Book List: My Favorite Novel Friendships

Book List: My Favorite Novel Friendships

Thank you to Willow for this stellar idea! Great friends can make or break a book for me sometimes. And even then, sometimes I hate a book, but the best friend was awesome…and I just wonder why we didn’t write a book about the friend? *shrugs*

Without further ado, my favorite friends and found families:

Bruno & Kamala: Ms. Marvel

I love Ms. Marvel! I don’t think it comes up often on the blog, but I’m actually really into comics. There are a select few female superheroes that I will read on the regular, and Ms. Marvel is my absolute favorite. I adore G. Willow Wilson’s Kamala Khan, and her friendship with Bruno is amazing. I think the new Disney+ show captured them both perfectly. They are the perfect nerdy pair, and Bruno really becomes part of Kamala’s world with no hesitation. We all need a Bruno! Start the G. Willow Wilson series here.

Kristen & Sloan: The Friend Zone

It’s no surprise to anyone who reads my reviews regularly that I love The Friend Zone. This got me hooked on Abby Jimenez, but so far none have topped this one. And part of what made it so great was the amazing friendship between Sloan and Kristen: they supported each other in all the best ways, and when it came to be crisis time, they were everything the other needed. I love a power friendship like this one, and I think it continued perfectly in The Happy Ever After Playlist. Get your own paperback here.

Dannie & Bella: In Five Years

If you haven’t read the heartbreaking masterpiece that is In Five Years, you don’t quite know how key this friendship is. I went in expecting the book to be a romance, which I think was an intentional choice on the publisher’s part, but it’s really about friendship. I think Dannie and Bella and the story that unfolds explore what it means to be a true friend, with a lot of opportunity to mess up, and a lot of opportunity to redeem yourself. I loved this book, in spite of it being nothing like I thought it would be. It was gut wrenching, and soul crushing, and beautiful. Get a copy of your own here.

Finlay & Vero: Finlay Donovan is Killing It

Quite possibly my favorite pair on the list, Finlay and Vero are my favorite hysterical dream team for hired assassins. Mother and babysitter turned found family, Finlay and Vero go together perfectly, their sense of humor perfectly matched. On the page, they read like true best friends, complete with all the antics, sillies, and caretaking of two gal pals. It reminds me of my own best friend and I, and that helps connect to the book and the characters, for sure. Their friendship is truthfully one of my favorite parts of this series! Get a copy of your own here.

The Bromance Book Club: The Bromance Book Club

Ah yes, the Bromance Book Club! While most of the friends on this list are pairs, I can’t speak highly enough of the group of men that makes up the heart of this series by Lyssa Kay Adams. The book club reads romance books to better understand women, and over breakfast at their favorite diner, they learn how to be better feminists and support the women in their lives. I take it back… these guys are the true power friendship goals – nothing like turning your famous friends into vocal feminists! Get the first book here!

And thus concludes my August book list! Keep those book list ideas coming – this one was tons of fun and reminded me of some books I truly forgot how much I loved!

Have a great weekend!

A Lot Like Adiós by Alexis Daria

A Lot Like Adiós by Alexis Daria

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I had super high hopes for A Lot Like Adiós after absolutely loving You Had Me at Hola last year. I initially resisted because the names are just, the cheesiest. I can’t even. But the story was actually wicked cute, and I was kind of obsessed with the fact that I had done enough Duolingo to actually pick up on some of the dialogue in Spanish? Is that stupid?

Gabe has spent his whole adult life trying to escape what his family thought of him. He’s worked his ass off to start his own gym in Santa Monica, and now, it’s expanding to New York: unfortunately, in his hometown. When his business partner can’t go, he has to fill in and fly out to tour property and meet with his childhood best friend, aka his new lead marketing staff…

Michelle has stuck closer to home, running her own freelance marketing business from her couch. When she gets a random email out of the blue from her childhood best friend, who abandoned her without a backward glance at age eighteen, she’s equal parts angry and intrigued. In the end, curiosity wins out – and she ends up working with Gabe on his gym’s expansion while the sparks fly and big questions about their past finally get some answers.

I’m not going to lie, this one just didn’t hit the same for me as You Had Me at Hola. I dragged myself through A Lot Like Adiós, unfortunately. I just didn’t love the characters the same way, and I don’t think they had the same ~sizzle~ that Jasmine and Ashton had. Gabe and Michelle’s friendship felt genuine, built on real trust and shared experiences, but their current-day relationship seems so reliant on their geographic proximity, instead of on their actual love.

I really related to Michelle…or I would have, at like, age 17. I loved her job, her passion, her cat… but both Michelle and Gabe had this really stunted version of emotions that feels more reminiscent of teenagers. There’s a lot of secrets and hiding emotions even from the people who care for them and they care about, like Michelle’s Primas of Power (her cousins/best friends). I tend to wonder if it was intentional, as both Michelle and Gabe really had their hearts broken by one another in their youth, and likely would’ve held onto that feeling. But, that said, it was so annoying. Can’t we just talk to each other like adults?! I felt Lyssa Kay Adams, screaming about how half the nonsense in this story wouldn’t have happened if two adults had had a reasonable conversation about expectations.

Further, and I really hope this doesn’t sound like a spoiler, I don’t like their “happy ending”. Ug, that is a spoiler. Sorry, I suck today. Anyways, Gabe and Michelle’s happy ending wasn’t my idea of a happy ending! I didn’t relate to the wants and needs of these characters in a way that made me feel good about the way things were left. Yes, I understand it was their ideal, but it certainly wasn’t my ideal, and that lack of relating bled into my love of this story… or lack thereof.

As you can see, I gave this read 3.5 stars, but I guess I’m not really recommending it? I’m writing this a few days after finishing it, and I guess I’m realizing even more that I just didn’t *love* it. Certainly not like I loved You Had Me at Hola. If you loved her debut, just skip over this one. I’ll keep giving Daria a try, but this one fell flat in my book.

A copy of A Lot Like Adiós was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It will be released September 14, 2021.

Have an awesome week friends!