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The Friend Zone #1

Wenn aus Funken Flammen werden

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Kristen steht kurz vor einem medizinischen Eingriff, der es ihr unmöglich machen wird, Kinder zu bekommen. Deshalb geht sie mit gemischten Gefühlen an die Aufgabe, die Hochzeit ihrer besten Freundin zu organisieren. Vor allem, als sie dabei Josh, den anderen Trauzeugen, kennenlernt. Er ist witzig, sexy und weiß mit ihrer direkten Art umzugehen. Allerdings träumt Josh von einem Haus voller Kinder. Kristen ist klar, dass sie nicht die Richtige für ihn ist. Doch die Anziehung zwischen Josh und ihr wird immer größer, und es wird auch für Kristen immer schwerer, ihn auf Abstand zu halten.

410 pages, Paperback

First published June 11, 2019

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About the author

Abby Jimenez

5 books12.7k 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
33,170 (32%)
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 11,514 reviews
Profile Image for preoccupiedbybooks.
439 reviews971 followers
June 23, 2019

So plus points first, before I get carried away in incandescent rage.
1) This was mostly well written, and the writing seemed to flow quite well throughout the book.
2) The start wasn't bad. I liked Josh, Kristin was funny, and the book spoke about periods and infertility, which isn't really ever addressed in other contemporary romances.

Now...Firstly Kristen..OMG when will authors realise that we don't want to read about 'the cool girl?' Kristen was described as an amazing girl who doesn't like drama, doesn't wear make up, ate cheeseburgers, drank beer, and was actually labelled a unicorn four times in the book.
"An honest, no-drama woman who didn't bullshit and drank beer and cussed and didn't care about what people thought about her. She was a unicorn, tucked in the body of an attractive woman with a great ass."

Lets just address that first because OMFG I'm sick of reading about these so called perfect women, and then seeing the author compare them to other women who are "exhausting" or "crazy." Why do we need to put down other women in order to boost the heroine?!
Next she wasn't honest, and she did indeed care about what people think about her. She lied to her boyfriend, and to Josh repeatedly. She was selfish, self absorbed and manipulative! She was such a bitch to the men in her life.
Which leads me to Tyler. Kristen's long term boyfriend in the military. The author looked down on him because he was intelligent, highly educated, career driven, liked nice clothes and fancy restaurants. I mean how dare he?!🤣 Kristen did not technically cheat on Tyler, BUT she was constantly thinking about another man instead of him, she didn't answer his calls so that she could hang out with another man, and within minutes of their relationship ending, she jumped into bed with that other man...Even after all of that, he was nice to her, and he ended up getting hurt. He deserved better.
Then there was Joshua (why are so many love interests called Josh btw?!) Kristen lead him on repeatedly. Yes she had medical issues, yes he wanted kids, but she was dishonest with him, didn't communicate with him, ran hot and cold with him and was just basically a bitch. She would have sex with him but then say no kissing, hand holding or hugging, but then want to be friends with him and hang out. She kept stringing him along. He was seriously some kind of saint! Kristen should have just been honest with him, and then let him make his own decision. He was an adult and he deserved better. The lack of communication between the two main characters really wound me up!

Ok now to the unnecessary death of Josh's best friend and Kristen's best friend Sloan's fiancé. I HATE IT WHEN AUTHORS USE THE DEATH OF A CHARACTER AS A PLOT DEVICE FOR THE NEXT BOOK!!!!! I was reading, and thought I saw it coming, but thought no surely not, she wouldn't...She did. Brandon was killed off to bring the two main characters together, but also, the next book is about Sloan getting over his death *stares into the distance* It also really triggered me, as I lost a relative at the end of last year after they were placed in a medically induced coma. I shed many tears, and felt the whole scenario could have been avoided.

Next, the fucking surprise pregnancy. A pretty much infertile woman, with an IUD has unprotected sex once with a man, after 8 years of having unprotected sex, and boom she's preggo! And it's just explained that he has some super fucking strong sperm.
descriptionWhat a slap in the face for all of the women reading who have struggled with infertility. Honestly fuck the author's note at the end! The fact that she has written that to try to justify the ending tells me that she was probably aware of what she was doing. This book has already upset women who are struggling with their fertility, I can see that in the reviews. It isn't how most cases end up, and most people won't be able to relate to that fairy-tale ending. Why couldn't they have used a surrogate, or fostered/adopted a child?
I feel like the ending of the book undermined everything that happened before it. What was the point of all of that conflict? Why did we see a character suffer, but grow to accept her situation, and to start to think she was worthy, to then cancel out that arc, and undermine the important message?!

Other issues I had was the gushing about the man buying the tampons, I mean really? In this day and age, surely most men would? IDK I know my husband wouldn't be bothered, its not like the cashier would think he's on his period...🙄
The book felt like it was judging women who didn't want to have kids, and women who wore make-up. This goes back to the author trying to make the heroine look good a the expense of other women.

Instead of a funny, heart warming story, this book made me feel really angry. I think I have actually talked myself into changing my rating to a one star!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Yun.
505 reviews18k followers
October 31, 2021
Wow, this book made me uncomfortable on so many levels. I'm going to try to unpack it all here, and put my thoughts into words.

The Friend Zone starts off likable enough. Kristen is your all-around cool girl with a medical condition that will make it hard for her to have children. She meets Josh in the midst of planning her best friend's wedding, and they hit it off instantly. But the problem is that Josh wants at least five biological children, but really nine is the ideal number (yep, you read that correctly).

First of all... nine?! I double-checked, just to be sure I wasn't reading a book from the 1800s written by a sexist dude. Josh's attitude seems to be that the only thing he values in a mate is how many children she will give him. But he's not the only one. Multiple characters in here put extreme value on having biological children over any other alternatives, and look down on females who either can't or won't have them.

But Kristen isn't blameless either. In fact, the main issue of the book is that Kristen keeps her medical condition from Josh. Instead of just telling him and having a conversation about it like adults, she jerks him around while using him for sex. Ah yes, the age-old trick of deceiving someone into falling for you by pretending to be someone you're not. Obviously, these two idiots deserve each other.

I think the book is trying to be feminist by saying that you can be a strong female and love yourself even if you struggle with infertility or don't have children. But it somehow came across as completely the opposite. And the ending (which I won't spoil) completely undoes everything the book is trying to accomplish anyways.

In addition to the unlikable characters with questionable views, there were a lot of little oddities that gave me weird vibes. Like at one point, Josh goes on a rant about how people who live in cities call 911 for anything, whereas in the small town he comes from, people know to only use 911 for legit emergencies because "small-town people had pride."

Also, the way Josh compliments Kristen is extremely off-putting. He praises her for being a cool girl who drinks beer (not wine) with the guys, doesn't need to wear makeup to be beautiful, and just wants to eat burgers and pizza, while putting down other women who aren't like that as "nuts." How this book managed to insult like 100% of the female population in one fell swoop is a headscratcher, for sure.

In the end, there were so many things in this book that were, quite frankly, offensive. It seems like the author is trying to say one thing, but everything in the book ends up saying the exact opposite. Just... no.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,471 reviews19.1k followers
June 23, 2019
Originally rated this 3 stars, but lowered it to a 2 upon further reflection. I enjoyed the chemistry between the main characters, but I really and truly hated the way this book ended. I can't really talk about why without going into spoilers, so: . And for some other less spoilery things I disliked: Kristen VERY MUCH had an ~*i'M nOt LiKe OtHeR gIrLs*~ thing going on, and Josh was WAY too eager to put other women down to raise her up. I'm gonna stop writing this review now because I honestly dislike this the more I think about it. Ugh. UGHHHHH.

