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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book and cheaper than therapy!
I stumbled on this book after I found the authors blog. I was having a difficult time with a friendship that had suffered yet another major disappointment. I didn't want to depend on other friends or my mother to help me work it out. This book was perfect. It's written by a therapist who has unique insight into the dynamics of female friendships. She talks about how the...
Published on February 21, 2010 by merlot

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just okay...
I was really excited to find a book about this "other" type of breakup. I'd never seen one before and I agree that this topic is rarely addressed as being very serious, despite how devastating it can be to lose a bff.
This book just didn't deliver, however. It goes on and on about ways you can lose a friend, types of friendships, etc. The section on how to...
Published 9 months ago by Book Addict


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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book and cheaper than therapy!, February 21, 2010
This review is from: Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend (Paperback)
I stumbled on this book after I found the authors blog. I was having a difficult time with a friendship that had suffered yet another major disappointment. I didn't want to depend on other friends or my mother to help me work it out. This book was perfect. It's written by a therapist who has unique insight into the dynamics of female friendships. She talks about how the dynamics of female relationships but the majority of the book is about what to do when things go bad. It's not at all academic but there are some interesting facts and tips throughout the book for added insight. There are numerous examples and short stories of different types of friendship challenges that remind you how common it is for female friendships to have problems. She offers very objective advice on how to navigate through issues and offers suggestions on when to save a relationship, how to prevent issues as much as possible and what to do if it's best to let a toxic friendship go. She closes by discussing how you can use a bad situation to make better friendship choices in the future. I found this book to be invaluable and much better than trying to discuss my hurtful situation with other friends, my mother or even a therapist. On the surface it could seem like there isn't a need for a book on this topic but for any woman that has had a major issue witha female friend this is a very helpful, unbiased book. I gained a lot of clarity about the relationship that caused me to seek out the book as well as some other female relationships in my life. Ironically, as I was reading the book I began developing a relationship with a new female friend that I have lots in common with and again the insight in this book helped me feel comfortable getting to know this new friend and not feeling distrustful or negative based on my recent situation. I would highly recommend this book to anyone having a struggle with a female friendship.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable!, October 9, 2009
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This review is from: Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend (Paperback)
As the mother of three grown daughters, I can testify that there are few issues that are more important to women than the strength of their friendships. Irene Levine has provided us with a very valuable book that I wish I had had years ago. It explains why our female friendships are so important to us, and when they are worth maintaining--and even more important, when it's okay to let go.

I will give a copy of Dr. Levine's book to each of my daughters as it answers so many of the questions we have mulled over during the past years: "How could she say that?" "How could she do that?" "Should I still go with her family for the weekend anyway?" The book is perfect for women of all ages!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For men with important women in their lives, too!, September 2, 2009
By 
FLJerseyBoy (Tallahassee, FL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend (Paperback)
Thanks to the mixed blessings of email and social networking, a painfully familiar scenario these days plays out like this: a joke or innocent aside is misread, the protest lingers too long in the sender's Inbox, and before you know it there's a full-scale flame war and hurt feelings. Online or in real life, it happens way too often to women a guy cares about: a sister, a girlfriend, a wife, or just a woman *friend* has a falling-out with her best friend.

This devastates the women at both ends of the breakup, and (probably without exception) will spill over into their other relationships as well. She might not say anything to Guy X in her life, but if Guy X is at all awake and observant he'll see the symptoms. Their footprints will be everywhere in her life, like mud tracked in on a light-colored carpet: depression, a short temper, sometimes substance abuse, emotional retreat, and (yeah) even a couple's sex life. You may think you know what she's going through; you may think you can talk or josh her out of her anxiety, fear, anger, and heartache. Don't be too hasty, though -- the operative word there is "think." (You may have noticed that women sometimes think differently from men.)

Dr. Irene S. Levine didn't just make up her observations from personal experience. She surveyed over 1500 women to get their take on the problems and solutions that follow the collapse of personal friendships. If you share the book with a woman in your life who's suffered this experience, not only will she feel less alone for having found good virtual "friends" in Levine and her survey respondents; she'll feel that way for having found a better real friend in *you*.

