Thoughts While Reading: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 9:01 p.m.

I reminded myself that she was taken. The good ones always were. What I had sitting next to me was the “cool girl.” That rare woman who was gorgeous without being nuts. The girl in high school who hung out with all the guys, but she never dated any of them because none of them was mature enough for her. That girl who had a boyfriend who went to college and picked her up in his car after school. She could beat you at beer pong and had a football team who would kick your ass for saying one wrong word to her, but she’d never let them because she could handle herself.”

Okay, I am currently 130 pages into The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez and it’s one of those situations where I have enjoyed the ride thus far but I have a big hunch that although it’s feeling very five star heavy at the moment..that I’m going to be disappointed.

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Confession time: Your girl doesn’t mind spoilers. Never have, never will.  I haven’t seen any spoiler reviews but I have paid attention to what people who have completed this book have said without giving too much away..and all I know at this point is that people are pretty disappointed with the ending. With that out of the way though, let’s chat about my thought so far.

In a nut shell we follow Kristen and Josh. Both firefighters. Josh is the new guy at the station. Kristen is dating this guy Tyler, whose a Marine, currently deployed. *this book is pretty military heavy with Josh and another side character being prior Marines* Anyway.. you learn a few chapters into the book that Kristen is pretty close to undergoing a hysterectomy and that basically she has been keeping Tyler around because he doesn’t want kids.

This has been working for her until Josh comes into the picture and is basically the perfect guy..everyone loves him, even her dog and the two spending so much time together (effortlessly) starts making her rethink things.

“I didn’t have to work at hanging out with her.”

Issue? Josh comes from a big family and wants kids. Obviously this a big problem with Kristen and the hysterectomy she’s about to have.

“I couldn’t help but think we were well matched in more ways than one. And mismatched in the worst way possible.”

What I am liking so far is the fact that our heroine is this tough chick, who can hold her own and has Josh totally smitten with her..yet she has this really life changing situation going on. I hate to say the word “refreshing,” but I like seeing such a true to life problem being reflected in a romance novel. I mean, genre for women written by women..perfect place, right? Infertility is the truth for so many women and I feel like the author up to the point where I am really expresses well how much more convenient it is for Kristen to settle for someone who doesn’t want kids. No hassle there! He doesn’t want it anyway! Versus, going for the guy you’re crazy about and whose crazy about you, but having to have this hard conversation. It is tough, and I feel for Kristen.

Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 7:52 p.m.

I’m frustrated.

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Frustrated. Torn. I am 278 pages into this book and crap just got real, with a twist I definitely wasn’t expecting!

Prior to the twist though, I became frustrated. I don’t know. This book is really well written but it’s so frustrating. Josh is head over heels, crazy for Kristen. Kristen realizes she is in fact, in Love with Josh. Yet we sit idly by page after page and watch her intentionally keep this good guy at bay because she would rather put a time limit on things, cut him off and never have to tell him why.  I’m trying to read this and not pass judgement because I’ve never lived with infertility issues and am glad stories like Kristen’s are being put out there but she is a piece of work!  Then, all cards are put on the table and we receive Josh’s point of view and he’s all in his feelings like blah blah blah, I’ve said some horrible things to her! 

This book has me so confused at the moment, I feel like nothing I say about it is going to make any sense. It started off hilarious! The banter between Kristen and Josh was everything! Then we meet Kristen’s mom who is a total mood killer. We meet Tyler who we have already decided we didn’t like because no one else does and the conflict of the story has been looming in the background the entirety of the story to this part..and at this point I feel like I should have a resolution.

Should..but wow, something really messed up just happened. 

Friday, June 14, 2019 at 7:15 p.m.

I finished The Friend Zone today.

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I am really torn at the moment about how I feel about it. On one hand I give much props to authors who emotionally take me there. This book made me happy, I laughed, it broke my heart and it also frustrated the hell out of me.

On one hand I think this book is a little all over the place. I think the author tried to do a little too much, which could absolutely work! However, if not done right, then things can just feel crazy..and that’s how this one felt. The first 100 or so’ish pages I thought this was going to be a romantic comedy. I knew our heroine was dealing with some heavy issues with her uterus but I felt like the author was going to stick with the script yet keep it fun. Out of nowhere things get really serious and deep. That’s fine, but that’s not really the vibes I was getting in the beginning of the story.

Kristen is a very unlikeable character which is hard to say because she is one of few heroines I have read since I began reading romance who is dealing with infertility issues. We just don’t see that very often in romance. Kristen had the opportunity to really pave the way for fictional heroines in the future. *spoiler with the had* I say she’s unlikeable because she annoyed the heck out of me. Okay, a lot of times with romance so much of the story is you sitting back knowing that if these two people would just talk, there would be no conflict..but that never really bothers me. I love seeing all the ways authors get creative and create these different situations that detract my mind from focusing on  the *just communicate* issue, but with this book I literally wanted to throw it a few times because Josh deserved to know what the heck was going on with Kristen but she doesn’t confess until like halfway, if not over halfway, through the book.

Kristen thought that by keeping Josh at bay, she was saving him from being hurt. She thought that by keeping things casual, eventually they would split up and he could meet someone, fall in love, have kids..happily ever after. Which Josh does put his foot in his mouth a few times, talking about how much he wants kids and a family but it’s not his fault..He has no idea Kristen is having these issues..because she doesn’t tell him! In moments where it would’ve been perfect to come clean, she chooses to close herself off.

I actually preferred Josh’s chapters over Kristens but after finishing the book, I realized there wasn’t much growth from Josh. Josh’s chapters were these super emotional, smitten, love confessing chapters about how crazy he was about Kristen.

The topic of the infertility..the author goes a certain route that I would’ve totally been okay with. She doesn’t stay on that route though. She goes a completely different route and all I could think about was, some people hate this trope!

I think my biggest disappointment with this book is that sadly, one character has to experience a tragedy for these two to have their aha moments and I didn’t really think that was cool. I don’t feel this tragedy added anything to the story except to create the backstory for another book. I don’t know, it was just kind of crappy to do.

I’d still recommend people give it a try if it’s been on their tbr. Everyone’s experience reading a book is completely different, so hopefully this touches someone else different then it did me.

if you’ve read The Friend Zone, let’s chat about it.

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One thought on “Thoughts While Reading: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

  1. I hated the ending. To me it felt insulting and a slap in the face to infertile women like myself everywhere. I looked to this book for a cute yet honest read and thought that there were much more sensitive endings that the author could have gone for. And I thought that when she had to use an author’s note to explain the ending that somewhere in her head she must’ve known that it wasn’t okay.
    I wrote a spoiler review of it because of how upset I was
    See here https://alittlehazebookblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/the-friend-zoneby-abby-jiminez-earc-book-review/
    I’m really disappointed because this book had great potential and I was enjoying it… Until I wasn’t. Great post though. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. 🙂

    Like

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