TW: infertility, motorcycle accidents, hospitals, death of a loved one
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,013 reviews46.2k followers
April 18, 2021
there’s plenty of issues with this book and many people who have pointed them out, so i won’t.

instead i’ll ask why Josh is such a sexy name to romance authors.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,068 reviews38.1k followers
April 22, 2022
Desperately seeking a sweet, soft, swoony romance with likable characters. It could include a sufficient amount of angst, groveling, crying, cuddling at the end. Butttt the book I wanted to read CANNOT BE FOUND AT THIS BLOODY MOMENT 😡😡😡

I HATED THIS MORON HEROINE SOOOOO MUCH! I want to write a script named “Ten Million Things I Hate About Her” and cast Anne Hathaway as Kristen or play the cover of Ugly Kid Joe’s “ I hate everything about you” song!
Oh boy! My hate for her is more than my total hate for Gwyneth Paltrow,Katherine Heigl, Lea Michele ( by the way all of them can play Kristen’s role on my hate-not love-pure hate movie!)

This is a record of my life! I start a book with intentions to give five stars because at the first pages I enjoyed hero and heroine’s chemistry. Then a deployed boyfriend involve into picture with several phone calls. And coolest heroine slowly turned into stubborn, spoiled, brainless douche-girl (a special title just invented for her) and lovely hero slowly turned into a doormat, miserable man! Their angsty love story kept repeated like this formula:
Oh honey- let’s make sex- oh let’s get emotional -oh no we cannot be together- for several days they stand far away from each other and you know the drill, they eventually make sex again. After douche-Kristen opens up her big secret to the my lovely, hot hero Josh, he still declared his love but heroine kept sledgehammered his heart into tiny pieces because she has insecurities about her own value because of her villanelle mother! Oh gimme a break honey!

So my precious five stars slowly drop to the three and after reading the miraculous ending, I went back and forth between one and two, one and two (in the meantime I’m making my rhythmic dance moves to chill out!) So 1.5 stars rounded up because I’m truly sorry for my ideal, lovely hero who is bulldozed several times by this mean heroine!! And of course the beginning of the book is sooo promising.

Arrggghhkkk!!! I didn’t want to use a heroine’s face as a stress ball for squeezing in my hand and throwing against the wall or fantasizing different ways of killing her (of course my first solution make her eat one of my homemade food. I could only cook frozen pizza but I’m so competent to turn it into ashy frozen unidentified non-eatable object a.k.a UNO! Or I can make her smell my husbands’ socks for a minute and watch her gagging and coughing in disgust and then passing off!)
After Jewel E. Ann’s “Jersey” from “Jersey Six”, I haven’t pissed off so much to a heroine who is so adamant not to have her HEA! I shouted at her several times to get her head from her ass but she didn’t naturally hear me! ( I talked about my miscommunication with heroine to my shrink and he prescribed me seven cases of Sauvignon Blanc! Oh god! I love my shrink! I wish I didn’t eat all Sprinkle Cupcakes I bought for her!)

I know this is one of the nominees of Goodreads awards but hear me out, if you want to read a good, heart-wrenching, sweet romance, this is not your book if you a little bit trust my taste and too brutally honest reviews! There are too many angsty and edgy moments and of course tragic accident, life or death situation involve in the equation which is not necessary because this book started as a soft, swoony rom-com but it changed into a something too dramatic, tear-jerking story! I just felt like I wanted to throw book out of window and wear garbage bags to go for a jog as like Bradley Cooper did in the “Silver-linings Playbook” (I listened to I belong to you from Lumineers to calm my nerves accompanied by more cold white wine!)

Finally it ended! Yessssss!!! It was more torturing than attending “spinning classes” in the morning (as you can imagine I’m not a morning person! )

As a summary: For the love of your fragile, emotional feelings, try another book! Read “Well Met”, “Get A Life Chloe Brown” But not this one! Period.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,440 reviews29.4k followers
May 23, 2019
You might be tempted to write Abby Jimenez's new book The Friend Zone off as fluffy "chick-lit," assuming it's not much different than the countless other books like it out there.

You'd be wrong. Sure, there is romance, humor, talk of soulmates and futures, but there is also an extra layer of emotional complexity in this book. It made me want to devour the book even quicker than I did, and now that I'm done, I can't believe I have to wait until 2020 for Jimenez's next book!!

Josh and Kristen's meet-cute doesn't quite follow the traditional pattern: Josh, a recent transplant from South Dakota to Los Angeles, actually rear-ends Kristen when she has to stop suddenly in traffic. Kristen isn't any damsel-in-distress either—she's covered in coffee from the fender-bender and isn't afraid to let Josh know what a crappy driver he is, using every bit of flowery language she has at her disposal.

When they realize a little while later that Josh will be the best man at Kristen's best friend's wedding, both reluctantly admit they'll enjoy the prospect of spending time together. There's no doubt they're attracted to one another, and Kristen is awaiting the return of her Marine boyfriend, who will be moving in with her anyway, so there's no risk to their friendship.

The problem is, Kristen can't get enough of Josh, and the feeling is definitely mutual. Having been raised with six older sisters, Josh is more sensitive to what a woman wants—he knows that she needs to eat before she gets "hangry," they have the same sense of humor, and he even loves her little dog, Stuntman Mike. And the truth is, Kristen isn't even sure that her boyfriend Tyler is what she wants anyway, and the closer it draws to his discharge from the military, the more she starts to panic.

For his part, Josh has fallen in love with everything about Kristen. He can tell she doesn't seem into her boyfriend's return, and he knows they have serious chemistry? So why does she continue to keep him at arm's length?

Kristen has a debilitating medical condition, and it appears the only answer is a procedure which will make having children impossible. Josh has said more than once how he can't imagine not having a huge family of kids. How could Kristen deprive him of that, force him to choose her and give up his dreams? She wants him to have the life he so desperately desires, but she won't tell him why she keeps pushing him away, even when it's obvious how strongly she feels for him.

What I loved so much about The Friend Zone is the complexity of its characters and their relationships. Even when the book took a surprisingly emotional turn, the characters remained utterly true to themselves and the story, and I became even more invested. Sure, Kristen's reluctance to share the truth with Josh gets really frustrating, but the way he handles it, and the way the other characters in the book do as well, felt realistic and not part of some glossy romantic fantasy.

This is definitely a book I'd love to see adapted for a movie or television series, because I loved this story. (Plus, I wouldn't mind seeing how some casting director envisions firemen/ex-Marines Josh and Brandon, as well as Kristen and Sloane. Especially the firemen, but whatever.) Jimenez's writing is funny and charming and hooked me from the get-go.

I've really been enjoying my forays into this genre over the last year. There are some really talented writers out there and while it's easy just to think "chick lit" is fluffy and meaningless, you might want to adjust that belief. And The Friend Zone might be one that can help convince you.

Forever provided me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!

This book will be published June 11, 2019.

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

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html.

You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Tucker  (TuckerTheReader).
908 reviews1,574 followers
September 19, 2020

I haven't been this mad at a book since Toil & Trouble . And I'm angry. Not irritated. Not disappointed. I. am. forking. angry. Furious, in fact.

I want to start out by saying that, as always, this isn't a bash on the author. I'm sure she's a lovely person and she does have talent but in this... this ain't it.

