Review: The Friendship List by Susan Mallery

Title: The Friendship List
Author: Susan Mallery
Published: August 2020, HQN
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Source: Publisher

[ ] Dance till dawn

[ ] Go skydiving

[ ] Wear a bikini in public

[ ] Start living

Two best friends jump-start their lives in a summer that will change them forever…

Single mom Ellen Fox couldn’t be more content—until she
overhears her son saying he can’t go to his dream college because she
needs him too much. If she wants him to live his best life, she has to
convince him she’s living hers.

So Unity Leandre, her best friend
since forever, creates a list of challenges to push Ellen out of her
comfort zone. Unity will complete the list, too, but not because she
needs to change. What’s wrong with a thirtysomething widow still
sleeping in her late husband’s childhood bed?

The Friendship List
begins as a way to make others believe they’re just fine. But somewhere
between “wear three-inch heels” and “have sex with a gorgeous guy,”
Ellen and Unity discover that life is meant to be lived with joy and
abandon, in a story filled with humor, heartache and regrettable

My thoughts: It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by Susan Mallery, but when I saw this book, I just knew I wanted to read it. I’ve read a lot of her series, which I quite enjoyed – her Fool’s Gold series, her Blackberry Island series and her Marcelli series to name a few. But I haven’t read many of her stand-alones and I definitely need to change that because I really do enjoy her writing.

This book is the perfect balance of romance and friendship and I loved that as much as it was fun and lighthearted, it also had its moments of depth. There is so much to relate to in this book and I so appreciated that. It reminds us all to never stop living. I loved all the relationships that were explored here, especially the importance of female friendship, and just as compelling was the exploration of the father-daughter relationship and mother-son relationship. 

All the characters are so well-drawn and each had their own quirks or unique personalities that made them stand out. I loved getting to know them and enjoyed following them on their journeys in this story, as each had their own issues they needed to confront throughout the course of the book. There are such realistic issues and situations that our characters deal with and I feel that is what makes this story so much more realistic and relatable. And while some of the romance scenes are a bit steamy, they are done with taste so that this doesn’t become a cheesy romance story.

This story is a great one to add to your summer reading list and has just the right amount of heartache, humor and romance to round it all out. It’s the perfect summer escape read and I cannot recommend it enough.

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