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Conversations with Friends

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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  111,128 ratings  ·  8,970 reviews
A sharply intelligent novel about two college students and the strange, unexpected connection they forge with a married couple.

Frances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed, and darkly observant. A college student and aspiring writer, she devotes herself to a life of the mind--and to the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi, her best friend and comrade-in-arms. Love
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Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published July 11th 2017 by Hogarth (first published May 25th 2017)
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Tony Hassan I started quite enjoying it, but the further I read, the more irritating and unbelievable I found the characters. I wish I'd quit a quarter way throug…moreI started quite enjoying it, but the further I read, the more irritating and unbelievable I found the characters. I wish I'd quit a quarter way through. (less)
Ryan The cover illustration is not directly related to the text. The art is credited as "Sharon and Vivien" (detail), 2009, Alex Katz and thus appears to h…moreThe cover illustration is not directly related to the text. The art is credited as "Sharon and Vivien" (detail), 2009, Alex Katz and thus appears to have been done prior to and independent of the text.

I agree that it was problematic for me when trying to form representations of the characters during my read. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  111,128 ratings  ·  8,970 reviews


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Esil
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A very tepid 3 stars. Conversations with Friends is another one of those books about not particularly nice people entangled in awkward relationships. I've certainly read many books of this nature that I've found clever and quite enjoyed, but this one was just ok. Frances and Bobbi -- both young women who used to be in a relationship with each other -- become entangled with somewhat older heterosexual couple Nick and Melissa. It's all told from Frances' perspective. She doesn't seem to be able to ...more
Jill
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been thinking a lot about aging lately: the way our perspective changes and how our need for stability, trust and healthy relationships become so much more valued than intoxicating, crash-and-burn emotional roller-coasters of our younger years.

I say this as means of introduction because while reading Conversations with Friends, it occurred to me that those readers who are not familiar with the confusing yet exhilarating times of poor choices mixed with a great deal of egotism and sense of i
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Sam
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
I didn't really respond well to Conversations with Friends. The writing itself is quite good in terms of realistic dialogue and description, but I found all of the characters entirely unlikable and hard to empathize with, very few with any positive animating traits, mostly just self-absorbed, narcissistic, occasionally cruel and capricious. Either in addition to or because I didn't respond to the characters, I also didn't respond to the plot well: the stakes seemed very low, there seemed to be l ...more
emma
what has to be wrong with a person for Conversations with Friends to be a comfort reread for them? asking for myself

-----------

I have a debilitating rereading problem.

It’s reached a concerning point -- seemingly 1 in 3 or 4 books I read is actually a reread. Previously I was way too picky about adding books to my to-read list to suffer a massive TBR issue, but now that I’m barely reading new books, the pile (which is a physical one in the corner of my room, stacked by color because a) rainbow sh
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Barry Pierce
The narrator of Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends at one point states that she never wants to work.

I had no plans as to my future financial sustainability: I never wanted to earn money for doing anything. [...] I'd felt that my disinterest in wealth was ideologically healthy. I'd checked what the average yearly income would be if the gross world product were evenly divided among everyone, and according to Wikipedia it would be $16, 100. I saw no reason, political or financial, ever to ma
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Elle (TheBookishActress)
There’s a cliche in reviewing where you say something along these lines: “I wouldn’t like these characters in real life, but I found them compelling.” See, I don’t think that’s why this book works. I think this book works because in real life we would probably like these characters; respect their talent, find them interesting if at times flawed or condescending, look up to them on a level at which we would at times resent them and at times want to be them. It’s just that none of us would ever kn ...more
Rachel
This was stupidly good. After recently loving Rooney's sophomore novel Normal People my expectations for Conversations With Friends were high, though I was also a bit wary; in these situations I'm always afraid an author's debut isn't going to live up. I needn't have worried. This was perfect from start to finish. You know that feeling when you miss a stair and your stomach lurches briefly before you land - this was that sensation in book form.

