The Friend Zone

The Friend Zone

by Abby Jimenez


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Fall in love with this hilarious and heartwarming romantic comedy that USA Today bestselling author LJ Shen calls "an absolute treat."

Kristen Peterson 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.

The Friend Zone will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.

"Your next favorite romantic comedy...The Friend Zone is that rare beach read with tons of heart that will make you laugh and cry in equal parts." —PopSugar

Good Housekeeping Best New Books for Summer 2019
PopSugar Best Books of Summer 2019
Women's Health Best Romance Novels of 2019
SheReads Most Anticipated Romance Books of 2019 Most Highly Anticipated Books for Summer
Bookstr Ultimate Summer 2019 Reading Guide
Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Booklist Starred Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538715604
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 06/11/2019
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 91
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Abby Jimenez is a Food Network champion, motivational speaker, and contemporary romance novelist living in Minnesota. Abby founded Nadia Cakes out of her home kitchen in 2007. The bakery has since gone on to open multiple locations in two states, won numerous Food Network competitions and amassed an international cult following. Abby has since turned her talents to penning novels. She loves a good book, coffee, doglets, and not leaving the house.

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The Friend Zone 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
bookbruin 6 days ago
5 stars isn’t enough for this laugh out loud, beautifully honest, and sometimes heartbreaking novel. This book consumed me in the best way possible right from the start and I’m confident it will be one of my favorite reads ever. The Friend Zone was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 and it was more captivating and moving than I ever could have imagined. It’s hard to believe that this is Abby Jimenez’s debut novel! I absolutely loved Josh and Kristen! They were both such perfectly imperfect people. Their struggles (individually and together) were so relatable and honest. They had the best witty banter and their playful barbs were so much fun. I loved how they each gave as good as they got. Things start off on the wrong foot for them, but as they spend more time together, that spark they felt ignites and they recognize that their attraction is more than just physical. They truly see the other and that feeling of being known is so powerful. The build up between these two was delicious and their chemistry was off the charts. I felt all the longing and every stolen moment between them. It was all worth the wait though because when things come to a head, they aren’t just hot, they’re nuclear! Without a doubt, Josh is a shoo-in for my book boyfriend hall of fame. He was everything I love in a hero - loving, considerate, loyal, understanding, funny, protective, intelligent, and an all around good guy. His thoughtfulness and unwavering patience only made him more endearing. Kristen was a fantastically complex heroine. I loved her blunt honesty and take no prisoners sarcasm, even though she mainly used it as armor to protect herself. She was fiercely loyal and cared so deeply and wholly for those that she loved. Her friendship with Sloan was unparalleled and I loved how they complemented each other so well. Yes, Kristen did frustrate me at times with the push and pull with Josh, but given her history and mindset, it made so much sense. One of the things I appreciated most about this book, is that the story was as much a love story between Kristen and Josh, as it was between Kristen and herself. The author’s sense of humor really shines and there are some truly hilarious moments and dialogue that had me cackling like a mad woman. (I’m looking at you Shawn! LOL ) The humor balanced the poignant and heartwrenching scenes so well and readers will definitely want to have some tissues handy for the last quarter or so of the book. Through the tears though, there is also a wonderful message of hope and unwavering love. I don’t think I will ever be able to adequately express how much I loved this book. It resonated and touched me in a way that few books have. It was like the author opened my chest and held my heart in her hands. I felt every emotion while reading this one. Jimenez tackled infertility in such a compassionate and truthful way. It was gut wrenching and painful, but to those that have had their lives touched in this way or are a part of this club that no one ever wants membership to, it’s also unflinchingly honest. Kristen’s feelings of worthlessness and not being good enough will sadly hit home for many, but that’s what makes this book so compelling. I highly recommend reading the author’s note at the end as well since it gives greater insight into the story and characters. The epilogue brought everything together so wonderfully and I’m eagerly awaiting the next book! Truly an incredible book and one that will stay with me.
