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The Friend Zone #3

Life's Too Short

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2021)
A brilliant and touching romantic comedy about two polar opposites, one adorable dog, and living each day to its fullest.

When Vanessa Price quit her job to pursue her dream of traveling the globe, she wasn't expecting to gain millions of YouTube followers who shared her joy of seizing every moment. For her, living each day to its fullest isn't just a motto. Her mother and sister never saw the age of 30, and Vanessa doesn't want to take anything for granted.

But after her half-sister suddenly leaves Vanessa in custody of her infant daughter, life goes from "daily adventure" to "next-level bad" (now with bonus baby vomit in hair). The last person Vanessa expects to show up offering help is the hot lawyer next door, Adrian Copeland. After all, she barely knows him. No one warned her that he was the Secret Baby Tamer or that she'd be spending a whole lot of time with him and his geriatric Chihuahua.

Now she's feeling things she's vowed not to feel. Because the only thing worse than falling for Adrian is finding a little hope for a future she may never see.

384 pages, ebook

First published April 6, 2021

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About the author

Abby Jimenez

6 books13.9k followers
Abby Jimenez is a Food Network winner, New York Times best selling author, and recipient of the 2022 Minnesota Book Award for her novel Life's Too Short. Abby founded Nadia Cakes out of her home kitchen back in 2007. The bakery has since gone on to win numerous Food Network competitions and, like her books, has amassed an international following.

Abby loves a good romance, coffee, doglets, and not leaving the house.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,292 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,132 reviews39.3k followers
December 16, 2022
Wooooooww! I’m truly deeply and madly in love with this book! Can a person smile from ear to ear and cry like mad woman who was at the edge of ugly nervous breakdown!

This book is not only the best book of Friend Zone series or the most perfectly written Abby Jimenez book, this also deserves a place at my all time favorite romance books list : a book which should be read more than once, a book which makes you feel everything: making you laugh so hard, pushing you think more about incurable diseases with its social awareness passages about ALS, making your tears drop faster than the speed of the light: you smile, you laugh, you cry, you ache, you care, you sigh, you shout and at the end smile spreads wider on your face.

You feel like somebody gently touched your heart, taking away your pain, unnecessary worries, sadness. That’s the power of great books which gives you hope, motivation and proves there’s always another options in your life so be brave, take risk and try again to get your second chances!

Vanessa Price is one of the most adorable heroines you want to give long hugs and wish to be your real life friend. Even though life dealt real shitty hand to her, she is strong enough to deal each curveballs life throws at her. She’s inherited health conditions of her mother side of the family. Every women at the family died before they’re getting thirty. Her mother and her sister were already gone. She’s a ticking bomb. She rejects to get testing and spending the rest of her days in the hospital. She has only one year to become 30 so she wants to spend her probable last days by traveling around the world , drinking more wines, experiencing new things. Actually she’s already doing them: She’s a celebrity with her popular YouTube Vlogs, millions of admirers and followers. She’s honest about herself from the beginning, talking about her illness, raising awareness, conducting fund raising campaigns.

And she spends her money to take care of her damaged family: a hoarder father who has never been getting through the loss of his wife, two step siblings: 19 years old drug addict sister and a jobless young brother who rejects to take responsibility. She financially, mentally support them even though she’s the one who is at the risk to die from fatal illness.

But now her step sister left her baby to her, rejecting to go to rehab. So she’s all alone in her studio apartment, taking care of an infant, losing her last marbles. That’s where she meets his Jesus’s Abs neighbor Adrian Copeland, ultra hot, corporate lawyer who bangs on her door at 4 a.m. and offers her help for putting baby on sleep.

Adrian already has his own family issues, breaking up from his not so loyal girlfriend, living a boring, work oriented, dull life till Vanessa brighten everything with her vivid, joyful, enthusiastic character and change him to be a better person!

I loved Adrian so much: he was dependable, honest, caring, a real good man you can count on! I want to give him millions of hugs as well.

I loved their friendship. I loved their genuine, intimate love! I loved their bittersweet, ultra romantic, tear jerking story!

If I could give entire galaxy stars or name a planet with the title of the book, I would do it without thinking any further!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Forever/ Grand Central Publishing for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

Profile Image for Emily.
Author 15 books68.8k followers
October 26, 2020
This booooooooooook. Right off the bat, I was hooked. Jimenez's sense of humor, her way with language, and the nuance of her characters were clear from page one. The book just SPARKLES. I will be honest, I'm a person who generally avoids books with strong plotlines about terminal illness, and Vanessa, one of LTS's main characters, has spent most of her life reckoning with the 50% chance that she will develop hereditary ALS.

I'm not sure anyone but Jimenez could have guided me through a book with that possibility as a major component--but there was so much humor, so much sweetness, and excitement, and FUN that I couldn't stop reading, and I'm so glad I didn't. It's a hard read at times, but it's also a powerful one, about living your life in the now, instead of the what if. As Vanessa points out, debilitating worry about the future can rob you of your present, by making you live out the worst possible outcome before it's even happened. It's such a timely read, as we're all hanging in the balance of Covid, wondering what comes after, trying to understand how to be happy now, and I'm so, so grateful I got to read it, because I really needed the catharsis and hope this story gave me.

I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love with these characters--side characters included. I am very much hoping for a Becky book.
Profile Image for Abby Jimenez.
Author 6 books13.9k followers
April 15, 2021
Trigger/CW warnings for Life's Too Short: ALS, mental health (OCD/hoarding), parental abandonment, addiction, grief and loss

Now a New York Times Best Seller!!!!

