This book didn’t work for me, and that’s okay! I think it’s a case of “it’s not you; it’s me.” I can see why so many people have fallen in love with Abby Jimenez’s debut novel. Her style is light, witty, and imminently readable. For a debut, I really have no issues with the writing, which delights me because I am really hoping I like the next book Ms. Jimenez puts out.
This book tackles a lot of important issues, including infertility and personal tragedy. I am glad Ms. Jimenez decided to go there. The book follows Kristen and Josh, two people who connect through mutual best friends and immediately click. The story is a winding road from friends to lovers, friends with benefits, with a lot of other stuff in between.
My biggest problem with this book was a complete lack of connection to the heroine. I think Kristen was supposed to come off as quirky, grouchy, and lovable, but she mostly just seemed immature, self-centered, and kind of mean. Her one-liners made me laugh a few times, but most of the time, being in her head was a chore. The way she handled the two men in her life gave me actual anxiety, and the kicker is, they apologized to her! When it was really her lack of communication and lies that caused 95% of her problems.
I would have had less of a problem with her if everyone else didn’t worship her. If I had to hear Josh pontificate about how she, “wasn’t like other girls because she likes beer, sweats, and sports, and is SO honest” when SO MANY women like that stuff AND she was lying to him basically the entire book. I mean, he literally calls her a unicorn multiple times. Pass.
Josh, oh, dear, sweet, doormat Josh. I really did like him, sometimes. But he had too much of a “nice guys finish last, woe is me” hound dog attitude. He let Kristen run their entire relationship, even though he wasn’t really okay with their arrangement. It also really bothered me how willing he was to move in on another woman while she had a boyfriend, although, I blame Kristen for that equally. She treated him so poorly, and he just kept coming back to her. It was tough to read.
Even the plot twist (which I did see coming) didn’t bug me as much as Josh and Kristen’s relationship. Even when Josh was trying to explain how he felt to Kristen, she just kept shutting him down. It didn’t feel healthy and it didn’t feel like a relationship I could root for. I will say, I did like the last chapter and epilogue, but I don’t think everyone will. What can I say? I am a sucker for an HEA.
Overall, I really am glad if some people found a favorite book in THE FRIEND ZONE. It didn’t work for me, but I think a great base was laid for a series. I have to say though, TYLER DESERVED BETTER. I’d date that man. He can take me to all the fancy seafood dinners he wants. I’m sure Ms. Jimenez will have a long and successful career, and I really hope the next book works for me. I’ll check it out from the library.
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**