Saturday, February 22, 2014

Review: Just Friends With Benefits


I've read and loved Meredith Schorr's later novels, A State of Jane (review here) and Blogger Girl (one of my favourites of 2013, review here), but I had somehow never read her first book, Just Friends with Benefits. Since her publisher has recently released all three ebooks in one bundle, I thought it was a fitting time to finally read it. I'm so glad I did because I absolutely loved it!

Here's the synopsis:
When a friend urges Stephanie Cohen not to put all her eggs in one bastard, the advice falls on deaf ears. Stephanie's college crush on Craig Hille has been awakened 13 years later as if soaked in a can of Red Bull and she is determined not to let the guy who got away once, get away twice. Stephanie, a 32-year-old paralegal from Washington, D.C., is a 70's and 80's television trivia buff who can recite the starting lineup of the New York Yankees and go beer for beer with the guys. And despite her failure to get married and pro-create prior to entering her thirties, she has so far managed to keep her overbearing mother from sticking her head in the oven. Just Friends with Benefits is the humorous story of Stephanie's pursuit of love, her adventures in friendship, and her journey to discover what really matters.
I think what makes this novel so fun is that it takes the typical 'boy and girl are friends and fall for each other' story and turns it on its head. Nothing works out quite like you'd expect and I loved that. In fact, I actually had a "holy crap!" moment when something was revealed that I wasn't quite anticipating. I love when authors can surprise me! The romances in the novel were completely believable and realistic. And I don't just mean the relationships main character Stephanie was involved in. Each of her friends had their own relationship and we got to read about their love lives, too.

Building on the friendship angle, I loved the emphasis Schorr put on the various friendships Stephanie has. Sure, being in a relationship is great but you always need to have a good friend, or five, who you can always count on to be there. Steph has an awesome group around her, and while some would find them crude, outrageous, or rude, I loved them. I actually feel like they were like what my friends and I will be like in another few years.

Another typical chick lit feature, apart from having some romance woven in, is the comedic nature of most of the stories. Schorr manages to fit in quite a bit of humour throughout the novel without it taking over the rest of the story. As I write this part of the review it's well over two weeks since I read the book so I can't recall any specifics, unfortunately. But, all you need to know is that I found myself laughing out loud at parts of the story, which I always love.

I'm glad I've finally read all of Meredith Schorr's books! I can tell that she's grown stronger as a writer with each novel she published. Now I can say, without a doubt, that she's one of my favourite authors (chick lit or otherwise) and can recommend all three of her books. Speaking of which...I wrote a little while ago that you can now buy all three of her books in one ebook collection. Even more exciting: you can currently get that collection for just 99 cents! (Or $1.09 for Amazon.ca.) You don't want to miss out on this, trust me! Hurry up and write book four, Meredith! No pressure ;)

2 comments:

  1. Yay! I really enjoyed this one too. It was the first of hers I read, and I definitely consider her a favorite as well. I agree, Meredith - hurry up and write more! Haha! It's only because we love you... :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Kaley - so glad you've read them all, liked them all and noticed that I've grown as an author - I'm trying hard to do just that! Working diligently on book 4 :)

    Stephanie - I love you too!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by Books Etc.! I love your comments and read them ALL even if I don't reply on here. You readers are the best!