"Jimenez masterfully blends heavy issues and humor, lacing the tear-jerking heartache with sass and sarcasm. Series fans and newcomers alike will be moved by this emotional rom-com." —Starred review, Publishers Weekly

Just popping in to remind you that Indie bookstores need your support right now more than ever. Please shop small and order Life's Too Short from your local Indie bookseller. Thank you for reading!!
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,041 reviews47.7k followers
April 18, 2021
can't tell if this is a seasonal depression apathy thing or if this is really just meh. gonna go with the latter. i like the idea of romances with a lot of real life in them, but for some reason authors can't seem to find a good middle ground. we have quirky characters with no true personalities in bubbly rom coms or we have intensely traumatized characters with a LOT of shit to work through.

and there's absolutely a time and a place for both, but i can't help but feel burnt out reading all of these new romance releases that deal so much with death. sometimes i want to escape into someone else's real life without too much heaviness. maybe that's too much to ask for. but as a result this was just kinda ok for me.
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,107 reviews1,749 followers
January 24, 2023
I’m sorry.

I know that I ignored a lot of your emails and texts, yesterday...but I FINALLY got my hands on a copy of the latest FRIEND ZONE book by the AMAZING Abby Jimenez and I just couldn’t be disturbed!!

I don’t like many romance books, but I LOVE hers! ❤️

Her romance trope is Friends to Lovers, but in each book, the attraction is always there from the start but our courageous leading ladies won’t let their incredibly hot suitors get close, because they are struggling with SOMETHING and do not feel like they have enough to offer in return.

Of course, they are wrong!

In book one it was infertility.
Book two tackled moving on from incredible loss.

And, in this book, Vanessa Price, a famous YOUTUBER raising money for ALS, is afraid she may not have a long life because she lost both her Mother and her Sister to the hereditary disease, giving her a more than 50% chance of dying from it as well.

I like that these UPLIFTING romances have DEPTH, in addition to playful, witty banter and sexy bedroom scenes that don’t resort to using the three unsexy “C” words!

Oh, and the books have dogs! 🐶

Don’t get me started on Harry Puppins, the geriatric toothless chihuahua that our leading man, Adrian Copeland gets talked into FOSTERING!

Yeah, he is hot, he COOKS, is a partner in his law firm and he’s good with both babies and dogs in diapers!

I mean, C’mon?

DO READ the author’s notes at the end of the book, as EACH book has been inspired by an actual heroine!

This one has a couple of recipes in the back too!

“Part of Your World” is next! Can’t wait!! ❤️
Profile Image for Christy.
3,758 reviews32k followers
March 24, 2021
4 stars


We're now three for three! Abby Jimenez writes the kind of romance I love and she's given me three books I've absolutely adored. Though I'm not sure she'll ever be able to top 'The Friend Zone' for me, I still loved this one a lot!

If Vanessa had a motto, it would be to live life to the fullest. Take the trip. Go for the experience. She's spent years being a travel blogger/youtuber doing just that. Living each day to the fullest and experiencing new things. Now, she's back in her home state and traveling has halted. Her half-sister has an addiction problem and just left her newborn daughter (Vanessa's niece) with her and took off. It's hard to travel or do much of anything with an infant so she's home for the time being.

Adrian Copeland is an attorney and Vanessa's next door neighbor. He works too much and doesn't spend his days living life to the fullest... he spends them in his office. When Adrian meets Vanessa and becomes friends with her, his life changes.
“You suffer from One Day Syndrome.” He wrinkled his brows. “What?”
“One Day Syndrome. You live your life like there’ll always be one day to do all the things you put off. One day you’ll take the trip. One day you’ll have the family. One day you’ll try the thing. You’re all work and not enough play. Money can’t make you happy unless you know what you want, Adrian. So what do you want?”

Adrian realizes there are things much more important than his job. And though Vanessa is just his friend, sparks start to fly. He can't imagine a day without Vanessa or her niece. They become a found family of sorts. The found family troupe is one I adore, but I also loved the complex stories of Adian and Vanessa's real families.

I loved both of the main characters in this story so much. Vanessa was incredible and inspiring and Adrian was so easy to fall for. There were times towards the end I wanted to yell at him, but I could sympathize what he was going through and the shock of it all. The very end left the biggest smile on my face. Vanessa and Adrian's story was so wonderful.

Abby Jimenez has this way of writing that completely draws you in. This is an unputdownable story that will make you laugh, make you cry, make you swoon, and keep a huge smile on your face. I love books that make me look inside and think of my life and of course books that make me feel. This had the feels in spades, but also was lighthearted at the same time. A great balance. This was another stellar romance from Jimenez and I highly recommend checking it out!
“You are the flood, Vanessa. Seeping and then pouring, washing away everything that I used to think mattered and then filling me up to the top until I’m drowned in nothing but you.”

Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,035 reviews3,556 followers
May 8, 2021
This was one of my most anticipated reads for this year!

I absolutely loved the previous two books by this author and had been sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for this newest release by Abby Jimenez.

Maybe my expectations were too high? Maybe when you want something so badly it just never holds up in reality.

Vanessa has fears she has the same terminal condition that claimed the lives of her mother and sister. She knows that due to genetics her chances of contracting the illness and dying are high.

Thus Vanessa spends her time getting her life in order as to leave no loose threads for her family. Only she never expected to meet her hunky neighbor Adrian.

Abby Jimenez always includes tough topics in her books such as infertility and grief so I was ready for it. But, I had a hard time with Vanessa and her actions regarding her diagnosis. I found it frustrating and it ended up taking away my enjoyment of this read. Was it because I’m an RN? Maybe.🤷🏻‍♀️

There are many outstanding five-star reviews for this book. So I hope that is the experience you have as well.🤩

A buddy read with Susanne that left both of us a bit disappointed.

