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Friendship

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3.18 of 5 stars 3.18  ·  rating details  ·  2,444 ratings  ·  343 reviews
A novel about two friends learning the difference between getting older and growing up

Bev Tunney and Amy Schein have been best friends for years; now, at thirty, they’re at a crossroads. Bev is a Midwestern striver still mourning a years-old romantic catastrophe. Amy is an East Coast princess whose luck and charm have too long allowed her to cruise through life. Bev is stu
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Hardcover, 258 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Louisa
I'm sorry Emily Gould, but I just couldn't get into your book. Your writing was more than fine, but your two main characters: Amy and Bev and the ups and downs of their friendship just didn't do it for me. It kind of reminded me of the HBO series: Girls (which I love), but way more boring and cliche. Bordering on chick lit, which is another genre I cannot warm to; I ended up fantasizing about the different scenarios that these girls could find themselves in; you know, to spice things up a little ...more
Lee
Just finished and said aloud "oh my god they texted freaking hearts to each other." From a great height I could poo upon this novel's head but I should refrain and simply say it's not my thing. I liked the generational connection between the older Sally and Amy/Bev -- there was enough in their mutual desire for one another's lives to fill a fine novel. But once they started conspiring to sell Bev's child to Sally, which I saw coming a few chapters ahead, I groaned. Some nice moments seemed to cl ...more
Patrick Brown
"Things were happening to her. They were bad things, but at least they were happening."

I'm a fan of Emily Gould, kind of just in general. I like her internet writing and I liked her collection of essays, and I think she has one of the most interesting businesses around, one that's built on taste and heart and smarts.

Which is why I'm not surprised that this is such a good novel. Funny, of course, but also really honest and true and moving. I'm not embarrassed to say that I teared up a little at
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oriana
First let me please beseech you not to read the goddamn jacket copy, which is full of reveals. It also has an endorsement by my sworn enemy Tao Lin which is just as awful as any of his books and basically looks like notes he wrote to himself that he maybe thought he'd later craft into a real sentence. God I hate that guy.

Anyway, if you need a synopsis, just read this one from the Millions:

Emily Gould’s debut novel charts the friendship of two women who, at thirty, have been closely entwined in o
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Leanne
I liked this book, but it was just nothing special. It wasn't dark and stormy and serious the whole way through, but it also wasn't really funny. The writing was smart enough to elevate it above the "chick-lit" label, but it wasn't good enough to wow me (and I was expecting more after reading some of Emily Gould's articles and stalking her Twitter account). The focus was on the two main characters, Amy and Bev, for pretty much the entirety of the novel, but I never really felt like I knew (or li ...more
Anita Smith
Oh my God, that was seriously the worst thing I've read in a while. This got good reviews? Did I read the wrong "Friendship," by Emily Gould? Because what I read had God-awful, deplorable characters, a thin plot that made absolutely no sense, and a horribly abrupt and stupid ending. My eyes are offended, and I feel lied to by all the websites that called this a "must-read." I assure you, it is not.
switterbug (Betsey)
As I was reading this book, I kept thinking of how it evolved like an indie movie with Greta Gerwig and Miranda July, or a Carey Mulligan type. It takes some conventional tropes of fiction and edge-cuts it with less plot, and lots of inner dialogue, as well as tart conversations. The story could be a soap opera, if done in the prevailing decorous style. Instead, it focuses on the friendship of primarily two thirty-year-old women, Bev and Amy, who met at a job at a publishing firm. They both left ...more
Kevin Fanning
I loved this.

When I first heard about it I was like 'It's a book about 2 friends? In their 20s? Like, finding their way in life? How is that even going to be a book?"

But really right from the first chapter I was SUPER ON BOARD.

It is, like it says on the tin, about friendship. Not just about the ups and downs and breakups and reconnections we have with our friends as we make our way through life, although there's plenty of that, but also it's about how to learn to love yourself and your path t
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Edan
I read this book in a day and a half while at my in-laws' for Christmas. After feeling so disconnected from reading I was able to fall into three absorbing novels while on this trip--hallelujah! Emily Gould's Friendship was one of these novels.

