books

Abby Jimenez

Books

The Friend Zone: Life’s Too Short (2021)

 

The Friend Zone 
 

Life’s Too Short (2021)

Lifes Too ShortAfter her sister’s death and the realization she had no idea how long she herself had to live, Vanessa Price quit her job and decided to follow her dream of traveling the world.

“I never save anything,” I said, grabbing the bottle opener on the counter. “I enjoy things as soon as possible. I burn the expensive candle, I use the fancy rose-shaped soap, and I drink the wine, even if the only thing I’m celebrating is the fact that it’s Tuesday.”

But now she’s back home, is starting to show signs of what could be her illness, and is unexpectedly the guardian of her niece.

Adrian Copeland has been living his life as expected: partner in his firm, a stellar reputation, and an investment property in which he lives. Except that next door to his apartment–right next to his bedroom door–a baby has been screaming for hours. He has to do something, right? Which changes everything.

“You suffer from One Day Syndrome.” He wrinkled his brows.

“What?”

“One Day Syndrome. You live your life like there’ll always be one day to do all the things you put off. One day you’ll take the trip. One day you’ll have the family. One day you’ll try the thing. You’re all work and not enough play.

There were parts of this book that I really really liked. Such as the banter.

I crossed my arms. “Okay. And do you know how to use this gun you have?”

“No,” she said matter-of-factly. “Which makes me more dangerous.”

“We got another one,” she announced, putting a picture upside down in the dick pic pile. I shook my head with a smile.

“This is some job you have here.” Vanessa scoffed.

“I just don’t understand why men think we want to see that. It looks like a wrinkled elbow or something. It is not cute. Send me a picture of a puppy or cookies or something.” She ripped open an envelope. “If some guy sent me a picture of a cake at two a.m. like, ‘Hey, gurl, you up?’ I’d be like, ‘Hell yeah I’m up, come over.’”

And I love a well-done baby plot. Which this was.

I came around the kitchen counter and saw that he had Grace in the sink.

He was giving her a bath.

My heart melted.

He had a rolled-up towel in the sink to support her and a wet washcloth was balled up on the counter. He was rinsing her with a cup. He’d taken the travel-size baby shampoo from the diaper bag, and it was half empty.

He wiped his forehead with the back of his hand. “It went right up her back. It was even in her hair. I didn’t know they could do that. I almost threw the whole baby away and started over.”

Less loved were how slow parts of the book that weren’t about the book felt to me.

I also didn’t love the initial impression her brother made, when Adrian first sees her family. Especially since that attitude didn’t seem to carry over to him later in the book. Her sister and father were pretty on point, but Brent was really off and I think it would have been better for the story for him to just not be there.

I did appreciate the way addiction was dealt with–there is no magic bullet for most people, and for some people it takes multiple tries to succeed. So that story arc was done well, with kindness and understanding.

There was (of course) a big misunderstanding, and unfortunately, the resolution to that was telegraphed pretty early in the story, which … was just a little disappointing. Especially since I’m not a fan of Big Misunderstandings.

Also the first sex scene had me rolling my eyes. Just… I find all the focus on penis size squicky. It always feels the flip side of the big boobs-teeny waist descriptor I hate so much when it’s applied to women.

So, it was a fine book. But I won’t be seeking out the rest of the series, and I’m glad I was able to borrow this one from the library.

Publisher: Forever
Rating: 6/10