Posted to: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

Thank you to Susanne for gifting me a 🎧 copy.
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,157 reviews36.5k followers
May 11, 2021
Review Posted on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

Let me be frank: I have a Love/Hate relationship with this book.

What I loved: The characters and their relationship.

What I hated: The major plotline (and I have my reasons).

Ok, so let’s get down to it:

I LOVED the characters of Vanessa and Adrian (even though Adrian is my dad’s name and it’s almost impossible for me to find someone with that name attractive (sorry, not sorry!). Truth be told, yes, in this novel, the character of Adrian was delectably swoon-worthy (it almost pains me to say!). Kind, caring, witty, and funny, I was a goner as soon as he spoke. It was clear Vanessa felt the same way! The witty banter these two exchanged had me in stitches! The way Vanessa and Adrian’s relationship grew from a friendship into love, felt wholly realistic. Seeing them care for baby Grace, Vanessa’s niece together, also melted my heart. I laughed, I cried and yes, I was cheering for them the whole way through.

So, on that note, let’s talk about what I HATED: The entire plot involving ALS. Vanessa’s sister and several of her family members have passed away from the disease and Vanessa feels that she may now be exhibiting initial symptoms. I felt this entire storyline to be very poorly researched, poorly written, and poorly executed. Unfortunately, I have had two family members pass away from ALS. As such, I know how the symptoms present themselves and I was very disappointed in the way this storyline was carried out. While I am not an expert on ALS, I know a lot and was discouraged by how this was handled (and knew what was wrong with Vanessa immediately) and discussed this at length with my book buddy Kaceey, who is a nurse, and who happened to agree with me.

On the whole, I loved the friendship, romance, and witty banter in this story and simply adored the characters. I would recommend this book to fans of rom-com, contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and Abby Jimenez. As long as unrealistic medical plots don’t bother you, I think you’ll love this. What I also enjoyed was the fact that we got a tiny glimpse of Kristen, Josh, Sloane, and Jason from “The Friend Zone” and “The Happily Ever After Playlist.”
3.25 stars

A buddy read with Kaceey that gave us much to talk about.

Thank you to NetGalley for granting my wish, Forever (Grand Central Publishing), and Abby Jimenez for the arc, and to my local library for loaning me a copy of the audiobook.

Published on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram.
Profile Image for Kris Reads Romance.
134 reviews44 followers
April 7, 2021
Okay, so I just finished this one late last night instead of sleeping, because that’s what Abby’s books do to me.

Her books have this way of melting together the heavy and the humor, and Life’s Too Short is no exception. It has all the classic Abby sass and sarcasm I crave in her stories, while also tackling real and serious issues that people face every single day.

Heavy topics are dealt with in here (ALS, addiction, mental health), but the laughs are woven in exactly when you need them, and not in a way that makes light of any of the issues at hand. I mean, how many of us use humor to cope, am I right??

We briefly met Adrian in The Happy Ever After Playlist, and I was so excited to learn he was getting his own book, because while the poor guy never stood a chance with lovesick Sloan, I definitely wanted to see him get his HEA.
You know that feeling you get when a man rolls up the sleeves of his collared button-up to just below his elbows, exposing toned forearms with well-hydrated veins? Adrian is the bearded embodiment of that feeling.
He radiates this sexy alpha-in-charge vibe, while also being an incredibly caring, loyal, and loving human being. He’s a fixer, and we get to experience both the benefits and the drawbacks of him possessing that trait when it comes to those he loves.

Vanessa is someone I hope I would be like if I were dealt the cards she was in life. She’s lived through a lot of loss and had many curve-balls thrown her way, and even though she has this dark cloud looming just above, she doesn’t let it engulf who she is. While she does choose to live her life a specific way because of it, she’s also living the way she does in spite of it, because as we all know to some degree or another, life IS too short, right? She, like Adrian, is the fixer in her family, the responsible one. As Adrian puts it, “We were the rocks in our families, always putting the needs of everyone else before our own, so I knew what it meant that she let me be there for her.”

I am hesitant to go into too much detail as even the tiniest things can feel spoilery when a book hasn’t yet released, but I thoroughly loved seeing their journey unfold. We learn a good amount about each of their pasts/backstory, and how those events have formed them into who they are now. Neither of them are perfect, but who is? They screw up. They say the wrong things sometimes. They assume the wrong things sometimes. They even DO the wrong thing sometimes. It’s part of what makes them not perfect people, but two human beings who have been chipped, bent, and broken in several places that serve to help them fit perfectly together:

“Vanessa made me different. Better. She made me see the world through a new lens-or a lens that I’d forgotten existed.”

“Sometimes I feel like I’m spinning. Like I’m a tornado and I can’t ever stop moving and the only time I feel still is when I’m with you.”

There are a lot of family dynamics at play for both our MCs, and I think the relationships and struggles within the pages are relatable on many levels.

All in all, this is a story where you’ll see that while love is not the magic fix or cure for everything, it definitely makes carrying the heavy stuff less of a burden, because you have someone else to share the weight of it with. ♥️

PS The Big Gesture™️ in this is *chefs kiss*
Profile Image for Giorgia Reads.
949 reviews1,850 followers
August 29, 2021
3.5 stars

Good things first:

• I liked the writing (this is a new author to me). I read this in record time because it just flowed very well, both the story and the way it was told.

• I liked the humour, it wasn’t extremely funny but the banter between the characters was smart and entertaining.

• The plot itself was simple and to be honest there wasn’t very much there, but that wasn’t a bad thing necessarily, I expected maybe a bit more but again, it was okay the way it was in the end.

