Have you ever read a book that struck the perfect balance between funny and tragic? Yes, I know this seems very interesting, and you are eagerly trying to find out more. The book I’m reviewing this time is The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez, which covers all of the above questions that are admittedly hard to find in romance, but you will get all these questions answered in just this one novel.
Sometimes it just feels like trying something different, so I started exploring and happened to see this book, and the blurb caught my attention. And with zeal, I began to follow Abby, curious to know that this was the book to match my mood or something else. Then after a long wait, I got it and read it, and then I knew it unknowingly gave me what I wanted. It was a perfect mix of sweet and sassy. It’s just the kind of fun romance with many themes and covers as you will have both crying and laughing moments in it with emotional drama.
The book revolves around the two people meeting by chance and are unknown to each other on their way to planning their best friend’s wedding. Soon discover that they are the best people at their best friend’s wedding where they can’t deny the spark between them, where a struggling woman puts him in a friend zone. Still, life gets in the way, making their decisions harder and more heartbreaking.
Please don’t assume it will be another fun, fluffy rom-com book that offers you so much more than you think. Now without spoiling the fun and the book, I’ll take you to the review. So come on, let’s go.
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez | Book Review
Abby Jimenez is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance novels and a Motivational speaker. She is originally from the Philippines and lives in Minnesota. In 2013 she won the cupcakes wars on Food Network.
Jimenez worked as a retail manager in 2007 before starting Nadia Cakes the following year. She now owns three cake shops in Maple Grove, Woodbury and Palmdale, California. Since then, Abby has turned her talents toward writing novels, including The Friend Zone (2019) and The Happy Ever After Playlist (2020), both have become USA Today’s best sellers.
Book Overview | The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez is one of my most anticipated books of 2019. It was awarded the Best Seller Award for Literature, USA Today Bestseller! Audie Award finalist and also Featured on NPR.
Various publications gave the novel many titles, and it was named the Best New Books for Summer 2019. She Reads Most Anticipated Romance Books of 2019, Good Housekeeping, PopSugar Best Books of Summer 2019, Women’s HealthBest Romance Novels of 2019, Women.com named this book as Most Highly Anticipated Books for Summer Bookstr and an Ultimate Summer 2019 Reading GuidePublishers Weekly.
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, 2019
Publication date: 11 June 2019
Length: 384 pages (may vary)
Genre: Romance novel, fictional, contemporary romance
Setting: The Friend Zone is the story of Kristen, a brave, genuine protagonist who plans her best friend’s wedding, where she meets best man Josh Copeland and the rest you follow in the story.
Theme: This is truly a book about infertility, self-acceptance, and self-worth. The novel explores themes of infertility, untold tragedy, unforgivable romance, heartbreaking reproductive issues and more.
Point of view: The novel The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez is told from two different voices from the point of view of Kristen and Josh.
Main characters: The story begins with Kristen Petersen, the main character, planning her friend Sloan’s wedding, where she brings together the groom’s Brandon best friend, Josh Copeland, who is another protagonist of the story. Their chemistry is overwhelming and more like being boldly playful and with some flirting. But the person named Tyler is Kristen’s boyfriend. What is happening now is exciting.
Is this a real story, and what inspired her to write? The novel Friendzone contains such a surprisingly beautiful story, filled to the brim with real people and their real problems. This was someone’s true story. At the time, it was defined in her author’s note, where Abby examines one of her friends with a very similar fight to her leading lady, including the same miracle baby at the end, and doing justice to that story was what compelled her to do that to write a novel.
Book Summary | The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
The story follows a woman named Kristen Peterson, who is courageous and aware of what she wants. She is a person who you can call a true friend, can do anything for her friends, and has no place in her life for guys she doesn’t understand.
She approaches every situation with sarcastic humour, except for the wrecking news that she will never be able to conceive as she is about to undergo a medically necessary procedure that will make it difficult for her to have children.
She is the maid of honour at the wedding, where she meets Josh Copeland, the groom’s best friend and the best man.
After a sweet meeting over an unfortunate incident en route to planning their best friend’s wedding, Kristen Peterson and best man Josh Copeland can’t deny the spark between them. He’s funny, sexy, and never offended by her miles of sarcasm and her hangry chicken enchilada. He was exactly the guy Kristen wanted for her, except that he wanted a big family.
Despite this, Kristen has a boyfriend, Tyler, stationed overseas. Tyler sometimes reconnects with her and effectively breaks up with her for certain reasons. Counting down the days that Kristen knew their growing closeness and escalating attraction won’t lead to happy endings puts Josh in the friend zone and tries to keep his distance from Josh. Hence, they never got more than a friends-with-beneficiaries situation will be.
The two reach a painful impasse, but they find themselves reconsidering their relationship as tragedy strikes. Josh knows he will never be happy without Kristen. But on the other hand, Josh would like to have a family and biological children of his own, even if he is not interested in adoption. He also broke up with his last girlfriend because she didn’t want one, while Kristen biologically can’t have one.
