Here I was looking for a good romance and instead, I got this. *sigh*
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.
GAG why do I keep falling for generically cute covers thinking they’re hiding great books underneath?? There’s so much that I didn’t like about this book and I’m finding that the longer I think about it, the more I find to complain about.
Let me start with the characters. How many times do we have to tell authors that we’re tired of the “not like other girls” angle?! Seriously, I’m so sick of other girls being put down so the “short, sarcastic, burger-eating, curly-haired” girl can seem better. As a tall blonde, I’m tired of having people like me being cast as the conceited and superficial ex-girlfriend. You don’t have to break some girls down to build other girls up. Objectively, Kristen was a fine character. She seems like someone I would hang out with and be friends with, but I’m so sick of this trope that I just didn’t really feel anything for her. Similarly, why do the male characters have to be so identical? Tall, muscular, “tough guy”, and always so in awe of the above character who just “isn’t like any girl he’s ever met”. I’m over it.
The plot had some weird pacing and tedious conflicts. I know that communication in any relationship, be it platonic, romantic, or familial, is tough sometimes. But seriously, the major conflicts in this book could have been avoided if the characters had the common sense to talk with each other. Can’t we have some plots that don’t revolve around miscommunications and have another interesting angle instead? I was bored with the back-and-forth so the book seemed to drag on for me.
**This paragraph contains spoilers** I have two major problems that the author has tried to address but I’m still mad about. 1) Brandon. 2) Having children. As for my first point, I feel like Brandon was cheated. The author has said that she wrote The Friend Zone after she wrote the second book to give Sloane more history. She had it all planned out that Sloane would be recovering from her fiancé’s death and later decided that she would write this book to give Sloane’s story more context and feeling. This mentality really explains why I felt like Brandon had absolutely zero personality. The author wrote him for the sole purpose of killing him and making him a stepping stone for her next book. Moving on to the second point before I rant even more about the injustices toward Brandon, why was this book all about infertility until Kristen is magically pregnant? Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of this book? I know the author has played it off as Kristen having been through a lot and deserving a happy ending, but it feels like a disservice to all the women out there who don’t have a neatly wrapped up ending to their infertility story. Kristen and Josh could have found other ways to have a family and still be happy, so why bother with this cheap and fake ending? **End of spoilers**
Honestly, the only reason this book has any stars is because I liked most of the characters (though I stand by my exhaustion over the tropes) and empathized with some of the conflicts (and really could have done without that ending). Maybe if this was the first romance book I’d read I would like it more, but it feels unoriginal and inauthentic. I would recommend skipping this book in the romance aisle and finding something else.
Have you read The Friend Zone? What did you think of it?