Title: The Friendship List
Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: HQN Books
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Two best friends jump-start their lives in a summer that will change them forever…
Single mom Ellen Fox couldn’t be more content—until she overhears her son saying he can’t go to his dream college because she needs him too much. If she wants him to live his best life, she has to convince him she’s living hers.
So Unity Leandre, her best friend since forever, creates a list of challenges to push Ellen out of her comfort zone. Unity will complete the list, too, but not because she needs to change. What’s wrong with a thirtysomething widow still sleeping in her late husband’s childhood bed?
The Friendship List begins as a way to make others believe they’re just fine. But somewhere between “wear three-inch heels” and “have sex with a gorgeous guy,” Ellen and Unity discover that life is meant to be lived with joy and abandon, in a story filled with humor, heartache and regrettable tattoos.
Why This Book
If there’s a book that screams sun drenched summer read to me, it’s The Friendship List. This is such a fast, fun, breezy summer read that still manages to weave in a bit of seriousness. It’s about two women reluctantly deciding to get their lives together over one summer. One has been widowed and the other has basically sworn off romantic relationships to raise her now teenage son.
Set up and down the West Coast, it’s summer and the days are long and hot, and their love interests are not hard on the eyes. Considering a good chunk is set in my home state of California, I can’t help but think of this summer book as sun drenched. There’s sun and beaches and cute summer dresses.
My review: “This was a fun, yet serious story about two messed up women in their early thirties trying to get their lives back on track because the people around them are worried and think they need to. The Friendship List moves at a great pace, introducing the characters and their problems early on and then guiding them along their journeys to a new chapter in their lives”
Sara from Harlequin Junkie gave this 4 stars, saying “The Friendship List was an uplifting, hilarious, and heartfelt new standalone novel by Susan Mallery. A complete joy to read, I think women’s fiction and romance fans alike will be howling with laughter and wiping away tears of happiness the whole way through”
Empress DJ from Books & Bindings gave this 5 stars, saying “It was good fun with several cleverly written, witty, and highly entertaining storylines that held something for everyone”
Melissa from Life Fully Booked gave this 3 stars, saying “I liked Ellen’s story better than Unity’s, mostly because I couldn’t identify with Unity’s situation and her actions, statements, and decisions made me irritated. Bless her friends for sticking by her even though she acted so bizarrely, because I don’t know if I could have been that gracious”
Life, Love, Laughter…Linds said “it was an easy-to-read contemporary story that will make you value your friends and want to try new things for yourself”
Kristin from Always With a Book said “This story is a great one to add to your summer reading list and has just the right amount of heartache, humor and romance to round it all out. It’s the perfect summer escape read and I cannot recommend it enough”
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