As I've said before, I save the powerful 1 star for only the worst books. The only books that get one star from me are books that are not only unenjoyable but are also dangerous. (On the note of enjoyability, I didn't not enjoy this book. It was pretty well-paced and I liked the characters up for a little bit but then everything went awry.)

To be completely honest, I had so many issues with this book that I barely know where to begin. I do want to start by saying that there will in fact be MAJOR SPOILERS !!!! Do not continue if you don't want to be spoiled. Although, in my opinion, it doesn't matter because this book shouldn't be read but anyway... You've been warned.

Kristen - Ah, Kristen. I wish I could say she was simply a I'm NoT lIkE oThEr GiRlS caricature but she had more depth than that. And that's not a good thing. From the first few pages, I was already pretty uncomfortable with Kristen. She shamelessly objectified Joshua and it was just brushed over. (I'll go more in-depth about it later)

Kristen was also so immature, selfish, and toxic. In case you don't know, Kristen has to get a procedure that will render her unable to have children. As she falls in love with Josh, a man who wants many children, she realizes that, even though she loves him and he loves her, she can't be with him because he wants many children (did I tell you he wants many children and she can't give him children?). But instead of telling Josh about her condition like any normal, functioning adult would, she continues to keep it a secret. She continues to admit to him that she has feelings for him but they can't be together and when he asks her why, she refuses to tell him BECAUSE THEN THEY WON'T BE TOGETHER.

Do you see the ridiculously flawed logic?

Kristen: I love you
Josh: I love you
Josh: Let's be together
Kristen: No, we can't
Josh: Why not?
Kristen: I can't tell you
Josh: Why not?
Kristen: Because then we won't be together.
Josh: But... your saying we won't ... be together anyway?
Kristen: ...
Josh: ...

Ugh it makes me so maddddddddddddddddd. Listen, I will not deny that having a condition like Kristen's is hard and it would definitely be hard to share but no matter how many time Josh asked her why and how many times he reassured her of his love, she didn't tell. She kept pulling the "I want you but I can't have you and you can't know why"

She was so ridiculously toxic and selfish. Josh deserves so much better.

Anyways, onto the next point.

Infertility / Uterus struggles - Let me start by saying that, being male, I am in no way attempting to comment or understand what it is like to menstruate, bleed, or have other uterus related problems. I am however very well versed in plots, characters, and general bookish bullsh*t.

I was really looking forward to this overall theme. Romance novels very rarely acknowledge periods, menstruation and the female reproductive system in general. And although the theme started out okay, it went downhill very quickly.

I already said how annoying Kristen was with her timing and secretiveness but you know that. My problem was that, in the end, Kristen gets magically pregnant. Like... excuse me. What? The whole point of this book was that Kristen would accept herself and her body and be content even if she couldn't naturally get pregnant but nope. She gets magically pregnant because Josh's sperm is oh so strong. (no joke. there's an entire scene where Kristen and Josh are laughing about how the doctor said his sperm is perfect.)

Even the author seems to have sensed that something was wrong about that because in the author's note she said:
"Kristen's happy ending was never about getting pregnant. It was about her allowing herself to be loved, despite what she felt were shortcomings. It was about her recognizing that she wasn't defined by her ability to have children, and that her worth went beyond the state of her uterus. That was her happily ever after.

Okay, there's so much wrong with this statement. First of all, if her happy ending wasn't about her getting pregant, THEN WHY DID SHE GET PREGNANT? What's the point? The readers out there that do struggle with fertility and finally felt like the found a character like them are just gonna feel smacked in the face when even the character who has tumors in her uterus got pregnant. Like, why? WHY did you feel that was necessary.

Second, she never did "realize her worth". Even up to the last freaking page, she was just like "wow, I can't believe Josh loves me. He's dumb. I guess I'll just enjoy it until he realizes how worthless I am and leaves me."

Listen, I understand that everyone has issues with self-worth. I do. You do. Everyone does. But the fact that Kristen's toxic, insecure behavior is supposed to be thought of as a happy ending and that nothing about her needs to be changed or worked on is dangerous.

Objectification - This'll be a shorter point. From the first page, there was shameless objectification. Coming from to both genders from both genders. I got the vibe that it was meant to be "haha, she's so honest and quirky lol"

No. It's obviously okay to think someone's hot and it's okay to say so without treating someone like an object but objectification is not okay and it made me uncomfortable. There was a running joke where Josh and Kristen were literally saying "Ha, you should go have sex with that sexy yoga instructor." I just. Ugh

Brandon - Okay, I warned you earlier but I'm going to warn you again. HUGE SPOILER.

Okay, so towards the end Brandon, Sloan's (Kristen's BFF) fiance dies. This plot point didn't make me sad. It made me mad. This was actually the straw that broke the camels back. I literally threw up my hands and said That's it. I give up. This book is awful.

Brandon's death was only there to move the plot forward. And the only reason the plot needed that shove was because, in my opinion, the author had written herself into a corner. Kristen was so. forking. stubborn. that she literally needed someone to die to realize that she was being way to frickin stubborn.

Ugh. To quote Fran's awesome review, Josh deserved better. Brandon deserved better. Sloan deserved better. All of them suffered because Kristen is the worst.

OCD - The representation of OCD in this book was so disappointingly stereotypical and was completely brushed over. I don't have much to say other than I felt almost made fun because of the way OCD was shown.

Overall, this book is really bad. Don't read it.

Read You Were There Too. Read You Deserve Each Other. Read Get a Life, Chloe Brown. Read One Minute Later. Just don't read this.

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Profile Image for Christy.
3,709 reviews31.6k followers
April 7, 2022
5 stars

 photo 9CE5AB68-825A-4409-BDE8-E03222DEA804_zps3tfg2kdp.png

The Friend Zone is one of the best debut novels I’ve read this year. This one got me right in the feels and I loved it so much. It’s one of those books I picked up and could not put down. I laughed, smiled, and sobbed my way through it and by the end, I couldn’t have loved it more.

Kristen and Josh have an interesting meet-cute. It starts with a fender bender, then they realize they’re in the same wedding. Kristen’s best friend is marrying Josh’s best friend.
“You and I might just be the perfect best man–maid of honor match ever.”

Things have a rough start for them, but they actually end up becoming super close friends. You know when you meet someone and putting romantic feelings aside, they just become your person. That is the relationship they have. Of course, they are insanely attracted to each other, but they are friends first and I love that. Though it seems friends is all they’ll ever be… Josh broke up with his last girlfriend because she didn’t want children. He’s from a big family and he wants nothing more than to have a ton of little ones running around. Kristen would love that too, but it’s not in the cards for her. And she loves Josh too much to hold him back.

Cue the sobs. This book. It really did have me bawling my eyes out. I know, I’m extra emotional when it comes to stuff like this but it really got me all in my feels. These two belonged together, Josh could see it, I just wanted Kristen to see that she was good enough. That she was everything to Josh even if she couldn’t give him the one thing she thought he wanted above all.
I’d found my person. She was the foundation. She was the thing that all other things are built on. Everything was secondary to being with her.

I loved both Josh and Kristen so much. Their banter was fantastic, I loved Josh with her little dog, and Kristen’s sarcasm and fun-loving attitude. I think there will be some people that read this book and maybe they won’t understand Kristen and will be frustrated with her, but I got her. She never bothered or frustrated me personally.

Reading books about infertility is hit or miss for me. As someone who has dealt with it for 7+ years, I have to be in the right mind set to read it and it has to be written right. This was written perfectly. I love romances that have real life problems in them and aren’t all fluff. Abby Jimenez wrote this perfectly. There were many obstacles this couple faced, and I love the way she wrote it and resolved it. That last 20-30% was rough in more than one way, but by the end I had a big smile on my face, even if it was a tad bittersweet in some regards.