MaimeosAngelsEL 6 days ago
5 Star Review of The Friend Zone by Abby Jiminez I find it so hard to believe that The Friend Zone is Abby Jiminez debut novel. What an emotional roller coaster of a read this book was. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down as I laughed and cried. Fate works in mysterious ways as Josh and Kristen meet over a car accident, shocked even more to discover that they are both in the same wedding party. The friendship they strike up is deep and meaningful; despite their attraction to one another, they focus on being friends first. Josh longs to settle down and have a big family and Kristen knows that is something she cannot give him, children. She loves him to much to stand in the way of his dreams. There were times I ugly cried while reading this book, times when I laughed out loud and times when I just sat there feeling Kristen’s pain. The banter between Josh and Kristen was fabulous and I loved their friendship. This story was well written and real. The situation that they find themselves is one millions of couples face every day and Abby Jiminez handled it with respect and realism. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
blonde_betty 17 hours ago
Told in alternating perspectives The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez allows you to get completely into both Josh and Kristen’s heads. By turns this book tore me apart and made me laugh hysterically. Though I am generally not a fan of characters that make decisions for other people, Jimenez drew me far enough into the story and Kristen’s head that I was able to let it go. Jimenez’s debut is heart-wrenching and not for the faint of heart. Those that take the plunge will find it well worth it….just make sure you have the large box of tissues handy and lots of water (hydrate!) I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.
savannahsbooklist 18 hours ago
The Friend Zone was my most anticipated book release of the spring and I am so, so happy to report that it didn't disappoint. The relationship between Josh and Kristen is so fantastic. They banter and flirt so well when they're just friends and later when they are more the sarcasm and wit between these two is so good. I don't know if I've ever wanted a couple to get together and stay together so darn badly. At times it was so infuriating that I wanted to scream at them through the book. But these two possess such sweetness and true affection for each other. I was especially in love with the way Josh helps Kristen in her journey of self acceptance. The book isn't all flowers and romance though. There is a depth and intensity to this contemporary romance that is new for me. There are scenes in The Friend Zone that ripped me apart. But @authorabbyjimenez is brilliant and not long after being torn in two she'd stitch me right back up again with something hilarious or heartwarming. This novel was an emotional roller coaster but so, so worth the ride! The Friend Zone felt so REAL. The moment the book started talking honestly about menstruation was so refreshing. Really?! I never would have guessed that I wanted to read a book that was honest about that topic, but apparently I did! Opening a cute contemporary romance with immediately likable characters that brings up menstruation within the first 7 pages was a definite plus for me. I laughed, cringed and shook my head right along with Kristen about just how frustrating our periods can be. Total transparency about such a real life element. The Friend Zone is phenomenal and unlike anything I've ever read. Please don't miss the author's note at the conclusion of the book. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, Abby gives you one last nugget of wisdom and heart. ***** for this unbelievably marvelous read! (And great news -- Abby's second novel is coming out next spring!!! Let the countdown begin!)
Anonymous 2 days ago
I loved it! Read the entire book in 24 hours. Couldn't put it down. I am in love with Josh. It made me chuckle and it made me cry.
Anonymous 2 days ago
Full disclosure, I'm a huge fan of Abby Jimenez on social media, she is frigging hilarious. Which is why I bought the book. It's not my usual genre, but she is so damn funny and her social media game is on point so I went to her launch and got a copy pawtographed by Stuntman Mike (of course!). OK you guys, it's really really good. Well written, funny, touching, thoughtful, makes you want to shake someone, hug someone, laugh, maybe cry (I didn't cry because the dog doesn't get hurt, so...). I read it spread out over four evenings to make it last. Really looking forward to book two. Also want to know when Lindsey is going to be in town cuz that's a party worth crashing! Buy the book, read the book, gift the book. It's really that good. You won't be sorry. Thanks for the story Abby, keep em coming!
