The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez received a rare 5/5 stars from me! This friends to lovers had so many feels and I felt like I went on a whole, deep journey with Josh and Kristen instead of staying in the shallow water like some other contemporary romances. There are two more books in this series with side characters that I plan to read ASAP. The cover was super representative of the genre and didn’t send any mixed messages. If I could change anything it’d be to add a few more sensory descriptions around the settings so I could bite into the hamburger myself or get a sense of the sounds of the apartment or the season or time of day of the scene. She did great with internal monologue, but sometimes I didn’t have a clear picture of where I was physically at in the story.
Here were some thoughts while immersed in reading:
I loved that Kristen and Josh switched points of view in first person. They both felt real and in complicated relationships. The rear-ending first scene felt a bit cliche but I let that slide. I liked that right off the bat the language and dynamic felt adult, which was relieving, instead of YA.
When I reach around chapter 4 or page 50, I allow myself to find an excuse of why I’d wanna DNF a book. But for this one, nothing came to mind. Their witty banter and hot ex-army guy turned fireman was too hard to pass up.
“Josh was the human version of ice cream in the freezer when you’re on a diet.”
I mean a guy who can also do carpenter work… are you kidding me? He is checking all the damn boxes.
What was the 3 am 911 call for? What bad news did her doctor have about her womanly parts? When would her boyfriend be back from deployment?
This is one of the first books where I like the guy more than the girl. I think it’s because of her dog choice lol. I’m not a huge fan of tiny dogs. In saying that- “You should name any dog according to how it will sound while yelling his name and chasing him down the street in a bathrobe.”
At the end of chapter seven… oh my. Oh my, indeed. Abby Jimenez knows my exact kind of guy lol.
Er mer gerd, the TP scene was spectacular
Chapter 22- Noooooooooo! This author is killing me. Destroying me. Stop it.
I seriously can’t put this book down. It’s completely addicting. I’m supposed to be editing my own work in progress, but instead I keep thinking about Josh & Kristen. Aaaah! I just need to be able to speed read.
In chapter 28 I’m glad the “misunderstanding” didn’t last long because I hate when those are drawn out. But I’m starting to feel frustrated. They just need to come clean with their feelings. WTF LOL.
In chapter 31 I assume this scene is also in the sequel about the other side couple so it makes me not sure about reading the rest of the series if there will be crossover that I already know about.
“I’ll orbit around you and be your universe, because you’ve always been my sun.”
The ending/last chapter was a bit unexpected and I’m glad the author made a comment in the author’s note about how she defined the “happily ever after” being about Kristen allowing herself to be loved despite what she felt were shortcomings.
I take back what I said about not reading about her best friend in the other book because I already feel emotionally invested enough to learn about her story too.
Here’s the blurb of The Friend Zone in full from Amazon:
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.