Book Review: The Friend Zone, written by Abby Jimenez

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez book review

Review: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Publication date: June 11, 2019 Pages: 361
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Adult fiction 
Buy:
Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Kristen Petersen 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.

Trigger Warningsinfertility, motorcycle accidents, hospitals, death of a loved one

Should You read The Friend Zone?

“I’m a woman. I can go into a bar penniless wearing sweats and a questionable rash and come out with leftovers and a buzz.”

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez is the author’s debut novel where we see an unlikely romance bloom between Kristen and Josh but it had its problems. Let me explain…

there are some spoilers, so proceed with caution

The Friend Zone starts with Kristen’s car being rear-ended by Josh’s. Later, we find out that Josh is fresh out of a relationship and is also the best man in his best friend Brandon’s wedding. As luck would have it, Kristen is the maid-of-honor in her best friend Sloan’s wedding to Brandon!

It seems that from the beginning Josh and Kristen have an attraction to each other but Kristen has a boyfriend, Tyler, who’s currently deployed overseas and is going to return home soon. However, Kristen has other problems like her uterus, which is faulty. Kristen has fibroids embedded in her uterus which leads to irregular period, pain and problems with fertility.

When Kristen needs a carpenter for her business, Josh volunteers and as days go by, he and Kristen start becoming good friends. Except Josh knows that he wants more than friendship with Kristen but he knows he can’t; what Josh doesn’t know is that Kristen is starting to like him too. Later, Kristen finds out that Josh comes from a big family and wants kids of his own someday. He even emphasizes that one of the reasons he broke up with his ex-girlfriend was that she didn’t want kids. This is where Kristen decides that even if she broke up with Tyler in the near future, there would be no Josh and Kristen. Here’s when I start to get confused and irritated with the story. I could glean from some lines that Kristen feels lonely as Tyler, her boyfriend is deployed almost all the time. She loves him but there isn’t passion in it. She starts comparing Tyler with Josh and yes, they are different in so many ways but it felt like we were hurtling towards the moment when Tyler would say that he’s reenlisting with the military which would break Kristen’s heart and Josh will be there to comfort her. Yes, I do mean that literally. For me, the sex between Kristen and Josh was too soon for comfort and I would have liked for the tension between them to continue for a few more pages. Sure, I could see their obvious attraction in their banter, Josh’s way of caring for her when her period pains were too bad..even though, there was no cheating(if you want to be technical)..I still think those characters deserved to grow more and have some breathing space.

phew! I had to get that out *wipes sweat*

Kristen and Josh don’t immediately fall in love but they remain friends with benefits as Kristen feels guilty because she can’t give more to Josh and getting his hopes would be too cruel. Soon, a terrible incident occurs which forces Kristen to re-evaluate her decisions.

Let’s talk about some things I loved. I’ve never seen such an open discussion of periods and infertility as I saw in this book. Even Josh is unfazed by periods as opposed to most other heroes who get turned off or just plain ignore it. I also loved that upon learning Kristen’s condition, Josh was fine having her in his life because he just couldn’t imagine a future without her. I LOVED THIS.

Since this is a romance novel and I know you might want to know if this has a H-E-A(Happily Ever After) ending and how much steamy -on a scale of 1-10- is this book. I fully expected to be a typical H-E-A but it wasn’t and the twist which is the incident that shall not be named broke my heart into several pieces. Just to be clear, there is an HEA ending but it was somewhat bittersweet. I would rank this a 3 or 4 in the scale of steaminess. Some of you will have trouble reconciling with the ending but I’ll say yes, it can happen. I don’t want to offer any more spoilers but Kristen’s outcome is a very possible one and I know it because my sister went through it. You will know what I’m talking about when/if you read the book. Sure, the author could have written an alternate ending but she chose this one because it’s possible too.

I won’t say I am biased but I’m so glad that a book dealing with infertility is out there because Kristen’s condition is quite similar to my own, and furthermore, I wholeheartedly agree what the author said: We’re not defined by our ability to have children, our worth goes beyond the state of our uterus.

Overall, I highly recommend  this romance novel if you love reading contemporary romances with a bit of a twist. There are lots of funny moments and banter between characters, sexual tension and there’s a dog called Stuntman Mike who’s a very good dog😌😍

Thanks to the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT: 

About the Author:

Abby Jimenez

You can connect with author Abby Jimenez through her Website or Goodreads

Is The Friend Zone on your TBR? Have you already read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Tale of two women separated by hemispheres but connected by plants | ARC Review: The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn

Looking for a swoon-worthy summer romance? | ARC Review: Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen

LINKS

Looking for a swoon-worthy summer romance? | ARC Review: Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen
cover(Goodreads)

  BOOK DEPOSITORY ADD ON GOODREADS WORDERY

SYNOPSIS

Discovery. Desire. Deception. A wondrously imagined tale of two female botanists, separated by more than a century, in a race to discover a life-saving flower . . .

