Review: Molly E. Lee’s Love in the Friend Zone


Today I’m reviewing a YA romance, Love in the Friend Zone, by Molly E. Lee. I was graciously given a copy to read by the publisher, Entangled, in exchange for my honest review. Thank you, thank you!!

Love in the Friend Zone takes place on graduation night. The seniors are throwing a party as a last hurrah, and the night is filled with hook-ups, pranks, and a pinch of unrequited love. That’s right – Braylen is in love with her best friend, Fynn. They have been best friends since childhood, share the same nerdy interests, and have similar passions for journalism and photography. They’re perfect for one another…except for the fact that Fynn has his heart set on the popular girl, Katy. With one night to leave it all on the line, Braylen and Fynn will be forced to decide if they are meant to be friends or just plain meant to be.

Will I Like This Book?
You might enjoy this book if…

  • You enjoy the friends-to-lovers trope/enjoy sweet YA romances
  • You are interested in books that occur over a short time span (one night)
  • You like books with strong secondary characters

You might not enjoy this book if…

  • You do not enjoy the friends-to-lovers trope
  • You prefer long, drawn out slow-burns
  • You don’t enjoy when a main character is oblivious about the relationship

Spoiler Free Review
I loved the friendship that the author built between the two main leads, Braylen and Fynn. The bond between them felt strong, and you could really feel the love that had built between them over the years. There was one flashback memory (no spoilers) where Fynn and Bray first developed their mantra, and it was so sweet. My heart swooned a bit. Go Fynn!

I also really enjoyed the secondary characters. Randy and Katy were two standouts for me. Randy felt like someone I actually went to high school with; he felt dynamic. He was funny, sweet, and kind of crazy (in a good way). Katy was your typical popular girl, and at the same time she wasn’t. Some of the choices the author made for her character were perfect. Katy felt like an actual person, not just a caricature of who a popular girl should be.

I’m still not sure if I loved the time span/pacing of the book. I enjoyed how original it felt. I haven’t read a book with that fast of pacing in a long time. It felt fresh. Honestly, I can see this book very easily being made into a movie adaption. I feel like it was almost made to become a movie. Any one else feel this way? But, for me personally…I love slow-burn romance. While this was a bit slow-burn – it was still sped up because the entire book took place over a matter of hours. I would have liked to see the build up between the characters last a while longer. I’m conflicted! This both worked and didn’t work for me.

Lastly, the romance was very sweet. Braylen and Fynn had such a strong friendship that it easily translated into a sweet romance. I have to disagree, though, with the disclaimer that this book has “sexual chemistry off the charts.” This book is not steamy. It’s very sweet though and has (very) mild sexual tension. However, I actually found this level appropriate for YA and thought it fit well with the book/target age range. I just disagree with the tagline of the book on this point.

Overall, I thought this was a sweet young adult romance about a girl who is in love with her best friend. I gave this one a 3.5/5.

Goodreads Rating: 3.77
My Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Steam: 1/5
Romance: 2.5/5
Friendship: 4/5

Get More Info: visit Molly E. Lee’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find Love in the Friend Zone on Amazon; find the sequel, Love Between Enemies on Amazon

About the Author: Molly E. Lee is an author best known for her romance novels, Ask Me Anything, the Grad Night series, and the Love on the Edge series. She is a 1001 Dark Nights Discovery Author for 2017. Molly writes Adult and Young Adult contemporary featuring strong female heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. In addition to being a military spouse and mother of two + one stubborn English Bulldog, Molly loves exploring the outdoors around her mountain home, and digging for treasures in antique stores.

 This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links. The publisher was kind enough to provide me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review: M.F. Lorson’s Stage Kiss

StageKiss.jpgHi y’all! I’m back with a YA contemporary review. Before I dive in, I just want to say thank you to both Netgalley and M.F. Lorson for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

So Stage Kiss is a YA romantic comedy with a vibe straight from the 2000s. This book reminded me of one of my favorite movies, She’s All That, so I was hooked from just hearing the premise alone. Erin, our main character, is in the running for Homecoming Queen, and her life is picture perfect…until it’s not. After catching her boyfriend with her best friend – Erin is out of a boyfriend, best friend, and a homecoming date. Feeling the pressure, Erin enlists the help of fellow quirky theatre member, Peter, to ensure she’s the one with the crown. Romantic comedy ensues.

spoiler free review: I enjoyed this sweet teen romance. For me, it brought me right back to high school with references to AIM, vhs, homecoming court, football games, and romcom references. Perhaps my favorite part of this story, though, was Erin’s dynamic arc. She felt very multifaceted and it was fun to watch her grow as a character. If you’re looking for throw-back romcom, look no further than M. F. Lorson’s Stage Kiss.

I gave this one a 3/5 stars. I had fun with this one and enjoyed it. If you’re looking for a lighthearted YA book, this one is for you! There were some minor things that held this one back a little for me (see spoiler’s section), but overall, I recommend Stage Kiss.

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get more info: Visit M.F. Lorson’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Facebook; find Stage Kiss on Amazon

Stage Kiss is a young adult contemporary, and it was published in January 2018.

spoiler’s ahead: One thing that held me back from rating this one a bit higher (even though I did have fun reading it) is that I just wanted a little bit more of the romance. The romance between Erin and Peter felt very secondary to Erin’s character progression, which sometimes can be fine. However, for me, I just really needed more chemistry between the two for the ending to truly be “swoonworthy.”

Also, while I enjoyed the back story of Erin’s sister and Erin’s fears about driving, this felt a little flat to me. I felt like I wanted to see more of this arc. I don’t think Erin ever fully explained to Peter why she was afraid to drive/the situation involving her sister. For me, I just wanted this thread to be a little more fleshed out. While I really enjoyed the pacing, I really wish this book was a bit longer so I could have these arcs feel a little more “full.”

Overall though I loved Erin’s character. At first I was worried we were going to go the superficial popular girl route – but we were far from it. Erin is a complex character and it was fun to read her evolution.

Let me know if you try this one out! I am excited to read more from Lorson in the future.

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links. Netgalley and the author were kind enough to provide me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.