I had the great good luck to see Levine's book as an advance copy. If you'd like to get a feel for how she might tackle the issues, you might want to visit her "Friendship Blog" ([...]) or see her Friendship Doctor columns at the Huffington Post ([...]
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the "other kind of breakup", September 1, 2009
This review is from: Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend (Paperback)
I've been looking for a book like this one for several years now--I had a huge falling out with a friend several years ago, and have been bothered by it ever since. This is the first book I've ever found that actually addresses a friendship breakup as what it is--the breakup of a very close, personal relationship, and akin to a breakup of a romance or even a marriage in terms of how close two women can be and how much they share.

One of the really interesting stories in the book that resonated with me was the story of a single woman and a married mother who had been best friends for a long time, but then had a huge falling out when the married woman forgot the single woman's birthday, her reasoning being that it was an innocent mistake, and she'd been too busy with her child. It's so true that sometimes as we age our priorities shift, and without any malice we end up hurting the friends who have been closest to us. I'm really glad that Irene Levine has taken these kinds of "small" issues head-on, showed how they can create irreparable rifts if they are not treated carefully, and offered some strategies for trying to repair things that have gone wrong.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Validating & Helpful, January 6, 2011
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This review is from: Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend (Paperback)
I am struggling with a "broken" friendship right now and this book had many a-ha moments. It helped me realize this happens a lot, and that it can't be all my fault. The many examples helped me to diagnose what might be the fracture in my broken relationship. I did appreciate the author's advice and guidance about when to "reach out" or when to just wait it out. The vivid point that women often don't want to talk about these "break ups" because it might reflect badly on their friendship abilities is something I am definitely experiencing. This was an easy read that flowed well and allowed me to make many text to self connections. I would recommend this book to: help you feel better if you have had a relationship break, guide you in how to be a better friend, and inspire you to reflect on what kind of friend you are and what you want in a friendship. Validating the struggles and helping guide the healing stood out for me when reading.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an eye opener!, September 23, 2009
By 
Cristina Uribe "curibe" (Miami, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend (Paperback)
This book came at a critical time in my life when I was trying to reconcile with a friend I dumped. Unfortunately, I didn't get forgiven and this book really helped me start on the road towards closure. Even though I was the "dumper" and have kicked myself many times throughout the years, reading Dr. Levine's book was a breath of fresh air. It was very non-judgemental towards anyone who has ever broken off a relationship with a friend for whatever reason, be it petty or justified. Needless to say, I highly recommend this book to anyone who has been dumped by a friend and to anyone who has broken off a friendship. There is a myth of "best friends forever" and knowing that it's just a myth and people change helps me cope with the end of my friendship. Thank you Dr. Levine!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful during a rough time in my life, November 14, 2010
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This review is from: Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend (Paperback)
I ordered this book out of desperation. I had entered the Depression phase of grieving over the loss of a 17 year friendship without any reason or acknowledgment from my "friend" to help me understand why she opted out. I had even called the doctor about anti-depressants, but was too nervous about becoming hooked on them to keep the appointment. I found this book instead. I cannot begin to put into words how much of a difference it made. Thank you.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read!, September 2, 2009
This review is from: Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend (Paperback)
Everybody goes through different periods in their friendships.. sometimes everything is good and sometimes it isn't. Well, being randomly assigned to a roommate freshman year of college could have been one of the best relationships or one of the worse - thankfully, she turned out to be like a sister. Amazing memories were made throughout the four years at school; unfortunately this didn't last once we graduated. Unfortunately, things changed - living in different places, jealousy over different friends, or whatever the argument du jour was - our friendship became toxic. I couldn't understand what happened, but the more I thought about it, I realized there are constantly stories that I hear from others regarding changes in friendships - it's something that happens everyday to people! Well, I came across this wonderful book titled: "Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend" - it has really helped me understand... some friendships last a lifetime, but when they don't it can leave you feeling frustrated, confused, and let's face it down in the dumps... it's not necessary to hold on to something that isn't working.. It's an amazing read. I recommend it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Validates and Normalizes Heartbreaks of Female Friendship, March 25, 2010
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This review is from: Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend (Paperback)
Dr. Levine's book is a treasure. The author truly understands the depth and meaning of female friendship. Her book validates and normalizes the feelings of confusion, disappointment, shame, anger, pain and loss when a female friendship ends, especially without explanation.

I have read other books on this subject which trivialize and stereotype female friendships, summing up endings as just a feeling of puzzlement when a shopping companion finds another gal pal with whom to browse the mall. This is not that kind of book. Dr. Levine appreciates the devastation that a woman can feel when a close friendship of many years fails to be a "BFF" (Best Friends Forever). She offers empathy and helpful advice to work through the hurt, accept the loss, and move on to build new friendships.

