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Grad Night #1

Love in the Friend Zone

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Braylen didn't even want to go to Lennon Pryor's epic graduation-night party, but when Fynn begs her to be his "wingwoman," she can't deny him. Talking up her BFF—how he's magic behind a camera, with a killer sense of humor and eyelashes that frame the most gorgeous blue eyes in the history of forever—is easy. Supporting his efforts to woo someone so completely wrong for him? Not so much.

Fynn knows that grad night is his last shot before leaving for college to find true love. But over the course of the coolest party of their high school careers, he starts to see that perhaps what he really wants has been in front of him all along. Bray's been his best friend since kindergarten, though, and he'd rather have her in his life as a friend than not at all.

150 pages, ebook

First published April 14, 2017

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About the author

Molly E. Lee

18 books969 followers
Molly E. Lee is an author best known for her romance novels, the Grad Night series and the Love on the Edge series. Molly writes Adult and Young Adult contemporary featuring strong female heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. In addition to being a military spouse and mother of two + one stubborn English Bulldog, Molly loves watching storms from her back porch at her Midwest home, and digging for treasures in antique stores.

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5 stars
262 (24%)
4 stars
376 (35%)
3 stars
312 (29%)
2 stars
82 (7%)
1 star
25 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 176 reviews
Profile Image for Jen .
802 reviews572 followers
August 16, 2017
4 BFF Love Stars

High school seniors Bray and Flynn have been best friends since kindergarten. Sure, Braylen might have been thinking of Flynn in a not so friendly way for a while now, but who could blame her? Even if most of the other girls don’t appreciate his crazy blue eyes and his mad photography skills, Bray knows the awesomeness that is Flynn and after all this time, she can’t help but admit to herself she’s a whole lot in love with him.

When fate lands him and longtime crush Katy at the coolest grad night party of the year, Flynn knows it’s time to make his move. Luckily for him his bff Bray has agreed to help him snag Katy’s attention by pretending to be interested in him, kissing him to make Katy jealous, all that good stuff only teenage boys could come up with. Why is Bryn acting so weird about helping him get Katy to notice him? And why is Flynn suddenly starting to see Bryn in a different light?

Let me start off by saying I’m about 20 years too late for this book. When I saw it posted on NetGalley, I couldn’t help but request it because even though I’m well outside the target age group, these are themes we can all relate to. Who hasn’t had a crush go unrequited or fell for their best friend? Teenage emotions can get messy and Bryn and Flynn are no different. I loved Bryn’s steadfast love for Flynn and her need to make him see her, even though he’s obviously smitten with another girl. So many times the girls that hold out hope are written as clingy and pathetic, but I absolutely adored Bryn and her trying to walk the tightrope of good friend and girl in love was poignant and realistic. Flynn could’ve had some come to Jesus moments well before he did but I still enjoyed him.

Is this book going to get any awards for originality? Not so much. Still, Love in the Friend Zone brought me right back to that cringey, awkward and completely unsure time I thought I’d outgrown. Turns out we’re never too old to remember just how raw and all- encompassing eighteen year old love can be.

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
508 reviews2,428 followers
January 26, 2019
I am a HUGE fan of best friends turning into lovers, but this was just a fucking mess. More on this when I’m no longer annoyed to new heights!
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,670 reviews701 followers
July 27, 2017
I'm a sucker for a BFF to more story and I really liked the synopsis here.

I liked Braylen and Fynn well enough. They're both smart and hard working and have a cute banter between them that comes from them knowing each other for so long. There are a lot of characters, but Katy and Randy are the only other set worth mentioning {besides Braylen's Mom, but she was amazing and deserved more time} and it felt like both of them were just on the page to serve a purpose. We didn't get more than surface information on either.

Plot wise, it was exactly what I expected. I liked that the entire book was over one {maybe} 12 hour period. The downside to that is that everything felt rushed and I never really saw the chemistry manifest between Braylen and Fynn. The grand gesture was sweet, but I would have liked a bit more from the ending.

Overall, it was really quick read and I'm definitely intrigued to see the next one. If for nothing more than to find out what Zoey's plan was.

**Huge thanks to Entangled Publishing for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for A_Ryan.
588 reviews172 followers
August 19, 2017

What's it about?
Braylen and Fynn have been best friends since kindergarten (yay!! I LOVE that!). They share zombie movie marathons, private in-jokes, tragedies and successes. Their bond is obvious to everyone... except Fynn, who is somewhat infatuated with the most popular girl at school.

