Title: The Friend Zone
Author: Abby Jimenez
Series info: Standalone
I’m feeling so guilty y’all. I had this book on my Kindle for WEEKS, and I read it only a few days back. I was going through books in my Kindle yesterday to find something new to read while laying sick on the sofa, and I finally opened this one. Once I started it, I did not leave my spot until I finished reading it.
Kristen and Josh meet when their cars bump into each other by mistake, and Josh is immediately attracted to her wit and sarcasm. They parted ways soon, but only to meet again through their best friends. Kristen’s best friend Sloane is getting married to Brandon. And Josh is Brandon’s best friend who just moved into their city.
Kristen owns a dog merchandise business where she makes cute shirts, doglets and designs staircases for dogs. One of her carpenters quit and she reluctantly recruits Josh for making dog staircases since he has some carpentry experience. But he needs to work out of her garage since he doesn’t have the space. This leads to them spending a lot of time together and becoming closer.
The book is called “the friend zone” because Kristen is dating a Marine on deployment, so she and Josh can only be friends when they meet and become close. The book touches a little bit about dating a Marine and relationship problems that comes with the distance and restrictions.
If I ever had any question whether she was remotely into me, her complete and utter lack of an attempt to impress me was the answer. She did not give a fuck.-Josh.
Other than the romance, one major plot sequence is Kristen’s struggles with her uterus. She has uterine fibroids. They’re tumours that grow on the walls of the uterus, sometimes changing the shape of your uterus and making it looks swollen. I had never known of this before. She has periods for weeks together (which can lead to her becoming anemic), and has spotting almost everyday. She also has really bad cramps. It hinders her from doing daily life things.
She has tried everything that doctors suggested but nothing worked. Her last resort is to have a partial hysterectomy, which will mean that she can’t have children. And this holds her back from being with Josh because one of his dreams is to have a LOT of children, the old fashioned way.
First of all, I’m so grateful for Abby Jimenez for talking about uterine fibroids and what comes with it without rose-tinted glasses or playing it down. I’ve only known PCOD/S because I have it but it was highly informative to know about fibroids, especially since it was shown in the perspective of a person going through it.
“I’m sick of this being my normal, Sloane. Every day of my life for the last twelve years, this uterus has made me miserable. It’s never done anything for me but give me grief, and it never will.”-Kristen.
Kristen’s life was completely different, living with a “faulty uterus”. She had pain almost all the time, and had to always be alert about her bleeding. Her condition held her back from participating in so many things, such as prom, which she missed because of too bad cramps.
And I love how it was shown throughout the book. It wasn’t Kristen’s identity in the book but something that she had to deal with, unfortunately. She had to take different decisions specifically because of it. Kristen couldn’t have sex whenever she wanted due to her almost constant bleeding. She also spent a LOT on pads and tampons.
“It occurred to me that pain was literally a daily part of my world. I took it for granted. I lived with it like someone learns to live with background noise. And I was done doing it.”-Kristen.
I really liked the romance. It was slow, with proper relationship growth, and there was SO. MUCH. CHEMISTRY. It was literally crackling off the screen. I could FEEL IT.
Kristen and Josh bonded over sparring conversations, witty comebacks and sarcasm in the beginning. It grew to food, movies, music and just plain hanging out. It was so cool to watch them grow closer. Their conversations made me laugh out loud so many times, especially Kristen’s statements.
“How do you sleep at night knowing she’ll be finding glitter in her couch for the next month?” She took a swig of her beer. “With the fan on medium.”
This book also B R O K E my heart. It broke it slowly, through cracks. And suddenly, it totally shattered me. The book is tragic and sad and real. There’s grief and sadness and pain. I almost stopped reading to take a minute for my heart but I couldn’t because I was so caught up in the story. I literally highlighted a part and wrote “this book is killing me.”
I absolutely loved Kristen’s character. She does not give a shit about what other people think, speaks her mind without hesitation about “appearances” or embarrassment, and loves pulling pranks on her best friend who is not as bold as her on speaking of things like sex.
Kristen is really cool to hangout with, and is HILARIOUS. I want her as my friend. I would have the time of my life.*
*I have so many quotes of hers that I highlighted and want to put in this blog post, but I need to figure out how to space them because they’re TOO MANY.
“Food was my currency. Hungry was an emotion for me. I felt that shit in my soul.”Kristen doesn’t just get hungry, she gets hangry. It’s an emotion.
But Kristen is a multi-dimensional character, just like people are in real life. She’s super smart and has her own business which pays her well. She had uterine fibroids to deal with, and she also had insecurities and OCD. Her childhood wasn’t perfect and it lead to her having some pretty big insecurities about not being enough. She also cleans when she’s stressed, and she does it obsessively. We see peeks of her OCD right from the start but it’s intensity becomes apparent only during bad times.
During bad times, instead of breaking down or becoming emotional, Kristen is like a machine. She calls it the velociraptor brain, because it made her fierce and sharp.
“Something big had to trigger it, and when it did, my compulsive, laser-focused, primal side activated. I didn’t do hysterics. Never had. When in crisis, I became systematic and efficient.”
I can keep talking about Kristen, to be honest. I really liked her character. But let’s get onto Josh.
Josh is a paramedic in the fire station. He moved cities after a bad break up, needing a change. He hated almost everything about his new place until his interest sparked with Kristen. I loved how laid back, funny and indulging Josh is. He has so much fun with Kristen and truly likes her right from the beginning, falling more and more in love with her as time passes.
She laughed. I loved it when she laughed. Like a little reward.
Josh comes from a huge family where he’s the youngest, and is the only son. With six older sisters, he’s completely fine with period talk and running for period supplies. It was refreshing for him to not be put off by female menstruation, and it was awesome to see him think about it all normally. He noticed how much Kristen was struggling and questioned whether she has a health issue.
“I’m cool buying tampons, but I’m not walking a tiny dog into a store in a purse.”
Because Josh grew up in a large family, he wants the same for himself. His dream is to have a lot of kids, and he’s not quiet about it.
Honestly, Josh is the perfect human being. He’s thoughtful, caring, a good friend, and an even better best friend. I can probably talk all day about him too.
I regret not reading this book earlier, and I will definitely reread it soon because I’m in love with the characters and the writing. There was one particular chapter which was emotional and tricky, and Abby Jimenez wrote it SO WELL. Just, wow.
“With infertility being a serious and prevalent issue, I felt like I had a responsibility to tell this not only compassionately, but also authentically. So for this I went to someone who lived it.”-From the Author’s Note
If you haven’t read The Friend Zone yet, you definitely should.
I rate this book..