Vanessa lives life on her own terms — one day at a time, every day to its fullest. She isn’t willing to waste a moment or miss out on an experience when she has no idea whether she shares the same fatal genetic condition as her mother. Besides, she has way too much to do, traveling the globe and showing her millions of YouTube followers the joy in seizing every moment.
But after her half-sister suddenly leaves Vanessa in custody of her infant daughter, she is housebound, on mommy duty for the foreseeable future, and feeling totally out of her element.
The last person she expects to show up offering help is the unbelievably hot lawyer who lives next door, Adrian Copeland. After all, she barely knows him. But as they get closer, Vanessa realizes that her carefree ways and his need for a structured plan could never be compatible for the long term. Then again, she should know better than anyone that life’s too short to fear taking the biggest risk of all. . .
Title : Life’s Too Short
Author : Abby Jimenez
Series : The Friend Zone (book three)
Format : eARC/Paperback
Page Count : 384
Genre : contemporary romance
Publisher : Forever/Piatkus
Release Date : April 6, 2021/April 22, 2021 UK
Reviewer : Hollis/Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★/ ★ ★ ★ ★
Hollis’ 4 star review
So we’re three books into this series (though this one I think is more like a companion where books one and two were definitely more connected) and I think we all know the drill by now : pack the damn tissues. Though, out of all three books, this was probably the one I cried the least over. And yes we’re all ignoring the fact that a strong wind can make me cry, so, why even bother mentioning the cry factor. Like it means anything. Moving on.
“Don’t get a cat. It’ll walk around pushing your drinks off the coffee table. You’re not emotionally strong enough for that.“
I think Life’s Too Short did right all the things (all? there were only a few, really) that I didn’t love from The Friend Zone. Not that there’s any crossover here (though there might be cameos!). The topics are very different, with very different realities for both characters, but both deal with issues surrounding health — the latter reproductive and this one focusing on the possibility of a terminal illness. Having neither of these conditions I, of course, can’t speak on any of it, not in my review for book one and not this one now, but it surely seemed like the author did her research.
“I’ve never seen [The Office].”
“You’ve never — are you serious? Where have you been? How do you understand memes?“
That said, I don’t think I was fully living this book, only visiting. I enjoyed what was going on, I was moved, entertained, but even though I think this was the better paced of all three stories, I don’t think it will have the same kind of lasting impression books one and two have had. But I still really really enjoyed it, even going as far as rounding up to bring all three books on par star-rating-wise.
“I can’t do what you do. I can’t pretend none of this is happening. I can’t pretend to be happy.“
“I don’t pretend to be happy. I just refuse to be sad.”
This has all the beats, all the emotes, again the pacing (!), but it just didn’t crawl inside me. As much as I liked these characters, I never loved them. I just got swept up in their adventures. But that’s a ridiculous and silly complaint, really, and probably means nothing to anyone but me. And I still think you’re going to enjoy this.
“Um, where’s the dog? You do remember you have one, right?“
“With all the shitting it does? How could I forget.“
“You just left him at home? He can’t be in the apartment all day by himself, he’ll be lonely.“
“He’s got the demon he’s possessed with to keep him company.“
Neighbours, friends-become-more, a baby, a very elderly dog, and a sorta-grumpy meets sunshine trope? This’ll hit so many notes for so many readers (worth noting is that I think this toed the line more towards women’s fiction than pure romace only because the heat level was way lower than I remember the other books being). But it’s also chockful of many other topics I haven’t even mentioned and don’t want to for fear of spoilers (if you think you need content warnings please do seek them out). And I so hope it hits all the right notes for those who are impacted by the subject matter. If you can, if there are any out there, please try and hunt down some feedback on the ALS content. I’m too early to see anything yet but I’ll be keeping my eyes out for it.
** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
Micky’s 4 star review
Light and dark
Joyful family goodness
This third installment in The Friend Zone had a lighter feel to it, or so I thought. I think I should know by now that Abby Jiminez’s signature is to lure you in then pounch on your feelings, stamp on them a little and then gently pick you up again. That was basically my experience with this book and you can see, I really enjoyed it.
Vanessa was such a bright spark of a character, infectiously joyous, a kind and lovely heart but deeply enclosed inside were these dark shadows. She didn’t let them out much and she didn’t commit to anyone but her family. Adrian, her neighbour, lawyer, owner of impressive abs was a quietly lovely character.
This story was built around a quick but deeply evolving friendship that made for invested reading. The baby of the piece, Grace was pretty delightful even though her personal story was tragic. I loved everything around this little unit, their bonds and banter.
However…I hit a point in the book where I thought oh my goodness please do not take this story, these characters there. I was preparing to throw the book at the wall but the book was saved. The tension is still in my body while I write this review. Kudos to Jiminez for that ability to have me so invested.
I have loved this series, I don’t know if there is more to come but I am a fan of this author’s writing, characters and wit.
Thank you to Piatkus/Little Brown UK for the review copy.