kozbisa 2 days ago
Fate, in the form of a fender bender, brought them together. Their obligations to their respective best friends and a business arrangement, kept them in each other's orbit, but timing and the heart's wishes may keep them apart. Buckle up, people, because Jimenez took me on an emotional roller coaster ride. The first half of the book was all fun and games, but then stuff got real. Barriers to this relationship between Kristen and Josh were broken down and re-erected, and then something really tragic happened, and I was a snotty crying mess, and then my heart exploded, but I was still crying. Needless to say, I loved every minute of it. Let's start with how fantastic Kristen was. When I first met her, I automatically wanted to be her friend. She was witty and sarcastic, and came across hard as nails. Josh kept describing her as the "cool girl", and she really was. She owned and operated a doggie business, which produced, among other things, hilarious dog clothing and stairs for every little dog, and she was serious about her food. But, there was so much more to Kristen then met the eye and lots to admire and love about her. Then, there was the lovely unicorn man - Josh. I don't know how anyone would be able to resist his charms. He was so open and wonderful and warm and inviting. He knew how to be a friend to a women, because his six older sisters' training, and he just understood how to navigate Kristen. There were so many times he was sweet and tender and persistent. Oh! This guy was really willing to fight for her, and that, my friends, made me swoon. And, the TFioS "okay" has been usurped by Josh's "just say okay". I swear, my heart exploded. Jimenez did such a amazing job shedding light on infertility, as well. Kristen's pain and sorrow was felt in the depths of my heart. I ached for her as she struggled with the pain and treatment and what her condition meant for her future. It's good to see issues, like this, being spotlighted. I just can't express what a wonderful reading experience this was. I laughed a ton, and cried a river. My heart both exploded and imploded. But, because this was a romance, I was left with a smile on my face and tears of joy in my eyes.
DoveArt 3 days ago
I enjoyed this excerpt. Kirsten seems a little high-strung, bordering on mean sometimes, but also smart and witty. Josh seems great so far, with a great sense of humor and all around charming. They meet and have great chemistry, but she has a boyfriend she will move in with when he returns from deployment. This is a great setup to want to continue reading and find out what happens next Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 3 days ago
If you follow Abby you know her sense of humor and this book is so like her. She tells the story with great humor but she has a way of writing so you feel all of Kristen, Josh and Sloan’s pain. I didn’t want to read it to fast because I didn’t want the book to end. I liked the way she told the story so you understood what each of them were thinking and feel in each situation. This is a must read book but make sure you have tissues because your going to need them.
Anonymous 3 days ago
RelentlessEliza 3 days ago
My attempt of not feeding into the hype from The Friend Zone goes something like this, *ahem* “Say hello to one of your favourite reads of the year!” I know, I know, I failed miserably, but I can’t be blamed because I had the best time reading this and feel it’s my duty to shout it from the rooftops. The characters were fantastic, and the humour hit the spot. From Kristen with her snarky, craggy ways to her adorable one of a kind dog, Stuntman Mike. Kristen’s health concerns brought a more serious element to the story, and the first cracks in the relationship with Josh. Throughout it all Josh was consistent and caring and there wasn’t one thing I didn’t love about him. The romance tentative and fraught, and the tension served so well in heightening the push and pull between Kristen and Josh. There were casualties along the way but so great was my bias I easily overlooked it. Although The Friend Zone is Abby’s debut I found myself asking where she has been all my life. I love her voice and humour and am very excited about what Ms Jimenez will deliver to us next.
2kasmom 3 days ago
I was given the option to have a 'FREE PREVIEW' of this new book. I loved it so much and could not put it down, so I ran to the library as soon as I finished my preview, so I could finish the story. So worth it. God Bless my local county library! Josh meets Kristen in a less than stellar way. Then when they meet officially later, they already have to work harder to impress one another. They are mutual friends of a couple who is getting married so there is a lot going on. Kristen is involved with someone else when she meets Josh, so they are just friends. For now. If ever a chance arises to to take it to another level? Well lets just say there are enough sparks between them to light up Las Vegas. This was such a witty and fun story. I really could not put it down. I found the characters to be deliciously complex. The heat and heart in the book made it a great read. The pace was steady, and there was plenty of humor too. ***Thanks to Netgalley, and the publisher for the free preview.
