Livings, Liam. “Best Friends Perfect 3”, Windy Cities Press, 2015.
I have had this book for several weeks now but I have put off reading it because it is the last of a series that I have enjoyed so much and do not want to end. Now because I am so backed up with books to read and movies to see, I figured the time has come to face the fact that the series has ended. Expectations play an important part in our lives and while they are not always what we want, our expectations do influence to way we live. “Best Friends Perfect 3” is about what happens when a “perfect” best friend turns out to be not so perfect as per expectations.
It is 1999 and Kieran is a London university student looking everywhere for his Mr. Wonderful. His best friend, Jo and American students Julie and the Sarahs keep him busy along with his studies work at the hospital. What Kieran really wants is to share everything with Jo, but Jo has gone somewhere with his Irish boyfriend Andrew. Then there is Sean who has returned a phone call. As if things could not be any more difficult for him, something comes along and turns his world inside/out and upside/down. Kieran is in a place where he needs his friends around him. He is growing up and becoming the man that he is to be and as I read I recognized so much. It was like reading a memoir of a boy on the brink of adulthood and we share his emotional struggle. We met Kieran in book one as a high school student and now he is away from home and his friends. His new friends are Americans and Livings sees them as so many of the English do—Americans party much more than their European counterparts—this is not a bad thing or a good thing—it just is. Jo, the guy with a great personality and quick wit; the guy who helped Kieran accept himself as gay is at the center of the story. Jo is not around much; he is in London at drama school and after the intense friendship relationship that he and Kieran shared, it is obvious that something has happened. His studies put him way across the city and the two do not see much of each other.
Without realizing the consequences, a prank that Jo engineered hurts Kieran and leaves him in need of a friend to talk to. Suddenly Joe has taken a plunge in Kieran’s eyes. It was enough to deal with his emotions about being away from home but this new event added some unnecessary baggage for him. Kieran becomes depressed and readers are reminded that something that they think might be trivial does not necessarily sound that way to someone else. What Kieran suffers makes his journey to adulthood more difficult than it had already been and while it might not seem to be so significant to others, it certainly bothers him. Being human, we sometimes forget that we have free will and for Kieran, there was the discovery that Jo, the guy he thought was perfect, was not perfect after all.
And so ends the saga or so we think but Liam Livings gives us an epilogue that explains it all and tells us what happens after the story ends. It is significant that he does this as an older and wiser person who looks back at his younger years and is able to evaluate them.
It is hard to say goodbye to the characters—we have grown together but now go in search of our lives. I loved the experience and hope to have more like it.