By Lauren Fox
Alfred A. Knopf, $25.95, 288 pages

Willa and Jane are roommates and best friends. They have thousands of things in common, including a love for writing and pistachio nuts. However, when Willa’s long absent friend from high school, Ben returns, her world begins to change. At first, realizing that there is nothing romantic about their relationship, Willa plays matchmaker with Ben and Jane. Though, when the two are falling in love, Willa starts to feel pangs of jealousy.

The book has an interesting story line that examines drastic changes in relationships between close friends. Such experience could be poignant not only for twenty-something women like Willa, who are learning to balance professional lives with friendship, paying rent and finding love. It’s also a valuable book for any friend feeling like a third wheel, and an instructional guide to having conversations and talking through feelings with your friends. On the other hand, along with a good story, there are cliches and poor dialogues. Some of Willa and Jane conversations, forced speeches and internal Willa’s monologues with unrealistic chiming rhymes and undeveloped thoughts are jarring and almost make the story feel hoaky.

Friends Like Us is Lauren Fox’s second novel. Her debut novel, Still Life with Husband, was a breath-taking book and gathered accolades beyond chick-lit audiences.

Reviewed by Sophie Sestero