THE FRIEND ZONE
by Abby Jimenez
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Reviewed by Hellie
Reviewed by Hellie
Kristen Peterson doesn't do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don't get her. She's also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.
Planning her best friend's wedding is bittersweet for Kristen -- especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He's funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he'd be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it's harder and harder to keep him at arm's length.
The Friend Zone will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.
This book is hilarious. In fact in many ways, this author’s style and voice remind me of rom-coms in the vein of Kristan Higgins: all heart, lots of laughter, some very real tears. If you love sarcasm, plenty of “the hero feeding the heroine” scenes (always sexy!), and a cute dog named Stuntman Mike, you will likely be picking this book up for your light beach read; however, I wish this book had come with a bit of a warning. Like some of Kristan’s books, not everything ends happily. There. Are. Things. Things I cannot allude to because they are definite “giving away the book” but which I think, if you’re like me, you should know going in so you don’t think you’re taking home a cute fluffy rabbit and you arrive home with a badger.
Kristen suffers from PCOS (which we find out early in the book) and she plans to have a medical procedure that pretty much guarantees she won’t have kids (not that her odds were good with the PCOS anyway.) In a series of unfortunate but hilarious events, she meets Josh who is a threat to all women’s ovaries everywhere. He is the guy you definitely want to fall in love with--and Kristen does. But she knows he can never be hers. He wants a big family--his own family--and she can never give that to him. There are a number of scenes in the book where you want to shake Kristen though you understand why she says and does what she says and does. And Josh does a good job of picking up cues and delivering on the ultimate romantic gesture needed to win Kristen back.
Still...the last third of the book was a hard read. As one of the Amazon reviewers said, “This book just sucked me in and it was 2 AM and I was ugly crying when I got to the end.” That is exactly what will happen. You cannot put the book down. The characters, the conflict, the terrible terrible sadness--it’s all consuming. Now it is a romance. It does end on a happy note, but with everything that happened, the ending felt very bittersweet.
This is a debut book for Abby Jimenez--and I am looking forward to any other books she comes out with. I also appreciated her author notes talking about PCOS and what the real “happy ending” was. I imagine for most people this book is a 5 star--in fact, the book has 455 reviews, none of them below a 3 and her average is a 5 star. It’s a great story. It’s just for me, for a rom-com trade book, I was possibly expecting a slightly happier read (more froth, perhaps) and this book is not a fluffy white latte macchiato, it’s its darker cousin, caffe macchiato. Enjoy!!