From the publisher:
Fall in love with this hilarious and heartwarming USA Today bestselling romantic comedy that LJ Shen calls “an absolute treat.”
Once again, I read the sequel before the original book. In this case, I have to plead ignorance. I knew there was another book by this author, but I didn’t research enough to find out that one is a sequel to the other. This is the first book, and I really wish I had read it first. So much so that once I finished it, I went back and read the second book again. It was no hardship, I loved that book and I loved this one as well. It just would have been so much better if I hadn’t known what was going to happen. As it was, I couldn’t put this book down until I got to where I knew it was going.
I don’t mean to sound so cryptic, but I don’t want to ruin this for anyone else. So do yourself a favor, read THIS book before The Happy Ever After Playlist. Consider yourself warned.
This is the debut novel of a Food Network baking champion. I don’t watch much Food Network anymore, and I rarely watch any of their competitions so I was not familiar with Abby Jimenez. Doesn’t matter, the content of the books is fairly baking-free, other than a cute shout out to her bakeries which I wouldn’t have noticed at all except I am that weirdo who reads every single page of a book, including dedications, author’s notes, etc.
Finally, to this book. It is a terrific debut, with well-developed characters and the type of restrained drama that never goes over the top, so it stays in the land of the believable. There are some very funny, laugh out loud scenes and some heartbreaking ones as well. The meet-cute is adorable, the secondary characters all play their parts to perfection, and there is enough heat to make it fun but not enough to scare away those who don’t want too much sex in their novels. And there is a dog.
I am a compulsive reader, but with this pandemic and all that encompasses, I have been having trouble reading. I have started probably half a dozen books, maybe more, (definitely more) that I couldn’t finish. Not because they weren’t good, but because I couldn’t concentrate. Abby Jimenez, I thank you for getting me back to reading again. It’s like these books restarted my reading brain or something. I read the second book, then the first, then the second again, and I’ve read a book a day since. Back to normal, so yay!
It’s not just me, either. A lot of people loved this book:
“An excellent debut that combines wit, humor, and emotional intensity.”―Kirkus
- Goodreads Choice Awards nominee – Best Romance, Best Debut
- O, The Oprah Magazine Best Romance Novels of the year
- Bookish Best Books of the year
- SheReads Best Romances of the year
- Women’s Health Best Romance Novels of the year
- Good Housekeeping Best New Books for Summer
- PopSugar Best Books of Summer
- Publishers Weekly Starred Review
- Booklist Starred Review
- Booklist Top 10 Romance Debuts of 2019
- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Read this book, then read this book. You’re welcome!
4/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
THE FRIEND ZONE by Abby Jimenez. Forever (June 11, 2019). ISBN 978-1538715604. 384p.
This entry was posted on Thursday, April 23rd, 2020 at 8:00 AM and is filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Romance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
So happy you loved it!! If I remember correctly, the author actually wrote THEAP first, and then had to back paddle and write TFZ. I think she did a fantastic job, but THEAP was my favorite by far, I didn’t feel the hype around TFZ, except for it being a solid romance. But I’m so curious to see what she comes up with next.