• I loved how the people in Vanessa’s life were portrayed. Her family was described as deeply flawed and yet that wasn’t written as being a bad thing necessarily, but as a learning curve. Everyone has their own battles and their own way of being there for their loved ones. I loved the uniqueness of those characters and the fact that they were humanised, not demonised. I particularly loved her dad and her brother. They were awesome and her brother cracked me up whenever he had any dialogue.

• I definitely liked the overall message that the book tried to convey. It was all about living in the now, forgiving and letting go of grudges because they only weight you down, enjoying the little things if you can’t afford the bigger ones. Understanding and listening to those around us even if we think we know better because one experience does not fit all.

The bad:

• I think Adrian and Vanessa had a lot of chemistry but I feel like they should have had more build up to the kind of love they professed to have. I was left feeling indifferent to their love story by the end.

• I think I loved the first part of this book more than the second half because I felt there was more potential in the beginning but I didn’t end up feeling the things I thought I’d feel.

• I don’t think some of Vanessa’s accomplishments in regards to her job made sense. The logistics felt a bit off to me. I also didn’t particularly like the name dropping of everywhere she’s been and what she’s done and who she’s seen. I think it took away from the genuineness of why she’s doing what she’s doing. And she gave me a lot of the “I’m different than other women” vibes.

• I don’t like how ALS was used as the instigator for most of the action in this book only to pull away at the end and give her a magical pass on the family genes - (it was left kind of open ended but with hints that she won’t develop the disease, since she already reached 30- an age by which she should have died according to her family history) I get her fears and struggles with her possible diagnosis, I think that was well done but the way it ended, it felt off. I’m not saying I wish she would have gotten ALS and a death sentence, I don’t really know what would have worked better, but I know I didn’t like the false alarm angle when they discovered it was something else causing her symptoms.
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,807 reviews458 followers
April 24, 2021
Well, Abby Jimenez, has done it again. I have fallen in love with this couple in the most charming way.

Life's Too Short is full of humor, sweet moments, and awareness. We only have one life to live and you have to make a decision on how you want to live it.

For Vanessa Price, the answer is simple. She wants to live in the now and in the fullest way possible. She wants to travel and do things that make her happy. She has lost loved ones and with her sister's death, she knew she had to make a change.

Vanessa quits her job, cashes in her savings, began a Youtube channel, and went on living. Now, she has loyal followers in the millions who support her (for the most part). Then, her traveling ceases completely when her half-sister falls into drugs again and Vanessa must take care of her niece until she is clean again.

Adrian Copeland is a lawyer. He owns the building where Vanessa lives and he's her neighbor. When a child's constant crying interferes with his night, he will knock on Vanessa's door for the first time. Vanessa looks overwhelmed with a crying child in her arms, and Adrian will offer to help her while she cleans up. After this exchange, a friendship will blossom until they realize they want more from each other.

Can they take the next step?

I love how Abby Jimenez introduced these two characters. Everything that they did together that included the baby and the dog was wonderful. I laughed so much reading it but I also shed a few tears.

Life is Too Short is wonderful in all the ways that matter and Abby Jimenez has become one of my must-read authors.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Forever via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Kay ☼.
1,929 reviews639 followers
April 4, 2022
WOW... I was totally not expecting this!! I think I was judging the book by its cover, cutesy and maybe cheesy romance? NOT at all. This is a wonderful love story with so much chemistry and great characters and overall a very delightful read.

Set in St. Paul, MN, this is a romance between Adrian, a lawyer and Venessa, a travel vlogger with a high risk of ALS. She plans to be single without children as she believes her life is short like her mother and sister. Women in her family die by the age of thirty. This story brings awareness to ALS and I'm glad it's not all fluff. Be prepared to fall in love with these two, you'll smile, laugh and may shed a few tears. I love my first book by the author and there's no question I'll be reading more books by her.
Profile Image for Lucy.
411 reviews68 followers
June 23, 2021
I loved the first two books in The Friend Zone series, so I'd been looking forward to reading Book 3. Sadly, this one didn't work for me 😟.

Here's why it didn't work:

1. The writing is cheesy and clichéd. This surprised me, since I remembered the writing in the previous books being much different.

2. The plot was unconvincing and based on too many serious topics. The previous books dealt with one serious situation each (Book 1: infertility, Book 2: loss of spouse). In this book there's ALS, mental health, drug addiction, and child abandonment. I wish the story would've been more focused on ALS.

3. The characters are one-dimensional. I wish Vanessa and Adrian had been more developed. Also, they should've each had a friend. That would've balanced out the duo and made the story more interesting. Instead, Vanessa and Adrian were constantly facing one tough situation after another on their own.

4. Vanessa's OTT get-rich-quick celebrity status as a travel YouTuber. Since that's a big part of the story (her wealth, donations to ALS, financial support of family), it made it all too far-fetched.

5. The book description calls this a romantic comedy. Romantic comedy status wasn't achieved here. It's too overwhelmed by the many serious topics jumbled into the story, to be light and funny.

