’t remember the last time it happened. But These Things I’ve Done has some incredibly written characters and their relationships with each other – both platonic and romantic – were a massive hit with me.
First of all, there’s Dara and Aubrey. I loved their best friendship so, so much. Sure, there was a tiny bit of drama, but both of them tried to do what was best for their friend and they were both considerate and forgiving and it was SO AWESOME TO READ.
Aubrey’s relationship with her younger brother, Ethan, was adorable as well. The two of them confided in each other and were each other’s rocks when their overbearing parents were going to town. Such a good relationship, and normally it’s one that we see with two female siblings.
The other big relationship was the romantic one between Dara and Ethan. I think in any situation you’d feel really freaking awkward about falling for your best friend’s sibling, but doing so while also dealing with the guilt of killing your best friend… it must be a lot. I loved the way Phillips wrote it though. And I don’t normally like romance all that much.
Basically, Phillips writes the BEST relationships. I’ve not read anything by her before, but I now find myself wanting to read everything she ever writes because of the way she wrote the relationships in this book. I’d recommend this if you’re hunting for a YA contemporary that focuses strongly on friendships, because this is one of the best I’ve read.