Reminiscent of an 80's John Hughes comedy Somekind of Wonderful with a bit of Dawson's Creek and Press Gang thrown in for extra measure, this was such a sweet and funny best-friends romance.

The Best Bits: The best thing about a good YA romance is that it focuses more on the feelings, the longing, the emotional growth of characters, and the connection between them, rather than the physical and sexual focus of NA/adult romances. So when I have had enough of insta-lust and super-dooper multi-orgasmic marathon madness I always love discovering a sweet romance. And this came at EXACTLY the right time.

I also loved that this all happened in one night! Its so refreshing to have such a short time frame.... everything leading to the final strokr of midnight.

I loved Bray, the heroine. She was smart, funny, and such an individual. Her friendship with the adorably clueless Fynn is what every high school girl dreams of. There was no slut-shaming, parent-hating, angst drama... the whole focus was on the two characters falling in love.

I loved that this was an easy to read, formulaic romance that indulged in good writing and fabulous chemistry.

The worst bits: I wanted Fynn to be just a bit more... bad. I wanted him to tease Bray a bit more, cause havoc, have fun, and challenge others around him. Hmmm... maybe he'll grow into it!

Recommended for: Fans of sweet YA romances, who love reading about Best Friends falling in love. This is a great, easy, indulgent, totally fun and brilliant introduction to a new series! I can't wait to read Zoey and Gordon's story, which focuses on another favourite trope of mine: enemies to lovers.
Profile Image for Rê .
455 reviews56 followers
August 4, 2017

4 "BFFs & Graduation Party" Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you, Entangled Teen!!!

I started this book one day after I was done reading Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock, and the fact that I adored Love in the Friend Zone says a lot about how amazing this book is. Why? Because Just Friends and Love in the Friend Zone have the same vibe (sweet and romantic) and premise (best friends falling in love), but they still felt different enough to stand on their own.

In Love in the Friend Zone we have best friends since they were kids, Bray and Fynn. Bray is in love with Fynn. Fynn has no clue because he's a guy, and you know how guys can be clueless sometimes. #sorrynotsorry


It's graduation day and while all Bray wants is for her BFF to finally realize she's the girl of his dreams, so they can go off to college together as more than just friends, Fynn is stuck on the idea of someone else entirely. He wants popular girl, Katy. But don't judge Fynn just yet. The boy isn't interested in Katy because she's popular and pretty. No, he thinks she's more than just that, and he was charming enough to wait a few months since her break up to actually make a move. Very prince-ly of him. He's also interested in Katy because falling for her might be the safest route. See, Katy is going to college much closer to home, than, let's say, his best friend Bray, who's moving across the country. And if there's something Frynn wants is to stay close to his parents because they're close and happy. You see my problem here? Fynn makes it very hard to stay mad at him for the bad choices he's making. LOL

And being mad at Fynn should be easy, because he has the coolest girl right there and he doesn't even see it. Like Fynn, Bray is so likable I couldn't help but feel for her. Girlfriend broke my heart more than once with the whole "I love my best friend" drama. Every time she saw Fynn and Katy together, every time she put her own feelings aside to make sure Fynn got his happiness, every time she thought Fynn was rejecting her, hurt me as if I were her. I both loved and hated how Bray's drama made me feel. Kudos to Molly E. Lee (a new author for me) for putting me right there with Bray every step of the way.

Like most BFF to lover stories, fear and miscommunication ruled the story here, but not in a bad way. This reminded me of another favorite YA Contemporary about BFF falling in love, Adorkable by Cookie O'Gorman. These two authors shared the ability to make the story interesting using miscommunication as a plot device in a way that didn't seem cheesy or annoying. There was reason and logic behind Bray's decision to keep quiet about her feelings for her best friends, and Fynn's denial was also understandable. He had weaker motives than Bray, but he wasn't the only one who had always known he was in love with his BFF, so I could buy that.

Something I also adored was how this story was pratically told in a span of a day, or better yet, a night. Most of the story was set in a graduation party, and dude, I so wanted to be at that party because there was so much going on. The fact that Fynn and Bray were BFF allowed for that to happen without it feeling like insta-love.