I was expecting to love this story, but it turned out to be such a disappointment. Is this an it's not you, it's me situation? I suppose it is. This book is getting high ratings on GR, after all.
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,048 reviews13k followers
April 1, 2021
3.5 stars

This one is so hard for me to rate. I really enjoyed book one and LOVED book two, so I had high hopes for book three. Vanessa is a travel vlogger, but she just got custody of her half-sister's baby, so she's taking care of her and is stuck at home. When Grace, the baby, can't stop crying one night, her lawyer neighbor Adrien stops by and ends up helping. And he and Vanessa grow closer while helping take care of Grace together. I do want to preface this review by saying this book deals heavily with ALS and Vanessa being sure she has the genetic disease and will die before she's 30. The back of the book does not mention ALS, but this is mentioned quite early on and is heavily addressed throughout the entire book. This made the book so much heavier and more emotional than I thought it was going to be. Vanessa doesn't want to make any attachments and is trying to make sure her family is okay before she dies. Because of this, this book read a lot more of the women's fiction side of the spectrum. Sure Vanessa and Adrien are falling for each other, but it's SOOOOOOO slow burn and Vanessa is adamant that Adrien doesn't think of her that way until things romantically happen between them well into the book. This book more so takes a look at Vanessa living life to the fullest and trying to fix her family. Her sister is a drug addict and her dad is a hoarder going through severe mental and emotional distress. Not to mention Vanessa is trying to raise a baby all on her own. I did enjoy the book as a whole, but I wasn't expecting something so serious and focused on her life rather than the romance.

Also, this book takes place in November and December around the holidays (and includes a Christmas scene), which I wasn't expecting. I wish the cover reflected the season inside because that was surprising and I wasn't feeling a winter romance when the cover is so summery.

Another point I'm trying to grapple with is the ending.

So my rating is at 3.5 right now. I'm interested to see how everyone else feels about this one once it's released!
November 12, 2021

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This book was a rollercoaster of feelings and I enjoyed almost every moment of it. I'm not the biggest fan of "chicklit" or fluffy romance. Part of the problem, for me, is that I need a book to have high emotional stakes or I get bored, and too many of the light and fluffy romances just feel exactly that... light and fluffy, with no substance. LIFE'S TOO SHORT threw all the emotional stakes at me that I could handle and it was one of the few friends-to-lovers romances I've read that wasn't saccharine, where the meet-cute didn't feel contrived and I actually bought all the affection-- and tension-- between the couple.

Vanessa is a popular YouTuber and travel blogger. She lives a life that many would envy but beneath the surface she has a lot of problems. Her father is a hoarder, her sister is a drug addict, her brother is a fuck-up, and she's been appointed the temporary guardian of her sister's baby, Grace, which has been keeping her house-bound in what might be her final moments: because early-onset ALS runs in her families and she might be experiencing some of the first symptoms.

Adrian is a lawyer who has just found out his girlfriend is a married woman who's been cheating on him. He meets Vanessa when he goes to complain about her crying baby, only to feel like a total dick when he sees how stressed she is. He offers to watch the baby while she showers, discovers that the crying was due to a plastic tag in her clothes, and a truce is formed between them. More than a truce, actually. They talk, get to know each other, and become fast friends.

I just loved the way the relationships built between these two. It felt natural and authentic in a way that a lot of chicklit does not. I also really liked Vanessa. She didn't come across as a dick at all. You could actually see why so many people liked her. She had the personality of a magic pixie dream girl but her reasons for being so spontaneous-- knowing that she might only have a year left to live-- really sold her determination to keep things as fun as possible. And her family's drama tore at my heart. Adrian has his fair share of drama, too, and part of that is coming to terms with Vanessa and her disease. This book tackled a lot of difficult subjects and it did so beautifully, without short-changing the gravitas of the situations but also not portraying them as hopeless, and I liked the emphasis on therapy, sober companions, life coaches, and counselors. Many books gloss over on the options for mental health.

The only things I didn't like about this book was the third-act couples fight (although I bought it) and the sex scenes. I'm sorry, but if you're going to string out the unresolved sexual tension, the pay-off better be good and comparing the heat coming off the hero's dick to a lightsaber just doesn't do it for me. Those things were the only obstacles between this book and a five-star rating because they really bothered me, but it was still a fantastic book with great characters, and if you're going to read one friends-to-lovers romance this year, I would strongly urge you to make it this one.

4 to 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,209 reviews26k followers
December 12, 2021
I have mixed feelings on this one. I actually liked both of the main characters a lot, I like that we get both of their POV’s, but damn!!! This book was sad. It was so much heavier than I was anticipating — especially considering the first two books in this romance series were pretty light hearted for the most part. I know life can be hard and sad, but most of the time I read romance to escape it and this was just so dark and a lot more sad than I was anticipating! I felt the same when I read The Heart Principle earlier this year, I just hate when a romance book in a mostly light-hearted series ends up being soooo heavy and sad.

Also, this is a mild spoiler but I absolutely hate the way this author ends her stories.

Despite my issues with the ending of this book, I do enjoy this authors writing and I’m still going to pick up her books; I just read the premise for her new release coming out next year and it sounds promising.
Profile Image for Júlia.
213 reviews2,620 followers
November 27, 2022
trigger warning: battling the ALS disease - death - loss of close relatives - drug addiction

This was SO WHOLESOME. Abby's writing and the pacing are absolutely fantastic. And I adore the fact that most of her books are pretty safe to recommend to non-regular romance readers. They are not spicy but they are romantic, heartfelt and so realistic.

All of her characters are loveable, funny, and filled with light, personality and she has certainly become a new staple in my recommendation catalog.

Both of her male and female POV's are so entertaining and the entire thing just feels so natural and yummy.

In this one, this female travel YouTuber has a troubled family and decides to foster her sister's baby. Her sister is in a battle against drug addiction and she just YEETS the kid with our FMC and runs away.

Lucky for our main girl, the extremely hot lawyer next door to her apartment is down to do whatever it takes to have the baby stop crying at 3AM in the morning so he can get to work the next day, and a friendship blossoms.

This gave me major Life As We Know It vibes, with the perfect friends to lovers setting and vibes. It did get pretty heavy and emotional near the end, and as usual, I always think these could up the spice level, but that is a personal preference. Other than that, this was pretty great!

