Monday, June 4, 2012

Book Review: "Friends Like Us"

"Friends Like Us" by Lauren Fox
First published in 2012
My rating: 3.5 out of 5
(image source)

Did you read Emily Giffin's popular novel "Something Borrowed," or see the movie with Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin? If so, you've pretty much already experienced a slightly less depressing version of "Friends Like Us," which, as you can probably tell from the cover, concerns a love triangle.

Willa lives with her best friend and lookalike, Jane, in Milwaukee. They're as close as two friends can be, until Willa reulucantly attends her high school reunion and bumps into Ben, her best friend from her teenage years. They were outcasts together, bonding over their eccentricities, dorkiness, and gawky looks. But in the half-dozen years since Willa's seen Ben, he's morphed into a mature and gorgeous man.

An awkward moment ensues in which 26-year-old Ben confesses that he's been carrying a torch for Willa since they were kids, Willa admits that she had no idea and that she doesn't think she likes Ben that way, they attempt an unsuccessful kiss, and they pick up their friendship where they left off.

Of course, Willa decides to play matchmaker and set up her two best friends. Their relationship blossoms; Ben moves into the girls' apartment, Ben and Jane fall in love, they get engaged, they plan to move to the east coast after the wedding so Jane can pursue law school. Willa feels like she's being left behind by her two best friends and, predictably -- days before the wedding -- a lightbulb clicks on above Willa's head and she realizes she's in love with Ben.

I loved Fox's fresh writing style, and the book is filled with clever puns and wordplay. I even moderately enjoyed the plot. But I had trouble really identifying with and investing in Willa. We hear all about how Willa's parents ruined her childhood with their divorce, Willa's prickly and mean older brother Seth, and Willa's many insecurities. I like that Fox tried to make her a flawed -- and possibly relateable -- character, but she just came off as unlikeable and whiny to me and I had trouble sympathizing with her.

This is Fox's second novel, and I might check out her first, "Still Life With Husband." Which, ironically, kinda sounds like Emily Giffin's "Love the One You're With." Hmmm... am I sensing a trend here?

Happy reading!

1 comment:

Thanks for stopping by! Comments make my day, and I read and appreciate every single one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...