Book Review: Friendship by Emily Gould

Friendship Emily Gould Book Review

First, a confession: I didn’t finish this book.

And not even because it was due back to the library before I could. I got about halfway through and found myself wistfully eyeing the stack of library books that were due at the same time. I’m not usually one for not finishing a book, but I finally reached the point where I was all, life is too short to spend time on something you’re meh about. 

I decided to put it down and come back to it if I felt the urge. It hasn’t moved from the table by my front door, and now serves as a reminder to return it. I didn’t hate it. It just didn’t hold my interest.

Which was unexpected. After reading the plot description, I felt pretty sure that I would find something to relate to in this book. Bev and Amy are approaching 30 and living in New York City. Bev is doing administrative temp work and Amy is a blogger. Both are struggling with their friendship, relationships, money, and adulthood in general.

I’m almost 30! I work as an admin! (Though not as a temp.) I am a blogger! I’ve struggled with close friendships!

So really, I expected to gobble this up.

I think the problem I had with the book was that their struggles, while realistic and common for millennials, just didn’t ring very true. There were too many coincidences and too many cliched characters. It reminded me a lot of HBO’s Girls, where true-to-life problems are diminished for the sake of a more interesting plot line. It felt almost satirical at times, and I really, really don’t think it was supposed to.

This book is Emily Gould writing about Emily Gould, which is plain as day to anyone who is familiar with her stint at Gawker and/or her blog. And really, that’s her prerogative. One of the first pieces of advice given to a writer is to “write what you know.” I guess I was just hoping for something a little more relatable.

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