Profile Image for Kezia Duah.
367 reviews268 followers
January 7, 2022
Gosh, I got mixed feelings. It shouldn’t be this hard to rate a book, should it?

First I will say that this is funny. It did make me laugh which is one thing I always enjoy from a book. I love Vanessa’s bluntness. Well, I did, until she kept objectifying Josh’s body, especially during their intimate parts. It would probably not be a big deal, but I wondered if it would be funny if Adrian decided to text his friends about Vanessa’s body parts. Other than that, the story was a bit cliche and sometimes even a bit cheesy particularly because I didn’t really feel Vanessa and Adrian’s love. They were still really cute though.

I gave this 4 stars because of Vanessa’s possible illness. I believe that part of the story was done really well. It showed the effects it had on someone’s life and the people all around them. Vanessa choosing to live like she could leave the world tomorrow was honestly really inspiring.

What also made me a bit more confident about giving this more than an average rating was the author’s note. I love when books are inspired by the lives of strong people.

Also, usually, I find epilogues cringy, unnecessary, and just unoriginal, but I actually liked this one.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kini.
214 reviews
December 28, 2020
I've read Abby's two previous books, I loved TFZ and was mad about HEAP. Life's Too Short was firmly in the middle, a mehish read for me. Abby writes books that are very "readable" for me. They are fast paced and I am interested in what is happening. I started this book on a Saturday and finished on Sunday. I was very interested in Vanessa and Adrian. I enjoyed their friendship development and then as lovers. They really seemed to balance each other out. I also liked that he stepped in and was a great caregiver to Grace. Those few moments with them on the page together were very sweet.

Jimenez seems to be making a niche for herself with putting characters in tragic situations and putting them back together. And for me, I would love to see her branch out a little. Maybe make it less tragic?

I had a few little things that I did not like but didn't necessarily impact my enjoyment of the book.
Adrian is a criminal defense attorney and there is a comment about he spends his time arguing that guilty people are innocent. That is not exactly what criminal defense attorneys do.

There is a chapter/scene where Adrian takes Vanessa to meet Josh, Kristen, Sloan & Jason from the previous books. The women are having a conversation and the size of Josh's penis came up. And then Adrian's. This felt weird and squicky to me.

Here are some bigger things that did impact my enjoyment of the book.

Overall, I was invested in the book and their relationship. I wanted to see Vanessa and Adrian get their win. I found some plot points and lack of grovel incredibly disappointing. C-/D+

CW: character suffering from addiction, deceased mother, deceased sister, heavy discussion regarding ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), child neglect, hoarding, Nar-Anon meetings
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,481 reviews29.4k followers
October 14, 2021
Life's Too Short , Abby Jimenez's upcomiing third novel, is fun, sexy, moving, romantic, thought-provoking—boy, did I love it!!

Vanessa is a wildly famous travel YouTuber who has to put her career on hold when her sister decides to leave her infant daughter in her care. For an adventure lover and adrenaline junkie like Vanessa, however, instant motherhood is a challenge like none other.

When she finally meets Adrian, her brooding, ridiculously sexy next-door neighbor, it’s 4:00 am, the baby has been crying nonstop for hours, she hasn’t slept in forever, and she has baby vomit in her hair. Yet he gives her the opportunity to shower while he magically gets the baby to stop crying.

It’s not long before spending time with Adrian becomes a regular part of her day that she loves—and not just because he’s ridiculously good with the baby. But with a 50 percent chance of having a disease that killed her mother and sister before they turned 30, and with the possibility that symptoms are already developing, the last thing she wants is a relationship that can’t last.

For Adrian, work has always been his refuge, the one thing he can control when his life circumstances go awry. Yet all he can think about is Vanessa and being with her and the baby. But as he lets down his guard with her, she keeps reminding him she’s not interested in a relationship. Why does she keep pushing him away?

Y’all, Life's Too Short was just so good. Jimenez is such a great writer and I love the way she balances romance and fun with real emotion and issues that make you wonder how you’d react in a similar situation. Her books ( The Friend Zone and The Happy Ever After Playlist ) are all so great—they make me laugh, smile, cry, maybe even blush a little.

And here’s what I know. If she bases her male characters on people she knows, I’m totally going to hang out with her because, damn, these men. (Whatever.)

Abby Jimenez and Forever provided me with a complimentary advance copy of Life's Too Short in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!

The book publishes 4/6/2021.

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html.

Check out my list of the best books of the last decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Corina.
778 reviews2,116 followers
January 8, 2021
I’m a big believer of living life to the fullest. Enjoying life. Doing the things that bring me happiness. Being passionate about life, friends and family. And not living in the past.

Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez had everything I love about a romance. It was adorable, fun and enjoyable. Especially the first three quarters of the book were wonderfully romantic, passionate, and heartwarming. The last quarter struck deep and was much more emotional than I was prepared for.

All the things I loved:

☞ Vanessa was without a doubt an amazing character, strong, brave, and full of life and joy.
☞ Adrian was a dreamboat of a hero. Supportive, attentive, and utterly in love with Vanessa – his feelings were palpable.
☞ Single parent trope – it’s one of my favorite tropes and seeing Adrian handle an itty bitty baby made my heart all gooey. He was perfection!!!
☞ Chemistry – they had bucketloads of chemistry, and it was fun seeing them go from friends to more.
☞ Friendship – Vanessa and Adrian had an amazing friendship, and I loved how well they were matched and how easy they made it look. They were a true match – soulmates if you like.

So, if you are a fan of friends to lovers romances, this is your book. The novel is well written, has wonderful characters, a great story, and an amazing couple to root for.