Speaking of that party, I was super super excited about all the people we met there. There were all these side romance stories going on between Bray and Fynn's friends, and I need to read about them. I need.


I seriously need Molly E. Lee and Entangled Teen to tell me there will be more books in this series. And I need them to be out soon. Like, yesterday.

So, I guess what I'm saying is this book was freaking adorable and great and super my thing, and I simply cannot wait to read what this author writes next. Give. It. To. Me.
Profile Image for Alison.
3,079 reviews119 followers
August 4, 2017
DNF at 49%

Braylen and Fynn (yep, that's their names) have been BFFs for years. She writes for the school paper and he takes the photographs. They shared a kiss once a few years ago at a party but both agreed it was a mistake and have been firmly in the friends zone ever since. School has ended and Braylen is off to college 2,000 miles away but Fynn is undecided. The story centres around the lead up to and attendance at a party to celebrate the end of school. Fynn has asked his BFF to help him get a date with Katy "Killer Boobs" (shoot me now) and Bray has agreed to help even though she has been in love with Fynn ever since that kiss.

I accept that I am a 50 year old woman reading a book aimed at teenagers (and young teenagers at that) but I have read plenty and loved them (sometimes I think it is because they are so sweet) but Bray and Fynn are just so determinedly oblivious to the other's feelings, despite everyone around them seeing the blindingly obvious that it got tedious.

I tried really hard but Fynn and Bray were just those kind of intellectual (yet hot) but stupid kids that really irritate, Bray is a nerd (because she wears Darth Vader t-shirts) but really hot but no-one realises she is hot until she wears a bikini or tight jeans? And don't get me started on Flynn's moralising about how Bray doesn't need to dress up because she's beautiful just as she is - wonderful sentiment if he hadn't had his eyeballs on stalks at the same time! There's the obligatory hot, mean girl and the jock and the ritchie-rich kid - it was all so predictable.

Anyway, it also really reminded me of the 1987 film Some Kind of Wonderful.

Sorry, just not for me.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Yoda.
569 reviews110 followers
September 6, 2017
If you´re in the mood for a sweet and easy novel than this is a great read. It´s a bit boring to read about one day for the whole length of a book. I´m starting to dislike romance novels that only have plot surrounded by misunderstanding/someone not saying what they think.
Profile Image for SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews .
575 reviews334 followers
August 5, 2017

This is a awesome sweet romance that both, young and old will enjoy.

I love Molly Lee’s writing style, her characters and world settings are just very enjoyable.

I like that we get a semi slow build up and that the pair is friends first and foremost. Of course both at one point realize there might be more but are not willing to risk it.
I enjoyed both Fynn and Braylen, both are smart, funny and a bit crazy. Love their friendship.
Some parts seemed a bit slow but it really didn’t bother me much in this book. It just seemed to fit somehow.

Overall, really enjoyed this book and recommend this clean fun and flirty read.

I rate it 4 ½ ★

Profile Image for Jaime Fiction Fangirls.
1,578 reviews147 followers
January 24, 2018
Sweet, easy read

I don’t know why this is my first time reading a book by this author. I see her books on my timeline ALL the time. Now I know why.

This was a good, fun YA story with realistic high school characters. Flynn was oblivious and Braylen was frustrating, but it felt right for their age group and maturity level. I was a BIG fan of Randy, how lucky for Braylen to have stumbled, literally, into him early on. Katy was the typical “popular” character you expect to find in YA stories, even when she was being nice, she was shady.

I liked this story for exactly what it was. A light-hearted, fun friends to lovers story and I will absolutely be reading more from Molly E. Lee.
Profile Image for Dísir.
1,661 reviews168 followers
July 19, 2017
Reading about storms in teacups is how I approach YA stories, because I sort of remember that nothing seemed more important than a crush returning your feelings and the obsession over college choices.

‘Love in the Friend Zone’ all but practically takes place over the course of an evening during a graduation party, as you’re thrust straight into the climax of a story after being given a rushed run down of Braylen’s unrequited feelings and Fynn’s inability to see that she has always been in front of him.

Within this time period, Bray vacillates between wanting the best for Fynn and struggling with her own desires and jealousy, while Fynn remains oblivious which is the status quo for teenage boys as it seems. All this is well and fairly typical—it’s the hormonal teenage years after all—but I probably would have liked this better if the story focused less on Bray’s overwhelming angst and her inability to be convinced that Fynn would ever want her.

