Friends Like Us (Vintage Contemporaries)

Fox, Lauren

Published by Vintage, 2012
ISBN 10: 0307388255 / ISBN 13: 9780307388254
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For Willa Jacobs, looking at her best friend Jane is like looking in a mirror on a really good day. Strangers assume they are sisters, and they share everything: an apartment, clothing, and groceries, and the challenge of making rent on part-time jobs. Together they are a fortress of private jokes and shared opinions, with a friendship so close there's hardly room for anyone else. But when Ben, Willa's oldest friend, reappears and falls in love with Jane, Willa wonders: Can she let her two best friends find happiness with each other if it means they leave her behind?

Review: Guest Reviewer: Eleanor Brown on Friends Like Us by Lauren Fox

Eleanor Brown is the author of the New York Times and national bestselling debut novel, The Weird Sisters.

I am fascinated by this thing we call adulthood. When I was younger, I assumed that at some point in the hazy, distant future, I would magically transform into an adult, with all the confidence and organization I saw in the grown-ups around me.

Of course we all know now the process of becoming an adult is complex—equally joyous and painful. Years or decades in, we find ourselves still fumbling around in one way or another, doing the best we can, and occasionally stumbling across a miracle.

Lauren Fox’s Friends Like Us powerfully illustrates these painful, joyful moments as we cross the tricky threshold of adulthood. Willa, the novel’s whip-smart and laugh-out-loud funny narrator, is a loyal and devoted daughter, sister, and friend, especially to her roommate, Jane. Willa and Jane’s friendship is giddily intimate—their drive to “establish and reestablish the specific degree of our astounding similarities” is a reminder of teenage friendships lost and a harbinger of the coming end of their protracted adolescence. They are overeducated and underemployed, and nearing the time in their lives when those things will become frustrating rather than charming. Willa’s only broken relationship is with her high-school best friend, Ben, so when she runs into him at a reunion, she is delighted to welcome him back into her life, and thrilled to connect her friendships with Jane and Ben into a circle.

I cringed and laughed sympathetically watching Willa, Jane, and Ben try to navigate their way through this new relationship, opening a door to adulthood that they are not all ready to go through. Someone, inevitably, must be left behind, someone must be left out, and all of them have to change, whether they want to or not.

Friends Like Us is funny most of the time, and devastating when it’s not. It is a novel about loyalty, identity, and lost chances. It is also about what happens to friendships as we grow up, and how we fight even the right changes in all the wrong ways. Lauren Fox is a smart, clever writer, with a heartbreakingly keen insight into human nature. Friends Like Us may possess a light exterior and an effervescent sense of humor, but beneath these easy pleasures lies a beautifully complicated and true heart.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Friends Like Us (Vintage Contemporaries)
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: 2012
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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