The topic of ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is at the center of this book, and although it was very well handled, it’s not without emotional and heartbreaking moments.

Also, the topic of hoarding and drug abuse is being mentioned in this novel.


I received a copy of this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.

Find more reviews and book recommendations on my blog
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Profile Image for Andrew Brandt.
Author 7 books52 followers
October 3, 2020
First and foremost, thank you Abby for the advanced copy of this book to read and review.

One thing that Abby Jimenez has proven over the course of three novels is her ability to write heartbreaking, heartwarming, believable and hilarious romances. She is also incredible at grounding her stories in real, life-altering issues that people face on a daily basis. Whether it's infertility like in "The Friend Zone" or grief after losing a loved one in "The Happy Ever After Playlist," Jimenez takes these very real and very heartwrenching issues and creates believable and lovable characters to navigate them.

"Life's Too Short" follows Adrian--whom we briefly met in HEAP--and Vanessa. Vanessa, a famous YouTube blogger, is battling what may be ALS, a hereditary and deadly disease that’s already taken her sister.

Through their meet-cute and subsequent friendship that slowly and then ferociously erupts into romance, we see these characters navigate love, life and loss in sometimes hilarious and other times heartbreaking ways.

Abby writes love really, really well and Life’s Too Short just proves how masterful she is in the genre.
Profile Image for Suzy.
329 reviews206 followers
March 2, 2021
5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My GOSH, this chick just CAN’T write a bad book! I have loved every single minute of every single one of the books in this series!

In Life’s Too Short, we meet Vanessa - A famous traveling YouTuber who has no idea whether or not she shares the same fatal genetic condition ALS as mother and sister. She lives life to the fullest, day by day. When her drug addicted half sister abandons her infant daughter on Vanessa’s doorstep, it throws her life into a tailspin.

Enter Adrian, her gorgeous lawyer neighbor who offers his help with the baby. She barely knows him, but as they get to know each other better, sparks fly. As with the other couples in the previous books, you can’t help but love and root for them! Although this one is a bit darker than the previous books, there are still lots of laughs and heartbreaking moments that make this one another home run of a story.

I’m so looking forward to the next book in the series. I can’t imagine not having these characters in my life. Keep up the great work Abby Jimenez!

Thank you to NetGalley, Forever Books (Grand Central Publishing) and Abby Jimenez for my advanced copy to read and review.
Profile Image for Maroua Zaatour (Mirou).
177 reviews80 followers
January 9, 2022
Does this book have a sequel? Because it definitely needs one! I mean, did it have to end this fast? I'm not ready to part with Vanessa and Adrian yet.. 🥺

I'm in love with this book and its characters. And I'm officially a big fan of Abby Jimenez. I read all her books and I gave them all 5 brilliant stars. This woman is wonderful! Her writing style is extraordinary. We really need more of her jewels 😍

The story is so beautiful. I felt so attached to the characters that I laughed and cried with them. I didn't know about ALS before I read this novel, and it's great that we get to be aware of it. I totally hope that there will be a way soon to early diagnose and treat it. I don't want to get in the story's details because I'm not sure I'll stop if I start and then I'd spoil it, but I certainly recommend this to everyone who seeks a light, funny, fast-paced and insightful read 💗
Profile Image for emilybookedup.
308 reviews2,647 followers
October 3, 2022
a good ending to a great series!! a solid 4 stars for me—didn’t love it as much as THE FRIEND ZONE but i think i liked it more than THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER PLAYLIST. most definitely loved it more than PART OF YOUR WORLD 😑

i wish the characters were intertwined a bit more like THE FRIEND ZONE and THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER PLAYLIST were. this follows Adrian who is Josh’s cousin (hello mr perfect book boyfriend Josh 🥰) and i can see that it definitely runs in the family 😏😉😂 there was a chapter cameo with Josh, Kristen, Sloan and Jason and that made me soooo happy.

this was a cute romance with a friends to lovers trope. i didn’t really think there was a plot… it was kinda just two neighbors hanging out and dealing with life?! but i still enjoyed it. i don’t love miscommunication tropes and this romance required you to suspend reality a bit more than usual but the author’s note was beautiful and made me sad 🥺 this was also a more “adult” romance and the themes were great and the characters were very mature which was refreshing.

sad i waited so long for this series! deff worth the hype.

but if you haven’t read it yet… READ THE SERIES IN ORDER!!! or else you will have MAJOR spoilers 🥲
Profile Image for Blackjack.
416 reviews138 followers
April 9, 2021
While I found Life's Too Short highly readable in a frothy kind of way, and I zipped right along with it without ever feeling bored, I also had the odd feeling of not at all being the target audience for it. For instance, my sister is a meme fiend and finds Instagram inspirational quotes truly uplifting, whereas I pretty much find them eye-rolling and cavity inducing. Life's Too Short is a giant meme-fest, chock full of truisms and maxims about "living one's best life"! The heroine, Vanessaa, firmly believes she is either dying of a dreadful disease or likely to die within a year of a dreadful disease because family members have succumbed to ALS before their 30th birthday, and so she fills her life with feel-good sayings to carry her through her potential final year of life with as much adventure and joy as possible. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but I still ended up feeling like the Grinch while reading this; in short, I found the abundance of positivity here just downright mawkish. To compound my grinchiness, the hero, Adrian, a workaholic control freak attorney, is saved by Vanessa's joie de vivre and is able to become a new man, one who stops and smells the roses, dances in the rain, etc., and even worse, is Stunned by the brilliance of Vanessa's outlook on life. I'm screaming in my head, "Dude, sign up for Instagram or Facebook, or even visit Hallmark, and you too can become besieged with trite gifs and quotes to give you all the banal positivity you can take." A short list of positive insights Vanessa gifted to Adrian:

(1) "life's too short to hate people";
(2) "life is about balance";
(3) "don't dwell on the worst possible outcomes in life";
(4) "live your best life";
(5) "always have something to look forward to";
(6) "take pleasure in the small things in life."