In Victorian England, headstrong adventuress Elizabeth takes up her late father’s quest for a rare, miraculous plant. She faces a perilous sea voyage, unforeseen dangers and treachery that threatens her entire family.

In present-day Australia, Anna finds a mysterious metal box containing a sketchbook of dazzling watercolours, a photograph inscribed ‘Spring 1886’ and a small bag of seeds. It sets her on a path far from her safe, carefully ordered life, and on a journey that will force her to face her own demons.

In this spellbinding botanical odyssey of discovery, desire and deception, Kayte Nunn has so exquisitely researched nineteenth-century Cornwall and Chile you can almost smell the fragrance of the flowers, the touch of the flora on your fingertips . . .

Should You read The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn?

Anna was once again reminded of how extraordinarily long some plants had been around for, blooming, dying and blooming again across the centuries, seeds scattered on the wind, seedlings divided and shared, sold and replanted in foreign soil.

 The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn is a story of two women, separated by generations and continents, and their connection with each other. The two protagonist’s are Elizabeth and Anna, both of whose perspectives show just how connected they are.

First, we see Anna in Sydney, Australia, as she watches builders work on her grandmother’s house and they find an antique and engraved box in between some bookshelves. On opening the box, Anna finds a sketchbook inside and some old seeds inside a pouch. The sketchbook reveals a multitude of plant sketches, drawn so intricately that it might as well be drawn by a 3D printer. Anna also finds a diary in which there’s a story about a woman named Marguerite who emmigrated to Australia with her child. The child, Anna will found out later, is none other than her great grandmother.

Next, we see Elizabeth’s POV as she mounts her late father’s stallion and races to a cove nearby. She contemplates on her father’s last words, when he told her..no, made her promise to retrieve a mysterious plant from Chile. Alas, it is Victorian England and Elizabeth had the “misfortune” of being a woman. However, Elizabeth prevails and after a small but firm discussion with her brother-in-law, she is ready for her journey to the southern hemisphere along with her maid Daisy.

In the past, Elizabeth successfully reaches Chile and discovers not only the native plant her father talked about but also a family of her own. Amidst all her happiness, Elizabeth didn’t forget her father’s warnings about a cunning man who would do anything to take the plant away from her. However, warnings are apparently no good against a madman.

In the present, Anna struggles with her past but she still wants to discover the connection of the sketchbook’s artist with her family. Will Anna’s search proove fruitful? Will Elizabeth’s last wishes be fulfilled after all these years?

I loved the dual narration, the pace and the plot of the story. The story basically comes full circle with Anna and you’ll know why if you ever read the book. The writing is pretty soothing. It transported me from Sydney(Australia) to Cornwall(England)to Chile(South America). I loved the characters very much, especially Anna, Daisy, and Elizabeth. Daisy was a loyal companion of Elizabeth until the very end. Anna and Elizabeth had botanic similarities and that was that. Elizabeth was the complete opposite to Anna and it contributed to her untimely demise. There are romantic elements present but they don’t draw your attention out from the family mystery that’s surrounding the novel.

Overall, I highly recommend this book if you love reading historical fiction, historical fiction with botanist themes and family mysteries.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT: 

Author: Connect with Author Kayte Nunn here.

  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
  • Publication Date: 18th April , 2019
  • Paperback: 390 Pages
Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen

Will you read The Botanist’s Daughter ? If you have read it, then let me know if you liked it or not. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Why should you read The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton |Spoiler-ish Review

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris

Synopsis: GRACE ATHERTON HAS FALLEN OUT OF LOVE … AND INTO LIFE

Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.

Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.

It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …

For fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Keeper of Lost Things, The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton is the story of a woman who has her heart broken, but then puts it back together again in the most uplifting and exquisite way.


Buy on Amazon | Book Depository||Add it on Goodreads

REVIEW | WHY SHOULD YOU READ THIS BOOK ?

I hate it when books have cheating (among other things) and of course, this book had it #spoileralert . This is not mentioned until after you read a couple of pages so I was outraged and wanted to stop reading it.

However, I am glad I didn’t.

Let me tell you a bit about this book. You might have guessed from the title of the book, our protagonist is Grace Atherton. Grace is a violin maker and her entire life revolves around her partner of eight years, David (besides her violin shop).

