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Friends Like Us

2.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,649 ratings  ·  368 reviews
With her critically acclaimed debut novel, Still Life with Husband, Lauren Fox established herself as a wise and achingly funny chronicler of domestic life and was hailed as “a delightful new voice in American fiction, a voice that instantly recalls the wry, knowing prose of Lorrie Moore” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times). Fox’s new novel glitters with these pleasures ...more
Hardcover, 269 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2012)
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2.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,649 ratings  ·  368 reviews

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Feb 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
First, let's talk about motivation.
Is there a reason why Willa sabotages her self over and over again?
Is thera any, and i mean ANY reason why Ben even hooked up with Jane?
I am not even going to ask why he asked her to marry him.
And really, after he did all this, why, in the name of all that is holy, did he make a 180 degrees turn around and went back to Willa, his first love, or what ever you can call the feeling of all around spineless gnat Ben?


Chick lit! Will I ever learn?

(view spoiler)
Misty Baker
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
**A 2.5 Review**

Sooo… it’s been a while since I’ve read chick-lit, mostly because I hate it, (ok hate it is a bit of a stretch, lets just say I wish it intense bodily harm.) but more, because I just can’t bring myself to accept if for review. Now, just so we are clear… I’m not talking about romances or (more common these days) a romp in the hay. Noooo… I am talking about the, “Oh woe is me, my life really sucks so I’m going to sit her and whine about it for 260 pages before I finally figure out
Jul 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book sucked. Hardcore. I should have known better. Whenever Goodreads advertises a book, it usually blows. But I read the description on this one and it seemed cute. So I gave it a whirl. Note to self: don't do that again.

First I'll start off with the ONE positive thing that I have in mind. Yes, there is only one.
Lauren Fox is not a bad writer. Sure, her story was absolutely asinine & the characters were so flat and vapid and weak and oh wait I am supposed to be positive. Sorry. The gi
Carolyn Crane
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary
I so loved this funny, lovely book about friendship and loyalty and hard choices. It’s a departure from what I typically read (and not a romantic happily-ever-after) but I felt like it was so rich and good, and full of true things about friendship and the heart and human nature here - I was so sad when it was over!

In a nutshell, the book revolves around two hilarious, smart, artistic friends, Jane and Willa. They’re in their twenties and fumbling their way into adulthood together when Ben, a ner
Jul 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
i need to stop reading chick-lit. ugh these characters were horrible to each other. And the writing! O-M-G do people really talk like that? puns everywhere. save yourself and don't read this book. I regret listening to EW when they gave this one a positive review.

In short this book is about 3 friends. Willa, the main character has a high school best friend- Ben, whom she loses touch with in college. While in college she meets Jane and becomes best friends with her. At their 8 year (?!?!) high s
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I waffle between three and four stars, but just because of the inevitable bummer of an ending. But this was such a fun read until then. I loved the characters and wanted to have drinks with them - they're all quick witted, fun, smart and silly. The book is from mid-20s Willa's perspective, that phase when you're out of college and waiting for opportunities to arise and for life to coalesce, without too much pressure yet to get it together. But as other lives come together - say, your two best fr ...more
Sarah Brown
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Well, this is my first five star rating on GoodReads, which I think is a BFD. I've been on this search for the perfect book to read that is exactly what I'm looking for, except I didn't know what I was looking for, so instead I just kept saying what I DIDN'T want, and it was a lot like trying to pick out a restaurant with someone (me) who doesn't make any suggestions but also uses the power of veto liberally. Basically, I kept saying that I wanted something age appropriate (I'm 31, so ABSOLUTELY ...more
Sep 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
I've been told that when I get around my sisters I start to talk like them: my voice gets higher and my vocabulary shrinks and I basically get a little obnoxious. So I get that Willa and Jane have their thing, you know? They're besties! They're twinsies! Shit happens. But then in the scenes where it's Willa and her brother Seth (who have a pretty stilted relationship), there's all these caustic one liners followed up with nose snorts and then they're calling their parents Fran and Stan even thou ...more
This book is very “Something Borrowed.” Protagonist has two best friends, one male, one female. She sets them up and voila! Love ensues. She then must promptly face her misgivings about the situation, namely, male BFF’s love not flowing in her direction. In this the female friend (Jane) is not a bitch as portrayed in Something Borrowed and the three do seem to have a deep connection. Their repartee and banter is pretty funny even when it’s purposefully corny. I did find the writing a notch above ...more
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Willa lives in a small apartment with her best friend, Jane. Jane is an aspiring poet who writes about her day job cleaning houses, and Willa thinks up slogans for an advertising agency. The two are suspended between college and "real life," and when Willa attends her high school reunion and reconnects with her old friend Ben, he is immediately drawn into their circle. Jane and Ben begin dating, and the three become a delicately balanced family, sharing adventures, breakfasts, and tiny paychecks ...more
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book explores the question 'What would you give up for a friends happiness?' According to Friends Like Us, not much. Without ruining the story, the main character in this book has to deal with her best friend dating and becoming engaged to the boy who was her best buddy during her awkward school years, and has now morphed into a witty, attractive man. A lot of "poor me", a lot of angst as she watches the two fall in love and become a couple. There were times I wanted to reach into the book, ...more
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is such a great book, you guys, so great and well-observed and complex. It's a close analysis, first-person, of the end of something. A friendship, mostly, but other things, too. Willa reminds me of so many people: myself, my friends, my enemies. Anyone who is sensitive to every shift in the air but powerless (or unwilling) to say the things that will prevent the scary changes. Then you look back, after things are different, and you are hyper-aware of the detail in your memory. You know you ...more
Feb 22, 2012 rated it liked it
This book - in true tawdry fashion - drew me because of the cover...

