Title: The Friend Zone
Author: Abby Jimenez
Series: The Friend Zone #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Narrators: Teddy Hamilton & Erin Mallon
Length: ~9.5 hours (384 pages)
Publisher: Forever, Hachette Audio
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Source: Library (Libby)
Recommended for Fans of: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating; friends to lovers, romcom/tearjerker combo
Content Warnings: infertility, car accidents
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.
What an emotional roller coaster! I binged the audiobook in less than 24 hours, and I didn’t want it to end. I had been hesitant to read this book because I saw so many mixed reviews, with negative reviews criticizing the portrayal of infertility and pregnancy, but after reading this book and the accompanying author’s note, I can say without a doubt that I absolutely loved it and believe that many women can relate to Kristen’s experience.
Josh and Kristen had great banter and chemistry. I loved that their relationship was built on a solid foundation of friendship and they were both such strong characters. Kristen was witty, snarky and obsessed with food. Josh was funny, sweet, and incredibly caring. They truly understood each other. Their dynamic reminded me a lot of Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating.
This is not your typical romcom. The characters encounter some very difficult situations that gutted me in the feels. Kristen hides her infertility from Josh. I understand why she resisted, but there were so many times I wanted to scream at her to just be honest! Sloan and Brandon’s arc also takes a very unexpected turn that broke me.
This book shows how important it is to value the people you love and who love you back, and to not take anything for granted. I highly recommend this for the laughs, the romance, and the emotional journey, but be prepared to shed a few tears.