BringMyBooks 3 days ago
This is one of those rare books that is totally worth the hype - I've seen tons of people posting about it and reviewing it, not to mention all the summer lists it's shown up on (like Popsugar's 34 Best Books to Put in Your Beach Bag This Summer). I was blown away by the chemistry of Kristen and Josh, and loved how protective he was of her happiness and her heart. There were multiple times throughout the book that had me snorting with how funny and/or snarky Kristen was, and I loved that Josh could give back as much as he got. Watching their relationship change and evolve was probably one of my favorite parts of the book. One of my least favorite tropes of any book, anytime, is miscommunication and/or outright refusing to communicate - however, Abby Jimenez played this JUST close enough for it to be believable without it being obnoxious. There were totally valid reasons why Kristen and Josh would make the decisions they made regarding lack of communication, and although that part of the book was a bit heartbreaking, I thought it was a real look at some of the difficulties in relationships, and I really appreciated the serious topics that were handled and the care in which Jimenez did so. Definitely recommend this book, and after the ending I'm so thrilled to hear that she has a sequel/companion novel set for 2020. There are definitely some loose ends that I need to have wrapped up!!
Anonymous 4 days ago
SardisYS 4 days ago
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez is an emotional ride through a best friend’s wedding with a side of magnetic attraction with the best man. Just when you think you’ve figured out where this is going, there’s a bit of a twist.
cest 4 days ago
This is my FAVORITE book so far this year.What an amazing debut from Abby Jimenez. The story of Kristen and Josh from their accidental first meeting, to the amazing conversations and bantering, to a long distant relationship and best friends and heart break and finding your worth and being enough despite preconceived shortcomings.I’ll be honest... my emotions went through the wringer. I laughed, I was frustrated and angry and I cried with my heart just breaking. I haven’t felt that in a long time and to experience so much in a debut novel that I was obsessed with and couldn’t put down (and when I had to walk away because of life, I couldn’t stop thinking about), I am floored and in awe by Jimenez’s talent.A must read, a new-to-me author that is now a favorite, I am blown away by this book. The perfect summer read and an author to watch... I see many good things coming from her and I can’t wait until the next one in 2020.
Anonymous 5 days ago
I am sad I did not love this book. Despite really enjoying the first 40% of this book and appreciating the frank discussion of infertility, I have to rate this 3 stars. A part of this is me, I was expecting a cute and fun book with serious discussions, but this GETS SAD. With a title like 'The Friend Zone' I thought the main focus would be between the banter between the two main characters, which is what the beginning was. But, then it gets angsty (idk what exactly qualifies as angst) and I was just telling Kristen to tell Josh things. It does not happen for awhile. I also was not happy with the miscommunication that seemed to last forever and the love triangle. Without these two things I probably could have dealt with the sad parts, but between the unexpected sadness and them; it was not enjoyable for me. I think if you go into this expecting an emotional ride, you will like it.
Anonymous 5 days ago
I laughed, I cried, I laughed while crying. Hilarious and real.
Anonymous 5 days ago
PennieM 6 days ago
I cannot tell you how much fun I had reading this one! I had a quiet afternoon in a waiting room and sat in the corner and grabbed an extra chair to put my feet up, and power read this from beginning to end and wanted more. I found myself laughing out loud and apologizing over my shoulder to the others around me but who cares! I was deep in a GREAT BOOK with Super-duper characters! Kristen will do anything for her friends and she is planning her best friend's wedding when she meets the best man, Josh. He is almost more than she can handle at this point in her life with what she is anticipating but his form of sexy/fun may be just what she needs. Will they or won't they figure out they belong together before they implode. This one is a MUST READ! I highly recommend!!!! **Received this ARC for review from the publisher via NetGalley(thank you for granting my wish)**
AboutThatStory 6 days ago
This was a wonderful story! It was funny and sweet, full of emotion, love, and longing plus a nice bit of tension and drama. This had it all! I loved Josh and Kristen meeting, I enjoyed their developing friendship and growing feelings. They had such an ease with one another and fantastic chemistry. I was just excited the entire time and couldn’t wait for them to get their HEA! Kristen was a feisty, say-what-you-think and put-it-all-out-there kind of girl and I found her refreshing. She is dealing with a lot and I felt her pain and understood where she was coming from. Sometimes I got frustrated with her stubbornness and I didn’t like all her decisions but ultimately, I really liked her. She had such a big heart! I loved Josh. He was a thoughtful, wonderful man full of so much love and understanding. Josh and Kristen have a really amazing friendship and I enjoyed watching it develop. I was caught up in it all as their feelings start to grow into more, I could feel that want and need between them. The writing was descriptive and inviting, pulling me in. I was completely invested! The first half had an entertaining vibe happening but when the emotion comes, it stays, and I was craving moments of levity. There is a love triangle element involved but there is no cheating. I did enjoy the overall build as everything played out but the back and forth between Kristen and her choices got to be a bit much at times. I could not wait for her to get to that moment when things click. When she finally gets there, my heart pretty much exploded. This was a captivating read! I couldn’t put it down, I had to know what would happen next. There are a lot of entertaining moments, ups and downs, drama, turmoil, tension, and angst. And Emotion. So much emotion! It was a truly awesome read! Complimentary copy received for honest review.