Once again I was impressed with Rooney's writing; it
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Danielle ❤️ Pretty Mess Reading ❤️
**2 STARS**

*shoulder shrug* Unfiltered review https://wp.me/p7ZSCH-3dC

Reading the synopsis of the book had me excited. I just knew I was going to love this book. It sounded like I was going to get a little bit of YA and NA combined into one brilliant masterpiece. Sadly, for me, that did not happen.

I want to start with the first and deepest reason why I never connected with this book. It’s a big one, lovers.

There are no quotation marks. It was extremely annoying reading a book when I couldn’t tel
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Sarah Jessica Parker
This book is incredible! Read it in one day.
Elyse  Walters
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook... read by
Alice McMahon

The audio-narration was wonderfully alive an addictive. Granted this isn’t exactly a book a parent would ever recommend to their young adult- 20-ish old child - daughter or son...as this is not an educational book on inspiring relationships —
But for me — as a 66 year old married fart who values honesty- with little-to-zero respect for adultery...( consented is up to the couple -‘lies’- destroy others)....
Regardless.....
I enjoyed the ‘conversations’.. the funny/
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Michael
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Compelling and cool, Conversations with Friends places millennial malaise and an unexpected love affair against the backdrop of summertime Dublin. The fast-paced plot follows a pair of privileged college-aged performance poets and exes, Bobbi and Frances, as they become entangled with an older, slightly famous married couple, Nick and Melissa. The bulk of the story concerns the rise and fall of Nick and Frances's romance. The two flirt by messenger, bonding over their shared lack of direction, a ...more
Hannah
I have spent the last days periodically exclaiming “God, what a book” (or more correctly, because I do speak German in my real life, “Gott, was ein Buch!” or “Dieses Buch!”). I am feeling vaguely guilty for having given other books five stars because this book is just so much more than most of those. I am in no way objective in my absolute adoration and I don’t think I can adequately articulate how very brilliant I thought this was, so stick with me while I squeal and talk in superlatives.

I drag
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Blair
I think this book might have worked better for me if I'd read it before Elif Batuman's The Idiot. Batuman and Rooney give their narrators similar voices: sharp, clear and deadpan but excessively self-aware. Both use email conversations to map out the development of a relationship. Both novels are told from the perspective of naive, supposedly intelligent young women who appear largely passive, falling into particular courses of action more because of the lack of a viable alternative than any gre ...more
Adam Dalva
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very, very strong, though I prefer the ping-ponging perspectives of the wonderful NORMAL PEOPLE. Rooney has such an uncanny knack for love squares and cliffhangers, and you'll fly through this, as I did. Her affectless prose is startling, though CWF has a few linguistic flourishes, especially toward the end, that slightly imbalance the text. She is a master of plot, of the importance of gestures, and desire. The one other thing about this book is that the lead repeatedly makes the same mistake i ...more
Maxwell
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really admire Sally Rooney’s writing. Her stories aren’t perfect, just like her characters, but they feel very authentic.
Susanne  Strong
5 Stars.

Entanglements, my oh my!

“Conversations with Friends” by Sally Rooney had me ALMOST from the get go. At first, admittedly, I wondered WHAT in HECK, I was listening too. Frances… rambling on about her goings on… her trysts with her school friend Bobbi.. which went from steamy to platonic very quickly. Frances’s description of her and Bobbi’s poetry readings and a woman named Melissa’s immediate intrigue in them and then BOOM. Somewhere along the way I began listening with interest, which t
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Marchpane
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Conversations with Friends (the title and sunny cover are fairly misleading) is a stark, reflective novel which asks the reader to inhabit the mind of 21 year old poet and college student, Frances. She appears to be coolly detached from her feelings, at least in the beginning, and analytical to the point of neurosis.

We get a sense of Frances' excruciating self-consciousness at the start of the novel, when she and her ex-girlfriend Bobbi are invited back to the home of Melissa, a "slightly famous
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Thomas
My controversial take on this book is that it could also be titled Self-absorbed White People have Feelings Too. Before I get into that take, I do think Sally Rooney accomplishes quite a lot with her debut novel Conversations with Friends. The book follows Frances and her best friend Bobbi, who become entangled with a married couple, Nick and Melissa. Frances and Nick begin an affair which gets intense, and much of these characters’ relationships with one another thicken when Bobbi and Melissa f ...more
Lucy Langford
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5****

Things and people moved around me, taking positions in obscure hierarchies, participating in systems I didn’t know about and never would. A complex network of objects and concepts. You live through certain things before you understand them. You can’t always take the analytical position.

