Overall: 3/5 Stars
Plot and Themes: 3/5
Awesomeness Factor: 2.5/5
Review in a Nutshell: The Friend Zone is a fun lighthearted romance with surprising depths.
“Why won’t you let me love you?”
Read more for more about The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez, and for all of my thoughts!
// Content Warning: Mental Illness, OCD, Seizure, Coma, Death, Mature Content, Infertility, Hunting (Mention), Guns (Mention) //
When Kristen Peterson meets the best man for her best friend’s wedding, Josh Copeland, sparks fly. He seems perfect for her, except for one thing: he wants a big family. This wouldn’t be a problem for Kristen, except she’s will be undergoing surgery that will make it impossible for her to have children. Determined that she isn’t the one for him, Kristen must fight to keep him from getting too close.
Writing & Setting
The writing and setting of this book made it very easy to jump in to. Nothing about either aspect was unique or memorable, but instead served to make this book very easy to pick up for a few pages here and there.
This book follows your typical romance plot structure, with some adorable moments, some steamy moments, and some snark and sass, but what really made this book stand out for me was the darker, more heartfelt moments. The Friend Zone deals with some heavier topics, including chronic illness, and it handles them with a lot of grace. I was really glad to see a book that, for the most part is happy and cute, tackle these issues and shine a light on something a lot of women struggle with. My only complaints with this book- plot wise- are that 1) Something happened towards the end that didn’t quite have the emotional impact on me that I hoped it would and 2) it’s mentioned a few times that Kristen has OCD, but I feel like her portrayal of it wasn’t entirely accurate. It’s hard to perfectly portray mental illness, especially since everyone has different symptoms and different coping mechanisms, but I felt like her OCD really was just something that was forgotten with the exception of a couple of scenes where it was mentioned in passing or convenient for the plot. Mental Illness changes how you live entirely, it isn’t something you can “cultivate” or use to your advantage when it suits you.
Like I’ve said before, characters are very important in a romance. If you aren’t rooting for the hero and heroine to get together, then the book can fall apart. On that note, let’s talk about our main couple. Kristen is sarcastic, outspoken, and loyal, all traits I like, but she did sometimes have that “not like other girls” factor that bothers me. There were a lot of instances where, in order to make Kristen seem more amazing, characters were putting down other women, which just felt unnecessary. Josh, meanwhile, is the perfect hot fireman who’s caring and considerate. Unfortunately, I had some trouble connecting with them at times, but overall I loved their relationship and thought they were absolutely adorable together.
“Just say okay.”
Pros- Cute, funny, discusses heavier and important topics, easy to jump into
Cons- The OCD rep isn’t fantastic, had trouble connecting with some of the characters, “Not like other girls” trope
Overall- 3/5 stars.
The Friend Zone was a cute, summery read, that isn’t afraid to shine a light on important topics usually never discussed.
I’m really continuing my contemporary romance binge. What is your favorite contemporary romance?
Have you read The Friend Zone? What did you think?