The writing in this book was outstanding and the story was equal parts emotional, funny, heartbreaking, angsty, and romantic. I can’t remember another time a book that had me laughing out loud and bawling my eyes out equally. It was a book I fell in love with and can’t recommend it enough!!
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
903 reviews13.7k followers
June 15, 2019
I've been crying for the last hour, everything hurts, and I'm SO glad I chose to pick up this book. It's in my top three favorites of the year.

I don't even know where to start but this is the exact brand of romance that I'm obsessed with. The two main characters are snarky and sarcastic and headstrong, but it never comes off as cheesy or unrealistic. Their romance is fraught with tension and angst, but I was invested in their story. Their relationship was SOFT!!!! SO SOFT!!!!!!

This book follows a woman with uterine fibroids, and that representation and seeing how that both affected her having chronic pain and the way that Josh supported her was so, so beautifully done. I was laughing out loud for most of this book, and I cried my entire way through the end. There were some spotty lines every now and then with some distasteful possessiveness or jokes, but the characters and the angst in this really shone through.

If you are a fan of The Hating Game or Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating or anything similar, you HAVE to pick this book up. I think it's my new favorite romance book, and it's getting a full five stars from me.

Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
770 reviews12.1k followers
June 25, 2019
Too Damn Sad!

Kristen meets her soulmate, Josh, but she has a secret that makes her a less than perfect match for him, so she does her best to keep him in “the friend zone.” Things don’t go as planned and she finds herself falling for the man she needs to keep at bay. She can either keep him as a friend or reveal her secret and risk losing him forever.

As a result of Kristen’s secret, there is a lot of back and forth/will they won’t they, which was fun for a while, but at a certain point, I couldn’t take it anymore! I was ready to give up but then the storyline had a major shift and I was happy for that, but then it was just sad and awful.

After seeing amazing reviews and ratings on my GR friends’ feeds, The Friend Zone became a must read. I read bits and pieces about the plot but went in mostly blind. I was thinking that this was going to be a typical, light-hearted chick-lit novel, so I wasn’t expecting to go on an emotional rollercoaster ride. I felt everything from wanting to throttle the main character (I just wanted her to tell him already!), to getting annoyed over some of the narrative tropes, to feeling happy, back to annoyed, to shifting to an intense level of sadness, back to happy sadness, to happiness, to annoyance. I am not sure I am over the sadness. I did not like the ending--the author’s note did help explain her choice for having THAT happen, but it took away from the message of what this book could have been about. I am spent. I need a nap.

While I didn’t wholly the love the plot or the ending and found parts of The Friend Zone to be problematic, I did love Abby Jimenez's writing style. She has created sharp, quick-witted characters with strong voices I do look forward to her next book featuring Kristen’s best friend, Sloan.
Profile Image for Chelsea *Slowly Catching Up* Humphrey.
1,387 reviews77.2k followers
November 5, 2019
Guys, this hurt. I'm not going to come at you if you loved this book, and I hope you won't come at me for being in the minority in finding The Friend Zone offensive. I didn't even want to write a review for this book, because it seems like everywhere I see it, people are talking about the characters with stars in their eyes and boasting what a strong infertile female is featured within its pages. Perhaps that's where I went wrong; I had completely different expectations for this book. I went in thinking this would be an anthem for the ladies who struggled with their fertility, wherever they fall on that spectrum, but instead we end up with another unrealistic cliche of an ending.

To be fair to the author, I've only read one book headlining an infertile woman that didn't end in a similar manner. Up until , I was heading in 4-4.5 star territory, but then that ending came, and I couldn't shake the shock that it really wrapped up that way.

I was hoping for a story where an infertile woman comes to terms with her barren state, but instead what I was served is a heavy dose of
Profile Image for jessica.
2,478 reviews29.7k followers
April 11, 2020
an ending can make or break a book for me and, in this case, the last 1/5 of this completely deflated my opinion of the story. it kind of feels like it was straw that broke the camels back, as they say.

normally, i can overlook an annoyance or two. no one book is going to meet all of my exact personal preferences and ideals, so im flexible. but there were multiple times when i was questioning the authors reasoning for including certain things or writing a character a certain way.

thing that annoyed me:
- constantly labelling other female characters as ‘crazy’ or ‘exhausting’ to make the MC seem ‘cool’ and ‘perfect’

- the unnecessarily unfair and unjust way the guy characters are treated - they all deserved better

- certain events added for shock value only and nothing else

- the fact that josh was friendzoned for maybe like a whole 10 minutes, so i consider the title false advertising

- and finally, the insensitive way infertility is handled at the end (the authors note really made me mad)

its such a shame there is so much that really drags the story under because i actually really enjoyed the fun and flirty banter between josh and kristen. i found myself actively rooting for them (even though i was constantly complaining about the authors decision for many things) and their relationship had nice pacing/was easy to read, for the most part.

i might give this author another chance in the future but, right now, considering this almost was a 4 star read, im more disappointed than anything.

2.5 stars
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,080 reviews1,649 followers
May 24, 2020

You’ve read the synopsis.

The book alternates between the two very distinct voices of Josh and Kristen.

For 212 pages, I wanted to grab Kristen, shake her and yell: TELL HIM!!

After, that, I spent much of the rest of the book crying. 😭

Big, fat ugly tears.

This is a sweet and sassy, sexy and steamy Rom-Com that delves a bit deeper than most, taking on the theme of infertility .

I highly recommend this if you read these types of books...And, maybe even if you don’t-since they are not usually my thing either!

DO NOT peak at page 212 now that I told you this!!

DO read the author’s note at the end of the book!! (It will make you feel better!)

⭐️ I just read the sequel “The Happily Ever After Playlist” and I can assure you...Abby makes good on the promise she made in the author’s note!

READ both books back to back!
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,209 followers
June 28, 2019
ETA: I really bounced around the idea of how to rate this book because the ending really messed up a good thing, but I decided to forgive it and rate it high. However, after discussion with my friend, Emer, I realized that I shouldn't have been so forgiving because the messed-up part of things is really personal to many people. So, I've decided to change my rating out of respect for those women. You can read Emer's review here .

Original review:

First, I'm going to give you the warnings that I wish someone had given me, even though I should have read more reviews before reading. But, I'm lazy. Anyway, there is angst galore, the major problem in the book could have been cured by a conversation, and then something really bad happens. Nuff said.

The heroine is a girl that I could see really liking. She is snarky and fun, plus she has a mini dog named Stuntman Mike. So, I would even just like her for the dog.

The set-up is that a girl and guy are falling for each other, but she has issues so she continually rejects him over and over again for the entire book. There is so much angst that you might want to consider taking a valium just to not get too wrapped up in their shit. And, then comes the crying. For you. Yes, she cries a lot too, especially for someone who never says she cries. Also, she plays head games with the guy a lot after she said she doesn't do that.... Hmmm, so she's kind of a liar. But, the point is, this is one of those books that will make you cry. No, not me. I'm dead inside. But you. You might cry. I was just sad for a bit - which is as close as I get. Luckily, I have a cure for sadness. It's called alcohol. You should try that sometime. It works!

That sounds bad, right? But, I still enjoyed the book overall because there were a lot of funny moments and I liked all of the characters. The writing was good, and the dialogue was good too. See? Good.

