I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.Life's Too Short by Abby Jimenez
Series: The Friend Zone #3
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Published by Hachette on April 6, 2021
Also by this author: The Friend Zone, The Happy Ever After Playlist
Format: eARC (384 pages) • Source: Publisher
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A brilliant and touching romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of The Friend Zone and The Happy Ever After Playlist.
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. . .
I kind of fell in love with this book within the first page or two. Something about Jimenez’s writing just clicks for me – it’s natural, hilarious, and addicting to read. I generally liked her debut but had some lingering issues with it as time passed. I LOVED the second book in this companion series and my faith was fully restored and ready for book three. I’m happy to sat that my super high expectations were exceeded with this one.
I fell hard for Adrian and Vanessa right off the bat. I’m pretty sure if I started this first thing in the morning instead of late at night, I could have or would have finished this book in one sitting. Vanessa is a YouTuber with a popular channel highlighting her travels around the world. You find out from the synopsis and early in the book that she may have ALS like her mother and her sister. She wants to live it up during however long of a time she has on earth. Adrian, on the other hand, is her seemingly vanilla attorney next-door-neighbor who goes to his job with long hours and doesn’t do much else. I loved him right away – they had so much chemistry. Vanessa’s personality was luminous and hilarious – a different kind of funny from Kristen in book one, but similar in that she made me laugh out loud all the time. They balanced each other out and early “friends only” relationship made things effortless between them. Baby Grace brought them together too, and Adrian with that baby honestly made my ovaries cry. There was also a geriatric diaper-wearing Chihuahua that helped along their relationship.
There were definitely the classic romance novel moments where you wonder if they can pull the relationship off based on everything keeping them apart. This one had a couple of small ones and naturally a bigger issue toward the end. How do you cope with the possibility of having ALS, but not really knowing for sure? How does your partner deal with knowing any day could be their girlfriend’s last? Clearly it’s not an easy situation to understand or manage.
I don’t have any major complaints with this one thought. I feel like, if anything, Vanessa’s issues and hardships (believe me, the stuff with her family was so hard to read at times) took center stage in the story. Rightly so. However, Adrian had some issues with his family and other fears that he needed to overcome, and a lot of that was glossed over, comparatively. I like where things ended up for everyone – both of their families and for themselves – but I do wish there was just a little more about Adrian overcoming HIS fears and problems too.
As always, I smiled through some tears during the final chapters of this book. Clearly that’s just what she does to me. I don’t want to spoil anything about the ending but there’s always a hopefulness and happy ending. I mean, it IS a romance novel, right?
This companion series as a whole has been great. Like her other books, there’s a perfect and delicate balance between heartwarming and heart wrenching, humor and sadness. She really pulls it off every time. I can’t wait to read her next stories.
(PS – most of the book takes place around Christmas and New Years. It’s not a major plot point by any means, but they do get a Christmas tree and have some holiday references throughout. Totally wish I knew this since I downloaded my review copy in late December. I would have read it way too early and loved it!)