I read The Friend Zone because I thought that it would be light-hearted chick-lit where the maid of honor and bestman hooks up. I was wrong… and I was really disappointed. However, I wasn’t disappointed because it wasn’t lighthearted. This book was just not for me as it was full of tropes and stuff that I really dislike.
What I Liked
Well, the book was easy to read. The book was written and edited well. The chapters ended in a way that you’d want to read the next. It was in the technical sense, good writing.
What I Didn’t Like
There’s just a lot of “tropes” in this book that I just couldn’t get behind.
1. The “Cheating”
It’s not full-on cheating as Kristen, the female MC, didn’t really have sex with Josh, the male MC, when she was still with her boyfriend (but she did have sex with him not 5 minutes after unofficially breaking up soooooo). Nevertheless, it was still cheating. The female MC did flirt and start to fall in love with Josh. Although she claims to have put barriers, it really seemed like she didn’t really put an effort to respect her relationship. I think the main reason she did distance herself from Josh is thinking that she couldn’t be with Josh because they aren’t compatible and not because she has a boyfriend. Major turnoff for the book for me!
2. The “She’s Not Like Other Girls…” and “He’s Different”
There’s a lot of parts in the book where the main characters just compare other people to their love interests. Although, it really does happen in real life but I just hate how the “contrast” was portrayed. It was like there’s only one way to be right. It was like if you’re not the “cool girl” type who likes “cheeseburgers” or whatsoever, then you’re the wrong kind of girl. I hate that. You do you. You can be a girl who wears make-up and dress up everyday. You can also be boyish and wear hoodies. You do you. There’s nothing wrong with being yourself. Same with Tyler, the female MC’s ex. Just because he’s the more uptight kind of guy, Kristen keeps on putting him down against Josh. Tyler might be the wrong type for Kristen but there’s nothing that’s wrong with him. The constant comparison was just toxic.
3. Labeling the female MC with OCD
The female main character copes by cleaning and then OCD was dropped a few times. I think this is problematic because it feeds to the stereotype. Just because you cope with cleaning doesn’t mean you have OCD. Just because you hate the mess means you have OCD. OCD is characterized with obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are recurring intrusive thoughts, urges or impulses. Compulsions, on the other hand, are repetitive behaviors. I don’t think the portrayal of OCD is befitting in this book as I have seen patients with OCD. Some chapters are written in Kristen’s POV and there’s actually no signs there except when she’s deliberately saying “I have OCD”.
4. The Unnecessary Death
I don’t mind death in a book as long as it’s justified. I hate it when a character dies just for “shock factor” but I hate a character death more when it’s because it will be helpful for a sequel book. Cringe.
5. The ending about infertility
Infertility was a major issue discussed in this book and I actually liked it at first. I just think that a lot of women and men can resonate with this. I was really happy with the part where Josh researched about surrogacy and in vitro fertilization and the process. It could have been educational. Instead, the author went with a miracle ending. The author mentioned in the author’s note that it happened to a friend. Okay. Cool. But what really disappointed me is that the author acknowledged that Kristen’s true happy ending was coming to terms with her medical condition and knowing that she is not defined by her infertility and that her womanhood is not defined by her womb. Then… why not go with that ending? Why give a miracle ending? Yes, the ending might give hope to women going through this. But I think this book really needed an ending where the main character accepts infertility and moves forward from it. This book could have been about self-acceptance and self-love. This book just didn’t do justice for women actually going through with this.
If you don’t mind the things I’ve mentioned above, then by all means, read this book. This book is not a bad book… it was just a bad fit for me.
Chat With Me
Hello! How have you been? Have you read The Friend Zone? What are your thoughts about it? Chat with me through the comments below.