Yeah, you guys don't have to deal with that kind of stuff with me. Everything is good.
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
684 reviews4,625 followers
July 13, 2019
I was really expecting to LOVE this book. It had everything you'd want in a contemporary romance - romance, humor and emotion - so much emotion! This isn't your typical light-hearted romance. It deals with the issue of infertility and all the feelings of sadness and inadequacy that plague so many women who are not able to conceive naturally. I was all in - from the first page right up until that ending! Wham, you broke me with that ending Abby Jimenez and not in a good way. I just can't see the reason behind it. It felt like too much. I won't spoil things for those of you who haven't read it by being specific.

What really got me was that this was absolutely a solid read for me until that ending. I didn't agree with it and it took some of the enjoyment out of the book for me. I have to be honest and say that I'm a sucker for heartbreak and emotion, just not when it seems to be done for a big wow factor or at the expense of other characters just to have some supposed life-altering impact on the main character. It just didn't sit well with me and truthfully undid most of the feeling behind the book for me.

So 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ because I did enjoy most of the book but that ending - I'd give it 1 star if I could judge it on it's own. 😢
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,170 reviews25.4k followers
June 18, 2019
Closer to a 2.5 but rounding down for this one

UGH I am so upset about this book. The first half of this book started off so cute and it was probably looking to be a 4/5 stars for me, until the last 20% of this book ruined it. The last 20% was really unrealistic and convenient and obnoxious and offensive to anyone who has actually experienced infertility and I'm upset about it.

Let's start with the positives: I love the romance between Kristen and Josh. They have great chemistry, it's very banter-y which I love. I was rooting for them to get together, I cared about their relationship, I loved that they loved Pulp Fiction. I love the fact that Josh is a fireman and he genuinely cares about people, and I love Kristen and her not-giving-a-fuck attitude. I loved their best friends Sloan and Brandon and their friendship with them was off the charts cute. I love how a lot of this book had this major dilemma: Kristen has terrible periods and is planning on getting her uterus removed and because of her uterus issues it causes her to be infertile. She sees this as a problem because Josh wants to have a giant ass baseball team of kids and he wants to have them the old-fashioned way. So we spend the majority of this book watching as Kristen tries to deal with falling in love with Josh and thinking there is no way for them to have a future. I'm sure there are infertile people out there who can relate to this dilemma Kristen was having. She feels like he has to give up something he's always wanted in exchange for her.

Besides the ending of this book, I found one other thing about this book to be incredibly annoying. And that is Josh's obsession with referring to Kristen as "the cool girl". It's 2019 and I'm tired of reading books about this special amazing girl who is "not like the other girls" and she's just so cool. Like can we stop putting down other women please? THANKS. He said it often in his narration and it drove me nuts. He said all the typical douche things like "the hotter a woman is the crazier she is" and annoying unacceptable comments like that.

Now for the ending. The rest of this review will be marked as a spoiler because I can't discuss it without spoiling you so read at your own risk.

Anyways, that's all I have to say about that. This book had so much potential and it was ruined by a very upsetting ending. I don't see how this book is getting such rave reviews with all the problematic content I read in this.
Book #1 for Romanceathon is complete!
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,796 reviews453 followers
June 13, 2019

I'm amazed by Abby Jimenez's ability to write a romance dealing with the main topic of infertility.

I was pulled into The Friend Zone from the very first chapter. There were some gut-wrenching moments when I couldn't stop myself from spilling tears but also so many moments where the sarcastic humor was freaking awesome.

The first time we meet the main characters Kristen Peterson and Josh Copeland is when they were involved in a fender bender. Their first interaction didn't go that great. Their second one was a little bit better.

Kristen runs her own business. Her company makes products for dogs including ladders to help small dogs climb, she makes cute little shirts too. In regards to her personal life, she's dating a marine Tyler (who's overseas), has a cute little dog (who hates the marine), doesn't have a close relationship with her mother and she's dealing with a medical condition that will end up in infertility.
The moment she meets Josh, she knows she's in trouble. He's handsome, super nice and available as her new carpenter on his days off. She has never cheated and she won't start now. Making Josh believe she has no interest in him is a priority. She will wear unattractive clothes, no makeup, and even rulers to prevent him from getting any ideas.

Josh has recently moved to California to be closer to his best friend Brandon who's getting married soon. He's joining the same firehouse as him but his new status as probie is not a fun one. He's frustrated with some of the calls they get. Some are completely and truly unnecessary. As for his personal life, his last relationship ended on a bad note. He wanted kids and his girlfriend didn't. He let her have everything they had but his credit card balance is still quite high. He needs cash fast to pay his debts and when an offer to be Kristen's new carpenter presents, he has no other choice but to take it. He discovers that he likes Kristen. He likes her sense of humor, her honesty, and her loyalty. He realizes she's not a cheater but he wants her in his life.

Kristen and Josh are both very creative characters. I love both. Kristen was funny, sarcastic and a true friend to Sloan. Yes, I got annoyed at Kristen more than once for pushing Josh away but I understood why she did it.
Josh was perfect. He had my heart. He was understanding and dedicated to Kristen and his best friend Brandon. He fell for Kristen's dog too (which is a bonus in my book).

The last third of The Friend Zone was hard to read. Plenty of sadness. I was devastated for Josh but even though the ending had some bittersweetness to it, the sweet overcame the bitter.

I was excited to see that Abby Jimenez is writing a second book with a secondary character. I'd love to see where she takes her story.

Cliffhanger: No

5/5 Fangs

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Profile Image for Warda.
1,091 reviews17.4k followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
March 14, 2021
DNF at 57%.

Too messy, too much drama, don’t have the patience for it.
Profile Image for Meredith B.  (readingwithmere).
232 reviews159 followers
June 11, 2019
5 Stars!

It was about her allowing herself to be loved, despite what she felt were shortcomings. It was about her recognizing that she wasn't defined by her ability to have children, and that her worth went beyond the state of her uterus. That was her happily ever after.

The hype is REAL for this book. How do I like my romantic comedies? I like them to be laugh out loud funny, heart-warming and ultimately realistic. This book is that and then some.

Kristen is planning her best friends wedding and is in a relationship with a man in the military. He's off on deployment and she's been focusing on her bff's upcoming nuptials. She doesn't do drama and will tell you how she's really feeling. She gets into a little fender bender one day and thinks nothing of it. The next thing she knows, she's met her bff's future husband's best friend since he's the one who tapped her bumper. From there, a sassy friendship forms and after awhile maybe she realizes Josh isn't all that bad.

But Kirsten has a bit of a dilemma - she always seems to fall for guys who want big families and she cannot have one due to some serious medical issues. She has been told all her life how she's not good enough and tries to save the men from her. Insert Josh who would do anything for Kristen at the drop of a dime. Kristen knows he's perfect - he always has food for her when she's hangry, he thinks shes beautiful with curlers in her hair and he will go to a sketchy taco truck with her at all times of the night. She just knows that her medical condition will cause Josh to never be hers but she can't seem to stay away...

This book is easily in my top 5 of 2019 so far. It was so realistic and I love when I feel like books have characters and story lines that I can relate to. I definitely have friends like Kristen in my life and honestly I'm probably more of a Sloan. The relationships in this book felt like real friendships and real romantic partnerships. There wasn't so much "fluff" that sometimes come with these stories. One other thing about this book was it easily made me feel the emotions the characters were feeling at any given time. I attest that to the real and easy going dialogue.