I've found that this is the Author's first effort. Its a light and clever read, and I hope indicative of Mrs Fox's talents.

Its clever. You are told of the ending, know that things are going to end... and (at least so far) I'm rooting for the implausibility of a magical/cathartic "happy ending"

Its a sort of deconstruction romance novel.

Dawn Fisher
May 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked it while I was reading it, but the ending went so downhill, now I'm questioning why I liked it. The main character is awful and I don't understand her, and to top it off, the ending was totally ambiguous and we don't even know what ends up happening. I hate that!
Olivia Suarez
Apr 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
I immediately thought of "Something Borrowed" when I first started reading this book. It started off promising, but then fell apart with unfunny cliches and underdeveloped characters. This book was so quintessentially predictable and messy - I didn't want to finish it, but I did anyway because I was curious to see just how the story between Willa, Jane, & Ben would play out. I'm a fan of the rom-com genre, but even this was too much.
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
How bittersweet and painful that ending is... Maybe it's the half bottle of wine I drank reading the last third of this book, but it's true that this ending went down well with some red. Not-so-spoiler* I am so glad it wasn't a happy ending.

It's true that at different moments, I look back at 26 and think it wasn't nearly this bad, Willa. Then, I have a bad week and think I haven't yet escaped the misery of that year. I don't know that I would appreciate this book as much at 40 as I do now at 30
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The opening "scene" grabbed me and sucked me in immediately, and made me want to know what had transpired leading up to that. The characters are well-balanced--likable but believably un-saintly. They were relatable/recognizable. Even though their specific circumstances and decisions might not be what they reader has ever dealt with, some form of the emotions experienced should be familiar. The main character grapples with a host of feelings. Happy for her friends, yet ...more
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sure that some people will think this book really ain't that much. And I get that. It's not like Fox was forging new territory in writing this book or anything. Love and betrayal, the effects of the past on our view of the present, the delicacy of the bonds that we form with friends and with family...we've heard it all before. And it's not like Fox explores these themes with the kind of originality and flair that distinguish Friends Like Us from its similarly-detailed counterparts. The prolo ...more
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it

Friends Like Us is getting a lot of positive buzz right now and I can certainly see why. Lauren Fox has created a world of friendship that we all long for. One where Willa has not one, but two friends who "complete" her. I just don't think she can see how lucky she is to have the bond that she has with both Jane and Ben. It is truly a gift from God. And when she makes an incredibly stupid move those bonds are changed forever. I really want to be careful in
Amy Wochos
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I will put a big disclaimer on this by saying I have known the author since high school. So you can stop reading this if you want.