The basic plot of the story is simple. Adrian befriends Vanessa late one night when he is kept awake by a screaming baby in her apartment. Unbeknownst to him at the time, Vanessa isn't a single mom but instead recently took in her drug addict sister's newborn baby and is trying her very best to take care of it under duress. Adrian is a bit of a baby whisperer for unknown reasons and is able to settle the baby right down, and after this one encounter, Vanessa wants to seek him out for friendship. Both are in less than desirable places in their life to get involved romantically, but they are nonetheless drawn to each other and very open to a friendship. My first qualm that things were heading south for me though is in the unlikely closeness they develop immediately. Their simpatico comes dangerously close to instant love, a trope I tend to dislike. I didn't like instant friendship much better here, with the emphasis most definitely on the "instant" aspect. Their actual friendship itself had some endearing moments, but the transition from stranger to friend is missing for me.

But bigger problems quickly emerged. The entire story is derailed by Vanessa's obsession with dying, her predilection for finding pithy inspiration everywhere as a coping mechanism, and an incredible number of Issues aside from Vanessa dying, including, a short list that cannot possibly be addressed in one single novel:

Drug Addiction;
Hoarding and OCD:
Child Abandonment;
Panic Attacks;
Grief Therapy;
Disability Rights.

I will add too (just because it irked me) that after the baby helped create the initial meeting between Vanessa and Adrian, she was a prop and nothing more. She was often there in the background but completely silent and agreeable. She might as well have been a piece of furniture. While the book suggested early on that it was a story about a woman suddenly submerged into the world of single motherhood and the kind, good-looking neighbor who helps her out, the baby virtually vanishes from the story. The resolution of the ALS plot seemed pretty obvious to me, and yes, pretty superficial.

This is my first Jimenez book and likely my last since I, alas, don't find the writing appealing enough to pursue again.
Profile Image for Angelica.
805 reviews1,070 followers
April 12, 2021
Abby Jimenez should just write all the romance novels from now on, please.

I love Adrian. No at much as I loved the perfect man that is Jason from her previous book The Happy Ever After Playlist, but so very close. I will officially read any book Abby Jimenez writes and I only hope to find a man a wonderful as the ones she writes about.

That's all there is to say.
50 reviews
April 22, 2021
Ableist & Appropriative - Avoid If You Live With Illness

This book was really upsetting to me as a disabled reader. I definitely don't recommend it to other people who are chronically ill. Warning for spoilers.

This book is about a couple that is basically so perfect for each other that you will want to root for them from the get-go. It had me swooning initially. Wonderful love interest, cute premise with a baby. Except the entire growth arc is based around using the possibility of terminal illness as a plot device. There is so much ableism in this book, it kind of took me by shock the more we dove into the story.

So the main character doesn't even know for sure if she has ALS, but she's based her entire life on thinking she will die by the time she's 30 because of ALS in her family. There is a lot of "sick person inspires healthy person to live their life to the fullest." The whole book sends the message that you can't have a full life if you are needing medical equipment or medicine, but you should spend your life doing everything you are passionate about and travel and only eat fancy wines and expensive cheese. Which works for this character because she has an unlimited amount of money due to her YouTube channel. Staying home - like most sick people - is unimaginable as a way of life that could be fulfilling.

At the end, the author makes you believe that she DOES have ALS, which garnered a little bit of respect for the author from me to see that she wasn't taking the easy way out. It could have ended there and been mildly redemptive in terms of plot, seeing that they were going to be together regardless of her disease. But then bam! Epilogue. You see that she really only had a pinched nerve all along. So they can continue to live there happy perfect life without actually needing to deal with illness. Gross use of magical cure trope on what could have been a really beautiful love story if she had left illness aspect out of it. The entire thing was a plot device. Felt a lot like Everything, Everything.

There are also other types of ableism, like people lauding the guy for sticking with someone who is supposedly sick, as if that's some sort of exemplary quality of a partner. There's more, but it's too ick to retype all of it here. I did send a lot of screenshots while I was reading to my disabled friends while reading because that was level of hurt this produced the first time around.

I'm just really tired of this trope and I really can't believe that authors like this don't stop to think about how what they are writing affect actual ill and disabled readers. To top it off, there's an author note about how the book is inspired by a YouTuber who had cystic fibrosis. Ugh. Maybe go be inspired by healthy people and let sick people tell their own stories.
Profile Image for Heather~ Nature.books.and.coffee.
605 reviews154 followers
April 6, 2021
Abby has done it again!! I went through all the emotions with this one. Even this being a "romcom"...this covered the serious and deadly disease ALS! Vanessa's family has a history of ALS. Vanessa wants to live her life to the fullest, because she doesn't know if she caries the same gene that gave her mother the disease. She's also a YouTuber that travels the world and films it all. Suddenly, Vanessa is left custody of her half sisters newborn baby, and everything is turned upside down. What she doesn't expect is to have her hot neighbor, Adrian Copeland, come to the rescue to help her out. And also doesn't expect to develop the feelings that she does for him.

This book was so entertaining, funny and emotional!! I recommend starting with book 1 "The Friend Zone" because some of the characters roll over into her other booksl, but can definitely be read as a standalone also. You will get some steam in this one too! 🔥 Romance readers definitely won't be disappointed with this one!! So good!!

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the early digital copy!
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