Fynn’s sudden realisation that he’d been in love with her all along was somewhat cringeworthy, since it had to take a confession from Bray to get his head out of his own arse. Granted, I’m not someone who can easily accept sudden switch of the flip type epiphanies particularly when it comes to a party realising he/she had been in love with someone all along because it can, in some cases, get extremely hypocritical.

The events at this particular party did however, got more and more ridiculous, taking a rom-com’s blithe journey to a climax of mistaken identities, stunts and high drama. Expect juvenile jokes, and even more juvenile pranks and a huge load of emotional spikes and valleys…all before Fynn and Bray actually get it together.

If this review is sounding as though there's some impatience on my part, it’s probably me having a hard time admitting I’m quite much older with different tastes now.

*ARC by netgalley
(stil grateful, mind)
Profile Image for Karen Mc .
908 reviews723 followers
April 29, 2018

SWEET SIGH. I just read my first Molly E. Lee romance and I was ENAMORED, so engrossed with this YA ADDICTION! Love in the Friend Zone is friendship on fire, a FUN, FLIRTY, and FEEL-GOOD tale that is simply IRRESISTIBLE.

”Maybe I’ll take your lead and find someone to sweep off his feet.”

A rock lodged itself in my throat, but I cleared it with a fast swig of soda.
“Yeah? You have anyone in mind?”

Love in the Friend Zone follows a close-knit group of high school friends, charming and captivating characters you won’t only want but NEED TO KNOW. I FELL SO HARD for Flynn and Braylen. They were so sweet, and the built-up of their romance made me BREATHLESS.

”I’m the photographer who sees every angle, but I didn’t see you, Braylen. Not like I should have.”

What an endearing and relatable read of childhood friends to lovers! A SLOW-BURNING and ANGST-BLEEDING love story that made my heart both burst with butterflies and beat out of my chest, Love in the Friend Zone SWEPT ME AWAY. I need MORE.

”Make the universe give you your moment.”

💋💋💋💋 ”now I see you’ kisses

➡️ https://amzn.to/2HCGzYE

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Profile Image for Bookgasms Book Blog.
2,713 reviews1,266 followers
August 6, 2017
You know those definitive party scenes in all the great teen romcoms (think Say Anything or Can't Hardly Wait)? The ones where things go from crazy to crazier and it's hilarious, and fun, and leaves you a little bit on the edge of your seat and frustated while you wait for the hero and the heroine to figure things out and find their way toward true love?

Yeah. This book is exactly like that. It's a unique set-up - fresh and fun and ripe with opportunities to tell more stories. I loved it! And - despite the fact that they literally made me throw my hands up in the air and roll my eyes at them more than once - I really really loved Braylen and Fynn. Their angst - so unnecessary and so "next level", but also so true to that time in life. I related to it in a way that made me uncomfortable with my memories, but also in a way that made me feel nostalgic and happy and all fuzzy warm hearted.

Always late to the party, this was my first book by Molly E. Lee and I'm so happy to say it won't be my last. Not only because it's the start of a series and I definitely need to know what was going on with some of the secondary characters (and I selfishly want a Randy book because as wingmen go? That guy was tops.), but also because the writing was engaging, the story was extremely entertaining, and despite the few times where I wanted to cover my eyes and hide - I enjoyed the crap out of it. I'm all-in for more! ~ Shelly, 4 Stars
Profile Image for Irma *Irma The Book Whisperer*.
1,454 reviews113 followers
August 20, 2017
“The boy was my own personal version of Daryl Dixon, except instead of a crossbow he carried a camera.”

So basicaly both - the title and the cover - says it all. But you can not help yourself but to read on and just wait for it to happen. Such a cute story!