LeighKramer 6 days ago
The Friend Zone was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 and it exceeded all my expectations. The story has emotional heft and hit all the right notes. It’s compulsively readable. In fact, I read it in one day. It made me laugh out loud and it made me cry. I can’t stop gushing about it! Watching people realize they’re worthy of love is one of my favorite things and the payoff for Kristen and Josh’s happily ever after has given me so much life. Kristen is one of the most refreshing heroines I’ve encountered in a while. She’s salty, hilarious, irreverent, and fiercely loyal to her friends, even though she doesn’t like most people. She’s so loyal, in fact, that she hasn’t told her best friend that she needs to have a hysterectomy because she doesn’t want to ruin Sloan’s wedding day. Kristen has had horrific periods for years and they’re only getting worse so she’s made the decision to have her uterus removed and be done with menstruation altogether. She really wrestles with what she sees as her body’s brokenness and how this has ultimately led to her inability to conceive on her own. I’ve never read a romance that dealt so honestly and openly with periods before and I was here for it. Kristen cracked me up time and again but she also made me want to hug her, as she dealt with the ramifications of infertility for her relationships. I could understand how she was just trying to protect her heart. Her character arc was profound and I’m in awe of how it developed. Josh is a solid hero. He’s consistently there for Kristen through thick and thin. And even when they’re resisting their feelings for one another, as Kristen is dating someone else, he puts her first. He’s just a tremendously good guy, the kind I, as a single woman, want to believe still exists in this world. Josh loves Kristen exactly as she is, not in spite of her flaws but because of them. The progression from friends-to-lovers was so engaging and I could not wait to see how it would develop. I loved not only the friendship Josh and Kristen had with one another—banter goals—but the friendships they had with their best friends Sloan and Brandon, who are engaged to be married. All four get along great but some of my favorite moments are when Kristen and Sloan or Brandon and Josh are together, just hanging out. There are so many great moments and we also get to see them walk each other through very difficult circumstances. I’m not going to lie: what happens is tragic but it felt authentic to the story Jimenez was telling. She is able to show her characters dealing with very sad, hard things without emotionally manipulating the reader in the process. The way the situation unfolded, while tragic, felt organic to the story. Even with this tragedy, the story ends on a hopeful note. Kristen has an amazing epiphany about being worthy in and of herself. Josh’s grand gesture is so perfectly tailored to Kristen. I’m still not over it! Their happily ever after is beautiful and real and honest. This book made me overwhelmingly happy because it didn’t shy away from the hard parts of life. All in all, a wonderful debut contemporary romance! This will be on my Favorite Romance Novels of 2019 list for sure. Abby Jimenez has a fan in me for life. 