I'm lucky, as of now, that I've never personally experienced any fertility issues but I'm also not in the stage of life of having children of my own. I know other's have stated they've gotten emotional and cried during these parts but I was more empathetic towards Kristen rather than brought to tears. I think this is just because I have not experienced this or have gone through any fertility steps at this point in my life. However, the devastation that Sloan endures, that is where my heart broke. I could never imagine going through what she did but we see her true love shine through at the end.

Overall, this is a great laugh out loud romantic comedy. I cannot believe this is a debut by Abby Jimenez. I read this book in a day and only two sittings. I only stopped because I had to sleep at some point! This book publishes tomorrow, June 11th and you definitely need to have this one on your summer TBR list. Also, I can't wait for Abby's next novel coming March 2020!!!

Thank you to Forever Romance for my copy of this book!
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,553 followers
June 11, 2019

This is one of the best books I have read so far!I devour it, it was fast paced and mostly I have a smile in my face!I fall in love with the characters and their relationship through the story.It has everything I wanted and even more!It was fun,sweet,emotional,intense and romantic.


I find it addictive and in the end I wanted more.It has great dialogues and the relationship between Kristen and Josh was unique.I fall hard for both of them.Kristen is the best, I loved her, she was sassy and I could relate with her.

This is a friends-to-lovers romance, it was full of emotions!I highly recommend it!Abby Jimenez did an amazing job and I can't wait to read more books from her in the future!


Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,006 reviews3,515 followers
January 3, 2020
What a sweet, romantic comedy! It’ll have you coming and going...with both smiles and tears!!

Josh has re-located to LA to be near his good buddy Brandon and his fiance. The boys will also be teaming up working at the same fire station.
When Josh literally runs into Kristen, sparks fly! Both drawn to the other like nothing they’ve ever experienced before. They also share a fierce stubborn streak and there’s no way they’ll admit it to themselves never mind to each other. Will love conquer all? Come on, you two! There’s only one way to find out!

Sometimes romantic comedies can come off too light and syrupy sweet. This one felt realistic and believable, dealing with very real issues.
Not too worry, it thankfully didn’t get too heavy! Just a perfect balance between real-life mixed with very snarky dialogue that will keep you smiling.

I listened to the audio version of this book and the 2 narrators were fabulous! I enjoyed both perspectives equally, feeling I was right alongside on their journey. Made my commute to work an entertaining journey. From home to parking stall at work and home again. What a joy! When was the last time anyone said they enjoyed their commute?! Right !? Just that good!

Thank you so much to Jen B. for the invitation to peruse her best of audio shelf! I’ll be heading back to her shelf for my next audio!
Profile Image for elle.
198 reviews5,015 followers
January 21, 2022
edit 2022: after much thought, i have decided that this is the worst romance novel i read in 2021.

that's saying a lot if you know about the amount of cringey, awful romance novels i went through, desperately and despairingly, in order to find a tiny moment of escapism and happiness.

thus, every night before i go to bed i ask myself: when will i ever find a romance book i enjoy after beach read?

if i can stop even one person from reading this book, i've done my job.

SPOILERS AHEAD (but read it because you don't want to read this book anyway):

• kristen is not like other girls. why? because she's the ultimate cool girl. she swears, she doesn't care about makeup, she eats cheeseburgers and drinks beers, the ultimate guy's drink! her only love is eating and is 'straightforward with no drama'. because of course, it's not a cool girl if she cares about 'drama' right? even though the only drama in her life is stuff that she is causing.

• of course, in classic dual point of view, josh recognizes this. in fact, he puts other women down just to hype kristen up. cherry on top? he calls her a unicorn. multiple times.

• cool girl kristen cheats on tyler. she doesn't physically cheat on him, but she literally emotionally cheats (which is STILL cheating in my book) the entire time she is with josh. and boy, does she know it. but she can't break up with tyler, oh no, because tyler is the only man on this earth who doesn't want children, apparently. not like good-guy josh, who wants a whole baseball team of kids.

• speaking of josh's dream baseball team of kids, he wants nine children? NINE? what is he going to do, make them farm and follow the rules of primogeniture?

• so kristen continues on her self absorbed manipulative path by stringing both guys along. and what, tyler's biggest flaw was that he was well educated and liked expensive restaurants while cool girl kristen wanted a cheeseburger? big boo hoo.

• also, josh being amazing because he bought kristen tampons? what is this, the eighteenth century? (actually it might be because josh wants a baseball team). and josh literally does the bare minimum (minus him clinging onto kristen no matter how cold she is to him which is its own can of worms). also, there is this running trend of romance authors writing in a male point of view and writing "she has a great ass and a great rack" every other page and it is just highly... annoying. do people find this quality attractive in men? like am i the problem for not liking when a guy repeats that on every other page?

• portrayal of ocd. this annoyed me to no fucking end. there is a difference between being a neat freak and having ocd. to authors who want to write about this (literally ocd in particular because this isn't the first time it's mispotrayed), do your fucking research! it is not that hard! or don't write about it at all!

• using a character death as a plot device is the LAZIEST writing hack in the book and i hated hated hated it. sloan literally lost the love of her life just so the two main characters could get together? the author literally did not have to kill off someone to move the plot along. it was there for shock value and it was lazy writing. sometimes, deaths are necessary. this was not.

• now to the meat of my reasoning for giving it one star: kristen's infertility. initially, before nearing the end of the book, i was going to give it three stars. because are most characters insufferable and cringey? yes. is kristen a god awful character? oh absolutely. but i did appreciate how the book was about coming to terms with how she isn't any less of a woman because she cannot have children and how it's okay.

• BUT THEN SHE GETS PREGNANT. she gets MIRACULOUSLY PREGNANT (she is infertile and has a fucking IUD) because of josh's 'super strong sperm'. she has unprotected sex ONCE and she's suddenly pregnant? i thought this is where it was going to go and i was praying that it wouldn't. but then it did. of course it did.

• the author's note at the end: fuck the author. seriously, fuck the author and fuck her note. it wasn't about kristen getting pregnant, it was her coming to terms that she could be loved? then why did you make her pregnant? why did she go through literally THREE HUNDRED PAGES of a (still shitty) character development arc only for her to get her fairytale one in a billion ending? what does that say to women, real women, who are actually struggling with infertility and will not get the ending kristen got?

• speaking of the author, it's literally 2021. this book was riddled with misogyny and putting other women down to make others better (josh's constant "kristen isn't like other women who are crazy and deranged and care about drama" spiel). be better. write better.

just all around awful. i want the time i wasted on this book back. i literally lost ten years of my life on this.
Profile Image for laurel [the suspected bibliophile].
1,328 reviews350 followers
April 29, 2022
A bad summary based on the book’s blurb: When Kristen and Josh accidentally get into a fender bender, they have no idea that they are already connected through their best friends. As the maid of honor and the best man, they’re going to have a lot of events to do…and there is no denying their chemistry. But when Josh tells her that he dreams of having a large family, it hits Kristen right in her womb…because she is infertile. Determined not to lead Josh on, she tries her best to keep him at a distance. But fate has other plans...

What. The. Fuck. Did I read??

Seriously. This is like Jody’s Revenge meets your average Lifetime movie.

For those of you who aren’t military, Jody is the guy who bangs your girl (or partner, but the stereotype, like this entire book, is heterosexual) while you are deployed.

For real.

Kristen has a boyfriend—who is a Marine (because of course—and Josh is also a Marine (because of course). However, Josh is the salt of the earth infantry dude who likes pizza and beer, while Tyler is the sophisticated Marine linguist who enjoys wine and tapas and the finer things in life. He’s also a gunny sergeant, whatever the fuck that is, because this author clearly has no idea how military ranks work.

