New American Best Friend Review

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My most vivid memory from my teenage years is the moment I found out there was no more sliced cheese in the house. I slowly shut the refrigerator door, slid down the front of it, and burst into tears on the floor.

In another manic episode, I smashed my hair dryer to bits on the bathroom floor because it was making my hair too frizzy. I was also known to flip off my 10 year old brother for being unable to make his own bowl of cereal. The concept of running away to become a waitress at a beat up diner in some tiny midwest town sounded absolutely thrilling. I would’ve rather lived the life of a high school dropout than continue being so completely misunderstood.

Oh, the teenage angst. To this day I still struggle to find the right words to describe those emotions. However, if you pick up a copy of New American Best Friend, you will hold teenage sentiment in the palm of your hand.

If you’ve seen Olivia Gatwood’s many spoken word performances on Youtube, then you know she has a magical way with words. However, I was absolutely giddy after reading her new book, New American Best Friend. She has somehow strung together the perfect series of words to capture the essence of being a teen girl. It’s the book we’ve been waiting for since we were thirteen.

Here are my 5 favorite poems:

  1. “The Anthem I Have Sung”

  2. “Bubblegum Or Bruise”

  3. “The Only Thing I Brought From America”

  4. “Jordan Convinced Me That Pads Are Disgusting”

  5. “Ode To My Period Underwear”

On behalf of girls everywhere, I would like to thank you. We can now drag our most embarrassing teenage moments out from the safety deposit boxes of our brains and place them with honor on the bookshelf.

Written by Kassie Shanafelt

Kassie Shanafelt