I adored my reread of this book and within the last 100 pages I felt almost grief while witnessing Frances’ consciousness. This book offered up truth and insight into the female consciousness and dissected
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Jessica
I received this book for free through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers.

This book gave me so many feels. It was a roller coaster of emotions. For some reason I really connected to this book. There was something so captivating about it.

I felt like this book would make a great movie or miniseries on HBO. There's something really special and different about it that would translate well to the screen.

The characters felt very real and I think that's what I liked most about it. I loved Nick. He was so d
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David Schaafsma
“You’re twenty-one, said Melissa. You should be disastrously unhappy.

I’m working on it, I said.”

Conversations Among Friends by Sally Rooney I listened to because—conversations, talk, duh—and because I had just read and taught her second book, Normal People. I have to say I loved both books, but I am also quick to say that the central female character in each book is very similar, physically quite a bit like what Rooney appears to looks like. The two main characters share some deeply concerning p
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Bianca
Meah, blah, I'm giving up, I've already spent too much time in the company of these characters.

I don't mind unlikable characters, I don't have an issue with sexual fluidity or cheating (as in I don't need a trigger warning, it doesn't prevent me from reading a novel). In saying all that, the characters were insufferable, vacuous, bland, and the writing didn't agree with me at all. In my year of reading mostly chick -lit, I created a GR shelf Im-So-Over-First-Person-Narratives. This novel belong
...more
Vicky "phenkos"
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Although I couldn't relate to any of the characters in Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends, I had a visceral reaction to the book. There were pages where my emotions were overwhelming and I could feel my eyes watering even though there was nothing there that resembled my own life in the slightest. I find affairs with married men an uninteresting subject; high-flying literary couples with holiday homes in the South of France a complete bore; cool young women who find it hard to communicate ...more
Carol (Bookaria)
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2017, fiction
This book revolves around two college students in Dublin named Frances and Bobbi and their relationship with Melissa & Nick who are a married couple they meet early in the story.

It is told from the point of view of Frances which at times can be described as very matter-of-factly and at other times as very introspective. A lot of the interactions happened by email which I thought was a bit strange since nowadays most people communicate by text. I mean, there were some texts but a large part of t
...more
Michael Livingston
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful - funny, smart and sad - not much happens in this book, but it's a joy to spend time with these difficult, intelligent and sometimes unpleasant people.
Julie Ehlers
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
On a vacation to Portland, Maine, a few weeks ago, I visited two independent bookstores that both had the newly released paperback of Conversations with Friends featured in their displays of bookseller recommendations. Although up to then I'd been unsure if I'd read this novel, I decided to heed the two endorsements and bought a copy at one of the stores. Perhaps this experience predisposed me to like the book, but like it I definitely did.

I won't rehash the plot here but will just say that Conv
...more
Britta Böhler
Nope, not my kind of book.
Bored by the story, and the writing style didnt do it for me either.
Bruno
Dec 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporanea, uk
WHO EVEN WRITES SO MANY EMAILS IRL?? DON'T THEY HAVE WHATSAPP IN IRELAND?
Henk
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An uncomfortable read that sucks you into the sometimes bleak world of the narrator and shows what it's like to grow up in the modern day world
... and I felt sorry for all of us, like we were just little children pretending to be adults.

Our narrator
Bobbi told me she thought I didn’t have a ‘real personality’, but she said she meant it as a compliment. Mostly I agreed with her assessment. At any time I felt I could do or say anything at all, and only afterwards think: oh, so that’s the kind of pe
...more
Johann (jobis89)
4.5 stars. I bow down to Rooney.
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Sally Rooney was born in 1991 and lives in Dublin, where she graduated from Trinity College. Her work has appeared in Granta, The Dublin Review, The White Review, The Stinging Fly, and the Winter Pages anthology.

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