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Friendship

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3.08  ·  Rating Details ·  4,641 Ratings  ·  611 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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Lee
Aug 25, 2014 Lee rated it it was ok
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 (view spoiler), which I saw coming a few chapters ahead, I groaned. ...more
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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Anita Smith
Jul 20, 2014 Anita Smith rated it did not like it
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.
Patrick Brown
Dec 10, 2013 Patrick Brown rated it it was amazing
"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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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
switterbug (Betsey)
Jun 27, 2014 switterbug (Betsey) rated it liked it
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
Jessica
Dec 31, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Eija
Dec 01, 2014 Eija rated it did not like it
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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Kevin Fanning
Feb 19, 2014 Kevin Fanning rated it it was amazing
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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Nikunj
Jul 20, 2014 Nikunj rated it did not like it
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
Edan
Dec 26, 2013 Edan rated it really liked it
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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Marcy Dermansky
Oct 07, 2014 Marcy Dermansky rated it it was amazing
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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Lorri Steinbacher
Jul 14, 2014 Lorri Steinbacher rated it really liked it
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
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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zan
Jul 15, 2014 zan rated it it was amazing
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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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
Jade Lopert
Dec 11, 2014 Jade Lopert rated it did not like it
Blurb (from Amazon): Friendship, Emily Gould’s debut novel, traces the evolution of a friendship with humor and wry sympathy. Gould examines the relationship between two women who want to help each other but sometimes can’t help themselves; who want to make good decisions but sometimes fall prey to their own worst impulses; whose generous intentions are sometimes overwhelmed by petty concerns.

This is a novel about the way we speak and live today; about the ways we disappoint and betray one anoth
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Misty
Feb 20, 2014 Misty rated it liked it
This was kind of like a few episodes of Gossip Girl...

gossipgirl

you might be able to believe that friends relate and react to one another this way, but in the end you are kinda in a friendship-romcom.

I was into it for the most part of the book... I enjoyed the friendship between two young women trying to figure out their lives and acting as one another's "life partner". Bev gets pregnant, then it just gets weird... (view spoiler)
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Alice
Jun 17, 2014 Alice rated it it was amazing
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
Jessica
Jun 13, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it
In the past few years I've noticed a bit of a trend with authors who set their novels in a time period where cell phones, computers, the internet, and most especially social media does not exist. I understand that perhaps it's difficult to write in a certain serious way when these technologies may seem shallow - or, maybe, difficult to be dramatic (miscommunication, a missed message, etc.). But there's still drama in this technology-laden world we live in, and I'm glad Emily Gould wrote a novel ...more
Sara
Jun 19, 2014 Sara rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
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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Amy
Jun 15, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
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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Jen
Aug 29, 2014 Jen rated it did not like it
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
Simone
Jul 08, 2014 Simone rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2014, not-a-fan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter Knox
Jul 11, 2014 Peter Knox rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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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Steph Soper
Jan 24, 2014 Steph Soper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Meg
Jul 16, 2014 Meg rated it it was ok
Honestly, I thought this book was a bit lazy. Gould would have been better off just writing a memoir since the book is so obviously auto-biographical. I feel like there wasn't a lot of thought put into the story or the details. The book was so much like my and my friends' lives (young Millennial women working in NYC, living in Brooklyn, nearing 30)yet somehow managed to be completely unrelatable. Not much depth to any of the characters. Predictable and yet unbelievable plot lines. I was looking ...more
Richard
Jul 09, 2015 Richard rated it it was ok
Mmmm. I probably shouldn't have chosen this to read but it had a nice shiny cover and a recommendation by Curtis Sittenfeld a writer I really like.

Friendship has its moments and is not terrible but to me it needed a darned good edit as if this manuscript should have been rejected and then polished up.

My other major issue is that neither of the main characters are very nice. Both are egotistical and use others without seeming to care.

It is an easy read and Emily Gould can write.
Marcia
Jul 27, 2014 Marcia rated it really liked it
Wow. I did not expect this.

Started reading it two and a half hours ago, did not stop until it was done.
christa
Jul 14, 2014 christa rated it liked it
From the safety of seven years, a decade away, I can now say that we all went a little capital I-for-internet, insane in the mid-2000s. Here we were with this way of connecting with practically everyone with with access to home row and we used it. Hell yes, we used it. We adopted a sort of drunk-n-devil-may-care personae and wrote minute replays of everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to one-night makeouts. We gave enemies nicknames and embellished fan fiction about their yolk-stained corda ...more
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Book Keeping: Friendship by Emily Gould (+ bonus nail decals) (ends 6/30) 1 9 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
...more
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“Existential angst was far, far above her pay grade.” 2 likes
“Amy had always thought she was too vain and selfish to seriously contemplate suicide, also too afraid of pain. She realized now that when she'd thought that, she hadn't understood how painful existence could get. It could get so painful, it turned out, that any other kind of pain began to seem preferable. She felt ridiculous thinking these goth-teenager thoughts, but they were real.” 1 likes
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