I recommend this book to all women on the planet, who have---or will--experience the loss of a close female friend.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to survive, December 31, 2011
By 
DeNosJours (Oklahoma, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend (Paperback)
I made a resolution for the New Year: This would be the year that I end all semi-broken friendships; and that I stop fretting about what has gone wrong when clearly the other person is not emotionally available anymore. So, when I saw Dr. Levine's book with its bright color & promising title, I decided to give it a try. Working out these friendships issues on my own certainly hasn't helped, with nearly a decade of bemoaning the loss of friends altogether.

Overall, Dr. Levine has provided her readers with a very useful, well-written guide to understanding female friendships from the myths they are imbued with (e.g. 'friendships last forever', 'you only need one best friend, etc.' to the reality of a breakdown of a friendship e.g. being dumped, dumping a friend, 'toxic friends', etc. The pettiness, the bitterness, the loneliness, that we feel after the loss of a friendship doesn't end in childhood, playground antics are employed often as we age, for lack of wisdom & empathy.

Interspersed throughout the book are stories which relate to the points Levine makes about how friendships change, mutate, thrive, & asphyxiate. Some of the reviewers say she takes a negative approach, or asserts a negative POV, about the viability of female friendships, but I have to disagree. She's being a realist with regards to how disposable we've become to each other.

+++++++ - My personal take!

Personally, this book served as a wake up call that I've wasted nearly a decade feeling bad about the loss of a particular best friend, who now doesn't seem like she would make a good friend anymore to someone like me. I'm a rather sensitive person, who values friendship very highly. I don't expect a person to be a saint, nor do I hold myself in any esteem, but with this help of this book I've been able to identify that she was a toxic friend. As others have stated here, there is a pessimism in some female friendships, that you're presently a part of one for 'a reason or a season.' You serve a purpose that will be exhausted in a matter of time. As a shy, nineteen year old, I didn't have the emotional capacity nor the experience with other friendships to understand what was happening.

I asked myself: 'Why did this happen?'; & 'What could I have done differently?' over & over. To people out there who put 100% into their friendships, you must realise that you're being cheated, & could be out seeking a better friendship. Dr. Levine points out a few things that stand out in my mind in particular. She mentions how you should question yourself, be frank about your own behavior, but be frank about her own as well. We sometimes put on blinders about our friends, putting them not necessarily on a pedestal, but we set friendship upon a higher plane, sometimes where it's nearly at the level of family, if not entirely surpassing it. So, follow Levine's advice & don't be a 'repeat offender'. Don't go seeking out the same type of people who won't be good friends.

I've had two friendships since high school. The one which ended at nineteen, but seemed to stagger or coast on fumes was usually to do my own efforts. The truth was, as I've realised now after reading this book, is that we drifted apart at college. It was a significant change, but it was common with her personality to latch on to new people, leaving the rest behind her. If she called me, she would be available for a short while, possibly hours to meet. She never returned a call I gave her, not a text or e-mail, nor a message on Facebook that was merely a line or two. Levine mentions how social networking can end someone's dubious alibis in not being able to make a friendship work, which I certainly agree with. She sends a short message, I write a short message back needing a reply, & nothing is answered. Of course, her status is constantly updated & I see her writing to her real friends. Toxic friend.

The second significant friendship, well only the second one, since high school ended last year due to personality changes. Levine discusses this, how people will change, mature, & drift apart. In her case, she knew I was unemployed, but managed to not waste a minute telling me repeatedly about how much money she made, how 'extraordinary' she was for owning her own house at 25, how she had a boyfriend (but was looking for a girlfriend too), & it was the same with the first friend, that a mere inquiry into her day or an attempt at discussing a mutual interest, it was ignored while she catered to her richer friends.

Bottom line which Levine reiterates, is that you have to pay attention to what a person does, not what they say necessarily. I was told by my friends that we should write to each other, postal letters, but I was the only one who ever wrote. They never had the time to write, but they would say: 'Oh, we should write real letters!' which wasn't unlike how they would say without sincerity: 'We should see each other,' while being in town for months on end without one attempt to contact me.
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Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend
Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend by Irene S. Levine Ph.D. (Paperback - September 1, 2009)
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