Profile Image for Brina.
357 reviews74 followers
November 23, 2019
4 Stars

I've only ever read the Love on the Edge books by Molly E. Lee which is why I was really excited to dive into this Young Adult novel. I was excited to see if Molly could pull of something less dangerous and she absolutely did.
Her Young Adult debut was super cute and so much fun to read about. I really liked the main characaters, Braylen and Fynn.
I also liked the concept of this book which was different but still cool. There are not very many books that play out within only 12 hours. It was the perfect fit for Love in the Friend Zone though.
Profile Image for Agustina Zanelli.
494 reviews41 followers
June 14, 2019
Me encantó este libro. Es una historia muy dulce y entretenida, con personajes geniales. También me encantó que la totalidad del libro transcurriera en una sola noche, no creo haber leído nunca un libro así y eso estuvo genial y muy interesante. Es una historia de amigos a amantes y la verdad es que soy adicta a esa temática, así que la disfruté mucho.

Pronto traigo la reseña.
Profile Image for BookishAlison.
271 reviews19 followers
July 27, 2017
5 laugh out loud stars

I completely devoured this book. I read it in one sitting. I had moments where I was laughing uncontrollably and moments where I was frustrated with the male character. Well after I put the book down I would think of a line from the book and laugh out loud which earned me some strange looks.

Fynn and Braylen stole my heart. I loved them, I felt for them, especially Braylen. And I was rooting for them from the beginning. I become Braylen's cheerleader!

I loved the whole setting, I wanted to be there, I wanted to party with them. I could totally see this story being a movie and I would love to watch it!

I can't wait for book two!

*I was provided an arc through netgalley by the publisher for an honest review*
Profile Image for Imani Blake (Enamored Reads).
307 reviews114 followers
April 29, 2018
Holy Unrequited Love!

Fynn and Braylen’s story was BEYOND perfect and what I was expecting. It’s Unrequited Love at its finest and I couldn’t help my heart beating extra heavy in this wonderful YA read by Molly Lee!

I laughed and I swooned just as much as I screamed and cried for these characters and their story! With graduation over and the future lurking around the corners of the last HS party these characters will attend, the nerves and the stakes are as high as ever!

With Fynn and Braylen though, all they’ve been missing is right in front of each other. Well, right in front of Fynn I should say! This YA love story is one for the books!
Profile Image for Arceli.
988 reviews
August 20, 2017
See my review at Soaring Up High

What a sweet friends to lovers romance! This book had everything a swoony hero, hot make out scenes, and a great amount of drama.

This is my first Molly E. Lee book and boy did it set the bar high. Although this is a short read, I love that the length was enough for the characters to develop.

Flynn is the main hero in this book. He is sweet, caring, and just the right amount of perfect. However, he is completely oblivious when it comes to love. I love how he dotes on Braylen, the heroine. He so mindful and kind to his friends. Also, what tops it all is that he is a nerd. I always have a soft spot for nerd heroes because they are rarely represented in YA. His journaling and photography skills are very well incorporated into the book. I love that he shares the same interest with Braylen. On the other hand, there were times I wanted to hit Flynn in the head. He enlists the help of Braylen to be his wing woman because he wants to hook up with Katy Evans. And I’m like “Dude do you realize that Braylen is in love with you?” Nope. However, Flynn redeems himself in the end. I won’t tell you what he does but it is amazing.

Bralylen is an amazing heroine. I love that she is caring and loves her best friend. Usually, in the usual friend-to-lovers trope the girl is in love with the boy and it is blaringly obvious. Takes the hero a while to get around. But what I love is that Braylen is not whiny. She is strong and determined. She has ambitions that do not revolve around her best friend and she has her dreams. Her journaling dream is her own and despite Flynn being a factor that girl has some balls to do it. Another thing I love is that she does not tolerate the crap of Flynn. She is straight to the point. Braylen is fun and sassy.

The romance between Braylen and Flynn is off the charts hot. There is so much tension between the two. I love that they don’t act on it at the end. Takes quiet a few rounds of heat to get there. However, there is deep emotion in their love. They care for each other appreciate each other as people. In many friends-to-lovers, I see too much between the sheets. Not the emotional stuff. This book at times reminded me of Kissing Max Holden. Katy Upperman does a great job making the characters have a great love story.

