cover image The Friend Zone

The Friend Zone

Abby Jimenez. Forever, $14.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-5387-1560-4

Harnessing sass, heartfelt struggle, and unapologetic sexuality, Jimenez’s debut is as hysterical as it is tear-jerking. Kristen Peterson is a woman who knows what she wants and is not afraid to speak her mind. She meets every situation with sarcastic humor—except the devastating news that she’ll never be able to get pregnant. While Kristen is planning her friend Sloan’s wedding, she meets the groom’s best friend, Josh Copeland. He’s sexy, funny, and always on board for her shenanigans, but he is hoping for a large family. Despite her best efforts to keep Josh at arm’s length, Kristen can only fight their attraction (and her unresolved feelings around her infertility) for so long, but questions about their future loom large. Jimenez manages to fulfill all expectations for a romantic comedy while refusing to sacrifice nuance. Biting wit and laugh-out-loud moments take priority, but the novel remains subtle in its sentimentality and sneaks up on the reader with unanticipated depth. Readers who have wrestled with infertility will find Kristen’s anxieties and sorrows deeply relatable. Agent: Stacey Graham, Red Sofa Literary. (July)