Gould's novel is a fun, funny, engaging and surprising read. I felt invested in the lives of Bev and Amy, even when I didn't like them. I really liked the novel's attention to money, or the lack of money, in the lives of these middle class (or affluent) wh
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Jessica
This book has generated a lot of mixed reviews around here and I'm not entirely sure why that is. It's also generated a lot of comparisons to Girls because it's about that kind of creative, arrested-development Brooklynite Millennials who haven't quite figured out adulthood yet. I think it's the kind of story that you're only going to love if you find something about these people that you can distinctly identify with, and it's admittedly a pretty narrow slice of the population that can identify ...more
Nikunj
Emily Gould's book is possibly the worst i have read this year, or even over a couple of years. The book is titled friendship but steers clear of the concept. The main characters are self obsessed, annoying and shallow. The lack of depth in the main characters leads to the story being two dimensional. Reading through it seemed that for Gould the definition of being close friends is that you can urinate in front of each other, but there is no emotional equivalence of this physical action between ...more
zan
This was an engaging and zeitgeist-y story of female friendship, an honest reflection of how we communicate (or fail to communicate) with each other in the modern world. The dialogue is incredibly realistic, and the portrayal of the challenges of being youngish and broke in NYC (but not young enough for it to feel hip or bohemian anymore), of how it affects your perception of self, is spot on.

It's hard to really get into what I so enjoyed about this book without revealing major plot points or sp
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Marcy Dermansky
Hey Emily Gould, you stole my entire Sunday. I was having one of those unambitious days, not knowing what should I do. I went for a run. I ran too far. It made me tired. So, I thought I would read for a little while, and I started Friendship. Which is what I did that, with breaks for meals, bathroom. I ate my cookies and drank my afternoon coffee while reading.

Gould gets it so right: what it feels like to be a certain age, living in New York. How, it is, in fact, possible to fall further than y
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Belinda
Emily Gould is Internet famous and she had a famous Internet meltdown. The thing about being Internet famous, though, is that while one may be ridiculously well known in one's own corner of the world wide web, the Internet is so niche that only the others who hang out where you do will know who you are (a case in point is the Yarn Harlot, a woman so Internet famous that her simply knitting a pattern can cause its popularity to sky rocket and whole colourways of yarn to sell out but who is virtua ...more
Sara
I recognized interesting dynamics and situations in Emily Gould's "Friendship," and I found those moments - making a new friend in adulthood, admitting awful personal behavior, accidentally having a more meaningful conversation than you intended, asking for help when you are slightly beyond needing it - believable and relatable.

However, I was disappointed to discover at the end how fully we were following Amy, entirely sidelining Bev while her defining decision came to fruition, and never really
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Rebecca Foster
(3.5) This seems like a young woman’s book (you can’t avoid comparisons with Lena Dunham’s HBO hit, Girls), but anyone can relate to themes of failure and disillusionment. It’s not your average chick lit.


Full review, originally posted at Bookkaholic:

For your summer reading pleasure, here’s a perfect book to take to the beach, on the train, or to the doctor’s office. It’s just right if you’re a 30-year-old woman, like me and like Gould’s main characters, or if you’re facing first-time motherhood;
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Lorri Steinbacher
I was prepared to dislike this book. Expected the characters to be the usual brand of self-involved, whiny character that these types of "privileged twentyish-somethings with too much choice navigating friendship and the world" novels tend to be filled with. Not so. Not to say that Bev and Amy aren't self-absorbed, and in many ways lousy with choice. They are, it's just that somehow, Gould manages to make Bev and Amy real, not just vehicles to deliver chick-lit tropes. I can't say I liked Bev an ...more
Alice
I feel that I have been waiting for someone to write a book exactly like this, a book which reflects the realities of living as a late twenty-something/early thirties woman in a big city where job opportunities are scarce (and severely oversubscribed!) where money (or lack of it) is a daily concern and where people are transient and always on the move. I adored the characters of Bev and Amy, I warmed to them instantly and loved their brutally honest and quirky friendship. The dialogue is spot-on ...more
Steph Soper
A thoroughly enjoyable read. Emily Gould has a fabulous authorial voice - Amy and Bev were written so well that I felt they were friends I'd known for years. I could relate so much to this book and the characters; there were so many passages when I thought OMG THIS IS MY LIFE, or times the characters' desires and fears matched my own. I also loved the urban hipster NYC setting - God I wish I lived in New York! Gould perfectly captures the fears, desires and problems many women on the cusp of 30 ...more
Eija
Dec 03, 2014 Eija rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
1. Barf.
2. Having a kid doesn't make you an adult.
3. Having a kid doesn't mean your kid free friends are immature losers.
4. Barf again.
5. Being a single parent or having a baby on your own isn't unusual.
6. Having a wealthy white woman who runs a maternity boutique hire you and give you health insurance is completely unique.
7. Maybe your kid free friends ARE immature losers, but it isn't because they've avoided birthing children.
8. I understand this is fiction, but what the hell is happening?
9. H
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Leslie Wells
A hilarious, moving and edgy must-read about friendship, love, and being young in New York City

If you've ever had a close girlfriend that you revealed all your deepest, darkest secrets to ... if you've ever been in a relationship with an elusive guy where you weren't quite sure where it was going ... if you've ever scraped by on a starter salary ... you will absolutely love this book! Bev is far overqualified for her temp job, but not sure in what direction her stalled early career should go. Am
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Marcia
Wow. I did not expect this.