Overall, this book is a great friends to lovers plot. I love the pacing and it had a nice perfect speed. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in a sweet friends-to-lovers romance. I can’t wait for Zoey’s and Gordon’s story (hint hint).
Profile Image for Pamela Lilley.
1,898 reviews27 followers
July 31, 2017
A sweet coming of age high school friends to ‘more’ romance following Braylen and her best friend and secret love, Fynn. Braylen and Fynn have been best friends for what seems forever, they do everything together, and the night of the high school graduation at the party of the year Flynn begs Braylen to help him get together with his high school crush. Braylen unable to say no, agrees. Herein starts a series of mishaps as Braylen tries her best to tell Fynn how she feels, and Fynn battles with his feelings when he sees Braylen with another boy, even after Braylen supposedly set him up with his dream crush. With some funny moments, a lovely story, written in dual POV that kept me hooked from start to finish, even when I wanted to strangle the living daylights out of the pair of them for not seeing what was right in front of them. I was provided with an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sarah Scholz.
89 reviews21 followers
August 13, 2017
I really liked this book. It was a neat story. It wasn't your typical friends to lovers trope. I thought it was a different/cool idea for most of the story to take place during a party. I liked Braylen and Fynn. I also liked the cast of secondary characters (Zoey, Gordon, Lennon and Jade) too. Just to name a few of them ☺️ I liked that Braylen is independent, knows what she wants & loves Sci-Fi movies & Marvel characters ❤️ I also loved what a great friend she is to Fynn. I also liked Fynn, his willingness to be open with Braylen and how much he valued their friendship. Molly is a new author to me. I have heard great things about her books. I will definitely be adding to my TBR list & reading more of her books 😊 I can't wait to more books in this series ❤️
Profile Image for Cindy.
881 reviews26 followers
August 17, 2017
Love in the Friend Zone was a very FANTASTIC story! It's a sweet, clean romance involving Braylen and Fynn who have been best friends FOREVER!

I'm a HUGE fan of best friends to lovers. And although this book is YA, (I tend to avoid them), I FREAKING ADORED it!! The story is told in a single event, the last big party before college. The storyline flowed beautifully. At times I wanted to strangle both Braylen and Fynn, I LOVED watching Fynn realize what was in front of him this whole time.

It's a well written, cute, fun, quick read. I can't wait to read more from this author.

*I voluntarily read an ARC from the Author, this is my honest review.*
Profile Image for Anais Torres.
Author 4 books42 followers
September 7, 2017
I enjoyed both Braylen and Fynn. Best friends since Kindergarten, they share zombie movie marathons, private in-jokes, tragedies, and successes. Their bond is obvious to everyone, except Fynn. Fynn, like many boys, wants to date the popular girl and he asks Braylen for help. Aside from this insanty, both of these characters are smart, level headed and hard working. I enjoyed all of the cute banter between them that comes from them knowing each other for so long.

The plot was something out of an 80's John Hughes comedy. In many ways, it was exactly what I expected with small surprises. This is probably one of the few books I've read where the whole length of a book takes place in one day. It was enjoyable. It's a unique set-up.

Good read, short and simple. Great writing.
Profile Image for Andi (Andi's ABCs).
1,531 reviews187 followers
January 31, 2018
That was so flipping cute! It was reminiscent of Can't Hardly Wait but with some small twists. The miscommunication killed me but made the end all the more worth it. Can't wait to read book 2 and I really hope there is a third for another couple from this party that went MIA. Review to come.
Profile Image for Jamie Lee Zonneveld.
1,210 reviews33 followers
August 15, 2019
Love In The Friend Zone by Molly E. Lee is an really good contemporary YA roman. It is about two best friends on there graduation day and had me on the edge of my seat. Can't wait to read the next book.
Profile Image for Marissa Chavez.
1,033 reviews3 followers
January 13, 2020
Braylen + Fynn = ☺💜

Wow! Braylen and Fynn were so fun! I loved getting to know them. I knew the moment I just had to root for them! They were perfect for one another. This was such a fun read. 💜📷🐶📝🎤
Profile Image for Maeashah.
138 reviews38 followers
February 3, 2019
I was in the mood for the whole best friends to lovers thing but this was...not very good. I honestly don't know why I finished it, although I did skim at points where it got too annoying.
Profile Image for Nicki K..
605 reviews17 followers
August 8, 2017
I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Braelen has been in love with her best friend Fynn for years. Determined not to ruin their relationship, Bray has kept a lid on her feelings, content to be just friends. That is until Fynn asks her to be his wing-women at their graduation night party so he can win over his longtime crush, Katy Evans. Fynn soon begins to question if Katy is the girl for him, or if the girl he's been waiting for has actually been with him all along.