Including Kristen’s maximum attempt to keep Josh at bay, she can only fight against her attraction, not his, for so long, but the main question is how it ends on a happy note, despite everything that happened.
What can you learn from the book? The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
The person who wants to learn can learn many useful lessons from this book, as there are many that I cannot share here because the fun of reading and learning itself is the best experience one can have. But wait, I’ll share some of them while you all get some ideas from them. What does this book show you?
This book is entertaining, personable, sweet, and well-written, but it also covers some heavy topics. But the laughing and slashing motion takes the lead, but the novel spills out to the reader in unexpected situations during a reading.
Since all the characters in this book are well developed and seem original. As you progress through the novel, you will see that Kristen reveals herself to you as a sarcastic, funny, honest and strong, self-assured woman with a powerful voice. And readers struggling with infertility will find Kristen’s fears and concerns very understandable.
On the other hand, Josh’s male lead is the perfect man that every woman desires. He fulfils all the expectations of a romantic comedy with an understanding and caring personality. But unfortunately, Kristen realizes they can’t be together and keeps him in the friend zone with benefits. He doesn’t even force her but tries to feel what she says and thinks.
The chemistry between the two was amazing, but the reader will see that this journey from friends to lovers in these romance novels also covers the depth and emotional complexity. But sometimes, it got frustrating for the readers with the constantly boring arguments with the back and forth of their relationship.
While Jimenez comes across perfect fairness between the tragic and funny situations appears unique and instructive to the reader. She can take care of all the reasonable expectations needed in a romantic comedy while refusing to discard details.
What Did I Think of the Book? The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
The book is mostly well written, and the writing seems to be quite good throughout the book. All characters are well developed, and the relationship between all characters makes the book emotional, funny, heartbreaking, romantic and scary. This book gave me exactly what I was looking for, which was a nice, entertaining read but difficult at times and absolutely a little break from my own life. The author does a great job of putting us in the shoes of all the characters.
I sympathize with Kristen and love how the author addresses Kristen’s issues and how it has impacted her entire life. So often, when a character has a disability or chronic illness, it’s just mentioned and then set aside for the story. Still, I like how her condition was portrayed throughout without feeling sorry for herself or looking to others for it. It was shown as an easy part of her life, and that’s the reality that leads to some choices about her inner happiness.
The hero Josh is a sweet guy, and you’ll see how respectful he is of Kristen’s choices throughout the book. Although he wants to take their relationship to the next level, he doesn’t force Kristen with many questions like why she’s putting him in the friend zone and without knowing about her condition.
Ideally, he will discuss the matter with Kristen and try to understand every aspect thoroughly. Oh my God! Do these guys only exist in fiction or also in reality? After reading this book, Josh is now my fictional crush, but yeah, I’m saying that the world needs male characters like Josh, a caring and calm character. The main point is that every woman, not me, would like to have such an understanding man who understands the problems that women go through in everyday life.
In the end, I’m just a bit confused about how I feel about the ending. The romance was pretty lighthearted overall, and I love how the relationship started with friendships and ended with lovers. But also the friendship Kristen had with Sloan and Josh with Brandon. It was a happy ending, but everything that happened touched me deeply.
Reviews from Different Platform | The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
Praises for the novel The Friendzone by Abby Jimenez from different platforms.
“Your next favourite romantic comedy… The Friend Zone is that rare, heartfelt beach read that will make you laugh and cry in equal measure.” _PopSugar
“You can expect to laugh and cry during this one.” _Good Housekeeping
“Jimenez tackles a variety of issues in her debut, hitting each one with depth and sensitivity. Kristen’s no-prisoner attitude is smart and cheeky, perfectly balanced by Josh’s off-hand ingenuity…An excellent debut that combines wit, humour and emotional intensity.” _Kirkus
“Jimenez’s scintillating debut is a brilliantly written romantic comedy that seamlessly switches between laugh-out-loud, snarky jokes and serious emotional struggles without missing a beat while delivering maximum readability.” _Booklist, Starred Review
“The Friend Zone is a deliciously hot, sweet debut full of banter it can’t get enough of. All the characters from Kristen and Josh to the supporting cast and even stuntman Mike. This book is an absolute treat.” _L.J. Shen, USA Today bestselling author
“Slick dialogue, laugh-out-loud humour and heaps of sass allay the heartbreak of infertility in this modern, informed debut that’s sure to leave you satisfied. _ Library Journal
What would I rate this book?
In my opinion, the story deserves 3.5 stars out of 5.
Conclusion & Recommendations | The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
Overall, The Friend Zone is a sweet and emotional book that tackles some real issues. This is a good reading experience, and if you want to feel the same, I highly recommend you read this by all means. It was bittersweet, but yeah, it paid off. Thank you for taking the time to read my review. I hope to get something useful.
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