The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone #1) by Abby Jimenez
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: Forever/Grand Central Publishing
Kristen Petersen doesn't do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don't get her. She's also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.
Planning her best friend's wedding is bittersweet for Kristen -- especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He's funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he'd be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it's harder and harder to keep him at arm's length.
I feel like my rating for this book could have been vastly different if I gave it to the aspects I disliked but, overall, I am happy I read it.
I have had The Friend Zone on and off my tbr for a couple years now because, while the premise kept drawing me in, the aspect of infertility for the main character was making me wary as I was not sure when I would be up for reading about such a heavy topic. After finally giving in and picking it up, I do still have my reservations about it.
It also wasn’t until about 2/3 of the way through that I realized this was the start of a series as events happened that reminded me of the synopsis of The Happily Ever After Playlist I had read about which now makes total sense.
So let’s start with what I did thoroughly enjoy. The banter and relationship between our two mains as a whole. I can very easily poke holes in the relationship and see many red flags but it was generally realistic to me. While I am very different from Kristen, I likely would have done the same thing in her situation in terms of keeping things to herself… but I don’t think I would have let things get as far with Josh as she did.
The side characters were also extremely likeable and tried to give Kristen loving doses of reality which I appreciated because she needed them. It also makes sense that they are so flushed out since this book is the introduction to their stories for future books as well. There was also an event that happened that absolutely broke my heart even though I should have saw it coming but I like when a book is able to do that.
What I cannot wrap my head around was how so many issues could have been resolved and even avoided if there was actual communication. This is a massive pet peeve of mine in books. Yes, I did say I likely would have kept information to myself as well, but Kristen went above and beyond and I felt like it dragged needlessly long into the story. VERY long. There were moments I thought that the characters were moving forward but things just kept dragging back to the very thin argument of ‘it’s for their own good.’
The actual ending of the book could also be taken many different ways: sweet, bittersweet, a cop out, realistic, unrealistic. I personally lean towards the cop out side of things especially with all the effort that went into things (trying to avoid spoilers). I will say, the Author’s Note at the end saved this book from being a 2-star for me and kept my 4-star even though I am still not happy with the ending… for many reasons.
This is also a series I don’t think I will continue as I hear the way the endings go with the rest of the books fall into the same types of issues and the next book deals with fame which is not a topic I personally enjoy reading about.