I really liked Lauren's first book. I really LOVED this one. And I read it when it first came out and am only now commenting, which is not a reflection on her, the book, or Goodreads, but just a reflection of how much life has gotten in the way of me commenting on any books in the last year. Enough about me...I really appreciated how much Lauren has grown as a writer
Aug 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Overall, I picked this book up on a whim and didn't have high expectations.
That being said, I wasn't extremely disappointed with it. Considering it covered the familiar 'best friend/third wheel/pseudo-love triangle arc', I think the author gave depth to the characters which was helped the book transcend traditional chick lit.

Although many people were not impressed, I think Jane and Willa's relationship however dysfunctional and imbalanced below the surface, represented a very real dynamic in man
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
The book was written up in so many magazines, so I was surprised that I didn't love it. The book follows a girl named Willa who, when the book starts, runs into her ex-best friend, Jane. The story then goes back in time to find out how and why the two aren't chummy any more, which, of course involves a love story.

Overall, I found the story pretty boring/not exciting. The prose is really simple - a bit annoyingly so -- and to be honest, I found the main character pretty annoying. The story kind
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
I mostly just was bored by this book, I guess. I mean, it was fine. But it just seems to drift along, and the ending is unresolved. The old best friend and the new best friend meet and hit it off, and our heroine becomes an emotionally conflicted third wheel on their non-adventures about town. Like, buying groceries, eating food, or finding a raccoon in the woods - wow! Such doings! Also, her brother's kind of a dick. The sections of backstory about her dysfunctional childhood were more interest ...more
Feb 18, 2012 rated it liked it

Okay for a chick lit--and I'm calling it that, even though I"m not sure that that is how it is "officially" classified. There was just too much dysfunction for one small group of friends. Usually, I gravitate toward that, but this was just a little beyond my acceptance level. I absolutely HATED the main character. I found her to be extremely annoying and her "cute" and "witty" puns were far more irritating than they were anything else. And the ending? Don't get me started on the ending.

Shanna Loewen
Jul 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2013
This book should have been called "Neuroses Like Us". There were some great, fun moments in this story but overall it was nothing more than a running commentary on why Willa has a failure to succeed mentality. The book opens so strong and really makes you want to know how these friends got to this point but after that it is downhill. I kept reading hoping I would feel some "closure" but it just fell flat. The author can write well, it just seems like she was too busy constructing sentences to bu ...more
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This story was refreshing, in an oddly emotional and hilarious way. The story of Willa, Jane and Ben is one of warm and loving friendship, as well as heartbreak that cuts like a knife. I actually had the privilege to meet Lauren Fox, and she is such an interesting person to listen to. She puts a little of herself into this novel, with the witty humor and quiet, shameful humiliation in some relationships.

This book was so easy to read, wonderful to connect to, and the characters were such a lovel
Nov 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
One of my biggest pet peeves is a book that tries too hard to be funny. This is one of those books. I couldn't even finish it. The ridiculous story about the giant, orange dildo did me in. Who mistakes a baby's stacking ring toy for a dildo and then laughs HYSTERICALLY about it? Too silly for me. Had to chuck it.
Mar 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, however I hate that there wasn't really an ending. When I realized there were only 5 pages left of the book, I was shocked because there was no way the book was just going to end like that! Even the epilogue left a lot to be desired. The author could have closed things up a little bit better.
Rachel Jaffe
Feb 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
It was about five seconds between reading the sample on my Kindle and hitting "buy this book." I was so drawn in to the characters that all I wanted to do was hang out with them some more, as soon as possible. A fun yet bittersweet book that I'm already wanting to re-read it.
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Goodreads Librari...: here's another one! 7 35 Jul 13, 2012 02:32PM  

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I was born in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, into a family full of love, support, and very little grist for the dramatic mill. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a writer, and decided that my best bet was to make stuff up. My first attempts at fiction included a tragic story about a blind Mexican orphan, and a tragic tale about a horse who dies, tragically, in a barn fire.

By the time
“Our distance has lived in me like the aftermath of a bad dream-I carry it around, the knowledge that we were once close, that something was lost; it's the lingering sadness of unfinished business. (18)” 9 likes
“We all think we're snowflakes, but we're Tinker Toys, held together by our interchangeable parts. (39)” 7 likes
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