These Things I've Done - Rebecca Phillips | ARC Review

Book Details:

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback
Publication: HarperTeen

Release Date: August 1, 2017
How I got the copy: HarperCollins Canada
Rating: 5/5 

Before: Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. Dara is the fearless one, Aubrey the prodigy, yet despite their differences they support each other unconditionally. 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.

After: 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. Now, after spending a year away from home in order to escape the constant reminders of what happened, Dara is back at her old high school to start her senior year. Dara thought the worst thing about coming home would be confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it’s not 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 went through many emotions while reading this book and when I got to the end I couldn't help but cry a little bit!! This book is about grief, love, family, and friendship.

These Things I've Done follows Dara before and after the tragic accident that kills her best friend, Aubrey, which Dara happens to witness. Quickly labeled as the cause of Aubrey's death by classmates Dara is pushed to live with her aunt and uncle out of town by her parents. Dara's parents want her to get better and to move forward from what happened to Aubrey but she sees moving away as running from her problems instead of facing what happened to her best friend. Dara feels responsible and wants to personally apologize to Aubrey's brother, Ethan, about what happened. Ethan and Aubrey's we're close and Ethan became Dara's friend too but haven't talked since before Aubry's death.

Once Dara returns home she's faced with judgments and bullying from her classmates as she expected and it seems like no one is willing to forgive her. Dara wants to feel responsible for Aubrey's death because she's living and Aubrey isn't. She uses the bullying as a reminder of killing her best friend.

I enjoyed reading from both, before and after, the accident from Dara's perspectives. It allowed me to see how Dara was affected and understand her grieving. In addition to Dara's grief, we see how her family is coping and even how Aubrey's family is coping through Ethan.

There's so much tragedy in this book but there's also so much hope. Following Dara cope with the death of her best friends and dealing with the understanding that she's still alive and deserves to be happy is a life lesson. Unexpected characters side with Dara, she develops new friendships with people who accept her while understandingly leaving old friends who can't accept her mistakes behind.

These Things I've Done is heartbreaking but also heartwarming! There were times I was in tears and there were times I felt so happy for the joy, support and love Dara eventually finds.



  1. This book sounds amazing! I love books that talk about difficult topics like death and grief, so this seems like something that would be right up my alley. I'll have to look more into it. Great review!

    1. Thank you! It's really amazing, I enjoyed it so much. Did you end up reading it? I apologize for the delay! I haven't been receiving comment notifications for over a year now and missed your comment. I'm looking into a new platform to host my blog.


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