Started reading it two and a half hours ago, did not stop until it was done.
Jen
This was a stinker. My main issue was the two main characters were absolutely interchangeable; the only times I could remember which one I was reading about was when their jobs were mentioned. Or their hair color. They act the same, react the same, and have the same type of internal dialogue. What's more, when attempts are made to flesh them out, I think even the author gets confused. One character who seems to have an amazing knack for turning on her charm and asking for what she wants/always g ...more
Rachel
Some people harbor ill feelings towards Emily Gould due to her internet past and I don’t judge her based on that stuff. I like her Tumblr and her independent e-book company. This book is an easy read and it’s very short but I could barely finish it in the end. It was more enjoyable in the beginning but then it never really clicked.
The friendship between Amy and Bev was never fully developed. The chapters told from the point of view of the woman that owned the house where Amy and Bev house sat a
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Amy
If you have an opinion of Emily Gould, just ignore that opinion. Or imagine Anonymous wrote the book. Then proceed.
I did have some peer pressure to read this book, but once I started, I read it within a 24 hour period. The story is kind of ridiculous, but 75% rings true - for a lot of the younger population, they were in the middle of trying to find a career when 9/11 happened, but publishing started to really change around 1998 (as I'm led to believe). So these two characters were left without
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Khamneithang Vaiphei
Friendship by Emily Gould is a story that takes the reader into the lives of the two main characters, Amy and Bev, through the highs and lows, and bringing it to a resounding conclusion, one that is totally unexpected. Tender, funny, honest and touching, this book is one good novel which many readers will devour with ease and delight.

In Friendship, Bev and Amy are two friends who are trying to find their feet in a competitive world while at the same time they are eager meaning, purpose and love
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Ariel
A heartbreaking story about what can happen to friendship as you grow into your life-defining thirties. So much of this book rang true in a painful and often hilarious way. Amy wants to put an ex co-worker's engagement ring in her mouth, Bev bemoans the days when she had to eat peanut butter soup, and the two of them contend with men who obsess only over their own blown up or miniaturized object-art or ask if there's "evidence" when told they've caused conception. Throughout it all, the book is ...more
Barbara
At the preface of “Friendship” is a quote from Stevie Nick’s “Landslide” song: “Can I handle the Seasons of my life”…which could have been another title for this novel. It’s an interesting chic-lit book about a friendship between two young women trying to make it in NYC. What’s refreshing is that boyfriends are involved, yet they aren’t a focal point of the novel, nor of the women’s relationship. The novel spans the two women’s ages between the early twenties into the thirties. The author provid ...more
Peter Knox
Friendship is an exemplary modern contemporary novel that feels more 'Frances Ha' than 'GIRLS' in it's intimate dealings with a NYC based female friendship.

The characters deal head on with trouble: career, money, rent, real estate, relationships, sex, and ultimately pregnancy. The way the conversations felt organic and natural carries through in how they handle modern communication and expectation of themselves and each other.

It's funny, awkward, real feeling, and had me guessing in which way t
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Sally Drake
4.5 stars. Another great summer read--smart and sweetly told story about a moving friendship between two just about 30-something women trying to make it in NYC--the book is being compared to Sex and the City and the Girls but I liked it even better than those narratives.
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Book Keeping: Friendship by Emily Gould 1 15 Jun 25, 2014 12:32PM  
Book Keeping: Friendship by Emily Gould (+ bonus nail decals) (ends 6/30) 1 7 Jun 25, 2014 12:00PM  
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Emily Gould was born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland. She went to Kenyon College for two years, then completed her B.A. at Eugene Lang College (The New School for Liberal Arts) in New York City. She has lived in NYC - first in the East Village, then in Greenpoint, and now in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn -- since May 2001.

Since moving to New York Emily has had a number of jobs, including work at Hyper
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