Generally preferring adult contemporary romance to young adult, I was pleasantly surprised to find this book to be as great as it was. This book contained one of the most accurate portrayals of teens I've ever read, and I loved how realistic the dialogue was. The main characters could be a bit aggravating in denying their feelings towards each other, but I still enjoyed their relationship. I loved that the author adds two other love stories within this one, hinting at possible sequels.

This book was a great, light read that quickly made me look into more of the author's works. Love in the Friend Zone is great book for fans of YA romances, or romances in general.

Profile Image for Lenore Kosinski.
2,250 reviews50 followers
October 15, 2020

4 stars -- I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

I don't know what it was about this book, but I just kind of loved it.  Was it flawless?  Nope.  But I loved all the little things that surprised and delighted me along the way.  And despite the times I wanted to smack them both, I really kind of loved both Braylen and Fynn.  They were a bit oblivious, but such is the nature of many a friends-to-lovers story.

All of the characters in this book very much felt their age.  I kind of liked that.  So often you read young adult novels and they're just not believably 18, you know?  I don't mind that either, but I do like variety.  And the book takes place over one night (basically), and mostly at a house party that honestly sounded like a fairly realistic house party...not that I've ever been to any like that.  But there were reckless decisions made, poor choices, and a lot of immaturity, but it was often in the background.  And while my poor heart hated seeing, for example, the drunk driving stunt, I realize that this happens in real life.  All this to say, this one towed the line between young adult and mature young adult, so be warned on content.

As I said above, I kind of loved both Braylen and Fynn.  I loved how authentic they both felt...towing the nerdy line without being total social outcasts (I can vibe with that).  A bit more on the innocent side of the high school spectrum.  And I loved how their passions really came into play in their personalities...I loved that Braylen's journalistic tendancies and Fynn's photographer tendancies weren't just throwaway characteristics, but you could see their minds spinning in those directions occasionally (either with story ideas for Bray, or seeing shots for Fynn).

And I loved the way they interacted with each other.  You could really feel how well they complemented one another, and how they genuinely cared for the other.  I didn't once doubt that they were truly best friends, regardless of Bray's secret love for Fynn and Fynn's obliviousness.  I know some may have a problem with Fynn's obliviousness, but sometimes people choose to see what they want to see, you know?  They convince themselves of something SO MUCH that nothing can sway them.

And can I just say that while I had to wait for it, I really did feel their "more than friends" chemistry as well?  Bonus when I actually buy the transition from friends to more.

As with many a friends-to-lovers story, this one did get bogged down in a bit of repetitiveness with the "I should tell him", "No I shouldn't", "The Universe is telling me something", "Why am I feeling this way about her suddenly?", etc.  It happens.  It was drawn out a bit longer than I had hoped, so despite all the other things I loved, it accounts for the full star loss in my rating.  I also got a bit tired of the convenient interruptions, but at least the author tried to make them look natural, so it was kind of a wash.

But there were a lot of other little things that I really ended up enjoying.  I loved seeing the other stories weave in and out of this book.  I could totally see the setup for at least 2 other stories, and I'm so happy that it looks like I'm going to get them!  I loved that Katy was a bit more dimensional than I was anticipating.  I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and the stereotypical mean girl crap, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Ms. Lee managed to make her "not the one" without making her completely horrible.  And I LOVED Blondie Bear, aka Randy.  He was such a strange character, but I really loved what he added to the story.  Is it too much to ask for his story as well??

So yeah.  This book was by no means perfect, but I loved it despite its flaws.  Characters I loved (including secondary ones) and who felt realistic will always put it over the top for me.
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270 reviews14 followers
September 17, 2019
Molly E. Lee is slowly creeping her way into my favorite YA author’s clan. The way she writes teenagers feels extremely real and accurate with just a note of “extra” making it a perfect romance. Her ability to toss you into this story and make you feel like you are at the grad party yourself wowed me.

Molly creates the classic boy-next-door with Fynn who has a sense of everyone’s chemistry… well everyone besides his very best friend’s as we enter the friends-to-lovers trope which feels at it’s best with this age of characters. Add-in Braylen the quirky, smart, loyal, and lovesick best friend mention before and it is the perfect setup for a cute ending. I think the slow-building in tension as the night goes on was perfect and the last grand gesture was 80s movie quality (big, heartfelt, and epic).
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