CW: infertility, grief, OCD, death of a secondary character, character on life support, motorcycle accident
luv4booksreviews 6 days ago
This is Abby's debut book, and she did amazing!!! I can't rave about this book enough, you all need to read it! I simultaneously wanted to read faster to finish the book and find out what happens, and I didn't want it to end because it was so good! I didn't think it was possible for two people to both be on the same page and the opposite page all at the same time. The relationship that develops between Kristen and Josh is amazing, frustrating, and full of humor. Kristen has some major health problems that makes her believe she isn't what Josh deserves. Josh, on the other hand can't get enough of her and doesn't care what is going on, he just wants to be with her. Can the two of them ever get on the same page and make it work? I couldn't get enough of these characters. The book was so well written and flowed so smoothly throughout the whole thing. I am very much looking forward to the sequel where we learn more about Kristen's best friend.
Readaholic19 6 days ago
I absolutely fell in love with this book and I seriously can not wait to re-read it. Without discussing the plot, I will tell you that this book had me feeling a kaleidoscope of emotions from laughing out loud to tears streaming down my face while I cried and ached for these amazing characters. I immediately fell in love with both Kristen (love heir feistiness) and Josh (love his tenderness) and the supporting characters too. Although this book started out light and funny it also discusses the very delicate issue of infertility and how heartbreaking and lonely it can make you feel. The dialogue in this book was authentic and had such a great flow to it. Sometimes it’s hard to find that in romance books, but Abby Jimenez knows how to make you laugh, feel outraged on behalf of her characters and also cry your heart out. I was hooked right from the first page and it made me feel like I knew these characters and that they were my friends. I wanted to hug Kristen and Josh and help soothe their worries and fears. Because if anything, this book touches into the vulnerabilities that these two face on such a deep level. I know what the term means to be in the “friend zone,” but after reading this book you actually feel the tug and pull of being in the friend zone and you are rooting so hard for these two to end up together. Thank you Abby Jimenez for writing an amazing book. I already can’t wait for her next book. **ARC provided by Forever and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review**
RobinLovesReading 6 days ago
Kristen Peterson is trying to accept the fact that following through with a surgical procedure, an utterly devastating one, will prevent her from ever having children of her own. She suffers from a condition affecting many, many women and, after several years, has made the difficult decision. She has quite a lucrative business making doggy clothing and furniture. Meanwhile, as a bridesmaid to her best friend, Sloan, she is tasked with planning the wedding. Before she really gets started she has a run-in with what will soon be her partner in the planning, best man, Josh Copeland. From the very start, she doesn't like him - or does she? After all, she hit his car when he slammed on the brakes. Not the best start to her day. Josh, on the other hand, likes what he sees. What is more is that he really is very nice about what has just happened. Actually, Josh is nice about just everything. From the start, Josh sees right through Kristin. One of the funniest things that makes this couple work is that he can always tell when she is hangry, and he makes it his business to keep her fed. Another thing that makes this couple work is that Kristin is more than a bit snarky, and that doesn't bother Josh one bit. What does not work for this couple, however, are Josh's dreams. One day he wants it all, a wife, kids, picket fence, etc. Yes, a big family. The one thing that Kristin cannot give him. So, despite how well they get along while working on the wedding, and also Josh working with her in her business, and other times they are together, Kristin is never prepared to go beyond being friends. She can never imagine giving him the happiness she truly believes that he deserves. So, it is a fight. However, the fight is made even harder because Kristin feels she can never share her secret. One minute I was laughing at the fender-bender, the aforementioned hangry moments, Kristin's sharp tongue. On the flip side, I was teary-eyed more than once while Kristin dealt with her pain, her secret. I often felt she was so alone. I felt very invested in the story. Not only did this affecting story bring in the emotions, it certainly had its share of spice. The Friend Zone was multi-layered. Of course we have the growing relationship between Kristin and Josh. Her health and future, as well as her past and why her dreams are so important. Her friendship with Sloan was so wonderful. And, last but not least, Stuntman Mike, Kristin's dog. Oh, he tried to steal a scene or two. But, this is a romance, so those tears of sadness found ways to tears of joy. What a journey! I also wanted to mention that I enjoy Author's notes, or acknowledgments. Reading those words after the story made me feel just so much! I applaud Abby Jiminez for writing such an absolutely incredible debut story that I think most women can relate to in one way or another. Many thanks to Forever and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.