In A Good Friend To Have, Allison spent sixteen years hiding her gift. No one at Memphis High School knew she could sense their deepest feelings except for her best friend, Cheri.
Unfortunately, now, during her junior year, she also develops the capability to heal and to influence the emotions of others. Multiple abilities are harder to conceal, especially since they're erratic. She can’t always dispense with the injuries she absorbs (from paper cuts to sickle cell), or know when she’s going to make the entire crowd at Yogurtville mad, happy, sad, confused...
Word of Allison’s talents spread and hoards of sick seek her out, but without control of her abilities she could die helping them. Her estranged dad, also a healer, lures Allison to his secluded farming commune where she can master her gifts in peace--but here she meets the dark leader known as Mama. Mama tests Allison, forcing her to heal community members of an ancient plague and tempting her to abandon her home and amass power and legions of followers. Allison struggles to resist Mama's influence and does. By the time Cheri arrives with the posse, Allison beams with confidence and can heal and influence emotions like a badass--good since the posse immediately needs rescuing. Allison defeats Mama and a crush of angry farmers--but loses her gifts in the act of saving her father's life.
Allison returns to Memphis happy at finally blending in—until her boyfriend catches a plague incurable by modern medicine. And her dad, the only other healer Allison’s ever known, is trapped in a coma.