Also, Tyler has somehow been deployed for two years, which is a thing that is not…probable? At first I was like, okay, maybe he’s “deployed” for an Okinawa tour but nooo, he’s somewhere in some unspecified war zone. And Brandon and Josh were deployed for year long tours too. Which, uh, no. Standard Marine Corps deployments are 6-9 months long. You might deploy for a year, but generally only as an individual augment. Year long deployments in the Marine Corps are rare, but you know where year long deployments are frequent? The Army.

Yup. So imagine my surprise and delight when I thought I saw two regular soldiers being repped and then my irritation when Josh and Brandon were Marines. Look, nothing against Marines (I am a Marine ), but I’m tired of Marines being the next-tier in hyper masculinity below special force alpha males. Like, can we not? And can we also not with the infantry thing too? I mean, I liked that Tyler was not infantry, but it was shown as something lesser and more inferior and honestly POGs get enough of that shit in life, it doesn’t need to be perpetuated in romancelandia.

So my frustration with the first 2/3 of this book has mostly to do with the military aspect. Not only is it really wrong, but Kristen’s emotional cheating on her deployed boyfriend is literally the oldest tale in the book. And Josh, as a Marine, should know this. This common cliché of the service member deploying and their partner cheating with another has been told so many times (and I’ve seen it and counseled a lot of Marines) that having it told from the perspective of the cheating partner with them as the hero just makes my blood crawl. Like. No.

Also, the break-up was not a break-up. You can’t get mad at someone for telling you they are re-enlisting over the phone when you don’t answer their calls because you are too busy hanging out with your fake-boyfriend. You also don’t get to call that other person the villain when you’ve been hooking up with someone right after the break-up. Tyler had no damn clue Kristen broke up with him because she never answered his fucking calls or texts. She’s the ghost master.

And you sure as fuck don’t get to say “I signed up for the military relationship” and then bitch about everything that involves being in a military relationship and say that’s what ruined it. That is literally what you signed on to.

As for the rest of it. There’s a lot of hyper masculinity (ok, this is a romance book but still) and some seriously whacky heterosexual bullshit that goes on. The magical penis thing was a little much, along with the emphasis on his dimples and him liking her tiny-not-a-dude’s-dog dog—and rampant misogyny that is particularly emphasized by reducing Kristen’s worth down to her defective uterus. I felt like I was reading something from 2006. Not 2019.

I get that that was not the point of the book and that it was all in her head (and what many women with infertility issues feel), but it felt very regressive to have Kristen focus on being worthless to anyone without either a) a man and b) a working uterus. She either had to be with Tyler (and settle for his not wanting kids and sophisticated ways) or forsake Josh because she couldn’t give him a big, natural family. And BIG spoiler Also, there’s a magical mental illness cure trope, with Kristen’s OCD being resolved when she’s with Josh. What. The Fuck. No.

That’s a lot of the 2/3 of the book with the Tyler issue and Kristen’s infertility, 90% of which would have been resolved with simple communication instead of Kristen stringing everyone—including me—along (no bitterness here, clearly).

The last 1/3 is some sort of Lifetime movie tragedy porn where Bad Things Happen to Side Characters and this forces the leads to realize that life is short and they need to seek happiness where they can find it.

Overall, although I found initial enjoyment in the first 20% of the book due to my interest in seeing infertility issues actually addressed in a contemporary romance, once it swerved into deployment-cheating territory and I’m-worthless-without-a-womb land, I found my enjoyment eroding until I was left with bitter resolve to finish it for the sake of finishing.

And to see if it would get better.

It did not.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for Isabella. R.
737 reviews1,326 followers
October 27, 2021
4 You’re My Person Stars ⭐️

The Friend Zone was a great debut book filled with witty dialogue, genuinely likable characters and a generic storyline done extremely well.

When Kristen and Josh meet over a misdemeanour, they are yet to realize that their lives are already entwined over mutual friends and wedding duties.

With Kristen already in a long-distance relationship and Josh recovering from the aftermath of a breakup, these two strike up a friendship. Technically perfect for each other, neither are ready to acknowledge what could be.

I liked that she was herself in front of me. But the implication didn’t thrill me. It meant her feelings towards me were totally platonic. For all intents or purposes, I might as well have been the gay friend, or a brother, or something. I was friend zoned, hard.

When these two eventually give into their feelings, Kirsten will need to reveal the secret she’s been hiding from Josh. Only then can they be released from the friend zone, because with great risk, comes great rewards.

Where I have read multiple friends to lover romances, this was a refreshing spin on it. The clever banter and sarcasm was fun. Plus the valid reason behind the friend zoning was heart wrenching, I had to pause at times to re-centre myself. Although I didn't love it as much as I anticipated I would, it was so worth the read!
Profile Image for emily • emilybookedup.
291 reviews2,248 followers
August 30, 2022
excuse me why isn’t this overall goodreads average rating HIGHER????? this book was AWESOME! (coming from a girl who hates on romcoms bc they’re predictable and cheesy and never have second chance tropes 😂😏)

i went into this with low expectations but i knew it was a fan favorite. i read PART OF YOUR WORLD earlier this year and i wasn’t *obsessed* so i was kind of confused about the Abby Jimenez hype but my IG babes were right—her backlist is where it’s at 🙌🏼

Josh is the ultimate book boyfriend and you cannot change my mind. i’m happy at how the book ended but literally no one—not even Kristen—deserved him. UGH 🫶🏼

the last 1/3 of the book totally took a left turn and really morphed into an emo romance that i couldn’ help but love. so, don’t let the title “romcom” deter you—this is much deeper than that. i deff got teary eyed a few times 😭

why didn’t you guys make me read this sooner? backlist books are so fun 🥹 now on to the second in the series immediately…
Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
1,987 reviews11.7k followers
June 9, 2019
I’ll orbit around you and be your universe, because you’ve always been my sun.”

Have you ever started a book and knew, you just knew, from the first few pages that it's THE book. One of those books that you'll never want to end. A book that you'll be thinking about all year. A book that you'll want to be shouting about from the rooftops. Well, my friends, this was THAT book for me. This was everything. It was romcom perfection unlike any I've read. And it is an absolute must read. It's a book that I can't recommend enough, whether romcom is your thing or not. It's simply not to be missed and a story that will stay in my heart for a long while. I loved it from beginning to finish!
Food was my currency. Hungry was an emotion for me. I felt that shit in my soul.

Let's talk about the heroine for a hot second here, shall we? Kristen Petersen is quite seriously my spirit animal. This is a girl that you'll want for your best friend the near second you meet her on the pages. She's blunt, honest, sarcastic and with a sharp wit and a type of hangry that you can't help but relate you. What you see is what you get with her. She's simple but complex. She's honest, she's loyal, and she's so relatable that you can't help but just love her.

In between her successful business of adorable boutique pet products, her sassy dog, Stuntman Mike, and planning her best friend's wedding, Kristen is dealing with an upcoming surgery that will forever change the landscape of her life. She has a loving boyfriend currently serving oversees, so when she meets Josh the best man in the wedding, he's the worst kind of unexpected; the kind that tempts her beyond reason but she knows she can never be what he needs.
He breathed into my ear. “Why won’t you just let me love you?”

Before you think this is a love triangle, let me say that it is, yet it isn't. Without giving anything away, let's just say that if you avoid triangles like a bad case of the clap, you'll want to read this book. Kay? Great. But I digress.