Grace continues her affair with David knowing that he is married and hoping that one day he will divorce his wife and marry her. This is where I almost stopped reading this book. Then I realized, this is one of Grace’s Truths.

She can’t be without David, he is the only person who Grace thinks is her family. There are a number of things Grace went through especially during her time at college and I will not spoil that for you.

While I was playing the blaming game, I forgot to mention David, who is the real scumbag and I kept banging my head at what could Grace have seen in this man. Again, you’ll have to read it for yourself.

I got off track for a bit. So, what happens is Grace is also preparing for a violin showcase in Italy, where one violin will win an award called the tone prize. This award show is extremely prestigious and Grace is unnerved because she also has to perform a symphony there. Grace has tried therapy but it was to avail. Finally, Grace triumphs will the help of her two friends – a teenage girl named Nadia and an eighty years old man named Mr. williams.

The writing was synonymous with a symphony. It’s ironic of course because violins play a major part in the lives of Grace, Nadia, and Mr. Williams. I had to skim the parts where words related to violin making were used but I loved Anstey Harris’ writing which reminded me a bit of the book Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. 

Grace is a heavily flawed but immensely relatable character. Her character development within the novel gave me such joy and the ending made me emotional but also satisfied.

‘You have to grasp life by the balls,Grace,’ he says, ‘and don’t bloody let go until you have to.’

Overall, I would highly recommend it. This book was previously released under the title Goodbye Paris and I had no idea until I looked it up on Goodreads. The author has also included a Grace’s Listening List which lists two of my favorite symphonies which are Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango and Vivaldi : La Follia 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Verdict: 5 out of 5 stars

Author: Connect with Author Anstey Harris on Goodreads.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication Date: 10 January 2019
  • Hardcover(ARC): 352 Pages

Let me know if you’re planning to read The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton or if you’re planning to read it. If you loved reading my review, let me know !

#ARC review ​of another brilliantly written books of 2018

coverimage

Synopsis: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

cover image
US edition

Buy on Amazon | Book Depository

Review: I picked up this book because I was given an ARC by the publisher. Although I have seen it making rounds on Instagram, I wouldn’t have picked it up anytime soon.

The title “The Seven husbands …” makes you wonder that this book is entirely about the love life of a Hollywood actress but it so isn’t.

The book starts with Monique Grant, an ambitious journalist, who is sent to interview a famous ex-actress Evelyn Hugo. It should be a normal interview but it isn’t for a number of reasons:

One, Evelyn specifically requested Monique ;

Two, when Monique went to meet with Evelyn, she confessed that there isn’t going to be an interview afterall!

LET ME EXPLAIN:

Evelyn doesn’t want to do a “tell-all” interview, she wants Monique to write her biography which she has to publish after Evelyn’s death. Day after day, Evelyn unravels all the secrets and lies and finally, she reveals the real love of her life. The questions are : Did she love any of her seven husbands? Or, did she love someone else? Why did she specifically request Monique Grant?

Let’s talk about the things I loved and didn’t :

  • I loved Evelyn Hugo. She is such a flawed character and is totally aware of it. When you will read about the struggles she had to go through, I’m sure that you will fall in love with Evelyn as well.
  • I loved the pace of the story and the surprise ending.

Overall, I loved reading this book. It has everything -from old Hollywood stories to topics like sexism, racism; drama and a heartbreaking reveal.

Verdict: 5 out of 5 stars

Author: Connect with Author Taylor Jenkins Reid on Goodreads.

  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK Fiction
  • Publication Date: May 2018
  • Paperback(ARC): 400 Pages


Book Review:​ Lake Effect by Nicole Tone

image

Synopsis: After the death of her fiance, Sophie Daniels is struggling to keep herself together. Painting is the only way she’s able to clear her head and stay grounded. For her art isn’t a hobby—it’s her religion. With a semester away from finishing graduate school, she knows that, despite her loss, things are going to get better. In fact, her thesis advisor has even taken a special interest in her. Sophie’s convinced that she’s found the mentor that she’s been looking for. When he shows he’s interested in her in more than just a student/teacher way, she obliges him. Until his wife leaves him.
Sophie learns the hard way what happens when a man cannot take responsibility for his own actions.
Now she’s back to square one in pulling herself back together. She hasn’t just lost her fiancé anymore: she’s lost parts of herself she’s not sure she’ll ever get back.

Like her ability to create.

Lake Effect is a raw exploration of human emotion and what it takes to save your own life.

Continue reading “Book Review:​ Lake Effect by Nicole Tone”

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started