Josh is sheer perfection. He is quite possibly one of the absolute best heroes I've read to date. He's the quintessential nice guy who's incredibly endearing and even more lovable. You won't be able to help but fall head over heels for this man. He is just EVERYTHING. He's sweet, understanding, patient, and just GAH. GAH!!!

Kristen and Josh form an adorably awkward friendship that soon begins to turn into something so much more. And then things really get complicated.

I don't have enough words to tell you just how much I loved this book. It had everything; humor, emotion, and a romance that will warm your heart. It's full of depth and flawlessly written. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since I finished and it's a book that I recommend everyone check out. If there's one book that hits your radar this year, make it this one. Trust me. I only hope there's more to come for some of the secondary characters we get introduced to in this story and I simply cannot wait from this incredibly talented author. I'm still reeling knowing this was Abby Jimenez's debut novel.

ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review

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Profile Image for Michelle .
846 reviews1,182 followers
January 25, 2023
I'm giving up at 30%.

I don't really like Kristen (total bitch or cool girl? I know what I think!) or Josh (misogynistic macho dudebro? Not my type.) so rooting for their HEA seems a little pointless. Honestly, if a guy ever told me he wanted 9 kids I would have run away so fast his head would be spinning and for a woman that claims to not care what people think and that always tells it like it is then how does this story even exist? A woman who truly were those things would have been honest and upfront right from the get go. Should I even bother to mention how she's emotionally cheating on her deployed boyfriend, Tyler? Sure, why not. Suffice it to say she's a terrible person even though Jimenez continuously tries to tell us otherwise. She'd never cheat, she sets appropriate boundaries, and she is the most upstanding and faithful woman a guy could ever want. So her fantasizing about Josh all the time, hanging out with him all the time, and ignoring her boyfriends calls in favor of being with Josh is totally cool? Yeah, right!

I did read some spoilers about how this book ends and to call it a travesty to every infertile women out there is an understatement.

Next up: The Happy Ever After Playlist I hope I have better luck with this one! 🤞
Profile Image for Ari .
904 reviews309 followers
June 18, 2019
*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Every year, the romance community has that one book they spend months hyping up and everywhere you look, somebody is talking about it. You go on Twitter, and there it is. You go on Instagram, and there it is. You log on to Goodreads, and there’s that promo banner at the top of the site. You open your email, and right there in your inbox there’s a message all about the new, exciting upcoming release that everyone can’t stop talking about. The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez was that one book for 2019.

Now I too was excited to read this debut romance. I was especially excited at the fact that this book touches upon the topic of infertility because very few books in the romance genre tackle this subject matter. Now after finishing this book, my excitement has turned into annoyance and rage. Am I really about to hate on everyone’s fave?


The Friend Zone follows the story of Kristen Peterson, a sassy-mouthed 24-year-old who currently struggles with fibroids of the uterus. Though she tries to keep a brave face, Kristen’s condition has made her day to day life almost unbearable. However, slowing down is not an option as she has to help plan her best friend’s wedding. In comes Josh Copeland, the best man and currently a pain in Kristen’s ass. Despite the lies she keeps telling herself, Kristen finds herself drawn to Josh and he too feels the same connection that she does. But Josh wants so much more than Kristen is able to offer him and he is determined to win her over one way or another. Will these two find a way to overcome the obstacles that stand in their way or will some things prove to be too much of a deal breaker?


So I decided to change things up a bit for this review because it was just easier to organize my thoughts this way. While I have more negatives things to say about this book, there were a few still a few positives here and there and they were mainly the reason why I kept reading. First, the writing is good. This story grabbed me from the first page and I had a hard time putting it down. It was quite an addicting read and I just needed to know how things would end for Josh and Kristen. Even after being upset with the bullshit that went down in the last third of the book, I still needed to know how things would end.

While the topic of infertility in romance books is not something new, The Friend Zone goes more in depth of what it means to have a condition that not only makes daily living hard but also makes it difficult for women who do want children to have them. Kirsten’s struggle is one that I’m sure many women can relate to because even though the medical field still doesn’t take this condition seriously enough (and yes I’m throwing hella shade!), hundreds upon thousands of women struggle with some varying condition that makes it difficult for them to get pregnant or just live normal, pain-free lives. I was gifted with crappy genes from both sides of my family so I understand what Kristen’s struggle is like and having weeks where you are out of commission because of severe pain. I definitely related to this aspect of the book the most.

Josh high key had me swooning. Josh is the ideal nice guy who just shows up and sweeps you off your feet and makes all your stress go away. He so caring and understanding and takes care of Kristen when she’s not feeling her best. Also, Josh’s relationship with Stuntman Mike was so cute! But Josh’s character is not without its flaws. See the thing that really irked me when it came to Josh, or more so in his story line itself, was the fact that his world basically revolved around Kristen. Like Kristen literally says, “Of course he was waiting for me. That’s all Josh ever did.” and I was like:


We needed to see more of Josh without Kristen being the focus of his attention, that’s all I’m saying.


This semi-love triangle that was going on in this book was so annoying and in the end, it was completely unnecessary. When Kristen first meets Josh, she’s in a relationship with a marine named Tyler who is currently overseas. Tyler is expected to be returning home for good in a few weeks and then Kristen and Tyler will begin their lives together. Plot twist though, Tyler decides to re-enlist because he loves his job and being in the military and he’s not ready to give that up. So Kristen always said that if Tyler re-enlisted that it would over between them because she doesn’t want to commit to a long-distance relationship anymore AND it just makes me question what purpose did Tyler’s character serve then? Kristen had already caught feelings for Josh even when she was still with Tyler so was Tyler just suppose to be another excuse for Kristen to keep Josh at arms-length? This is why I feel like the love-triangle was completely unnecessary—BECAUSE IT DOESN’T REALLY SERVE A PURPOSE! Side note, there’s not physical cheating in this book, but if you don’t like emotional cheating then this part of the story might be an issue for you.

The miscommunication issues between Josh and Kristen made me want to pull my hair out! For a girl who prides herself in being a straight-shooter and always speaking her mind, Kristen has a real problem with just sitting Josh down and telling him the real reason why they can’t be together. I’m not saying she had to get into her whole medical history, but these two don’t actually sit down and have a conversation about their “relationship” until the very end of the book because Kristen is always running off. She even has to have her best friend tell her that she doesn’t want to see her again until she speaks to Josh. What type of ultimatum is that? Miscommunication or the lack there of has always been a pet peeve of mine in romance books and this book wasn’t any different.

Although I connected with Kristen and her infertility issues, I didn’t really like her character. It’s more of a personal preference thing, but I didn’t agree with some of her actions and how she handled certain situations and I didn’t really connect with her either.


I’m just warning y’all now, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS IN THIS SECTION! So if you still want to read this book without having the ending spoiled for you, STOP READING NOW!


There you have it folks, my two cents on Abby Jimenez’s debut, The Friend Zone. I think I’ve got most of my anger out and now I’m ready to move on from this mess.

Profile Image for Rachel Reads Ravenously.
1,789 reviews2,132 followers
July 22, 2019
2 stars

Have you ever read a book that you actually somewhat enjoyed, but made a list of all the shit in it that bugged you and messaged your friends about how much it bugged you? That was this book for me.

I thought about this a long time, overall there was too much about this book that pissed me off and took me out of the story. But I also don’t want to sit here and nitpick every little thing that bothered me. There were some really great things about this story and I think it tells a romance that not many authors have told before. But like I said ultimately, I did not love or even like reading this book.
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