Well, I didn’t think I would completely fall in love with this book like I did. I’ve been following Abby Jimenez since she released her debut novel, The Friend Zone, only a few short years ago. Now she’s on her third book and thriving with a story about young Vanessa who’s motto in life is to live in the present and Adrian, who’d much prefer a better plan.
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’ll be brief, I loved this book. There were so many dynamic components to it and it had a focus that went beyond just the relationship between Adrian and Vanessa. But don’t get me wrong, the romance is strong with this one.
Vanessa is a young YouTube celebrity who’s focused her content and energy towards raising funds for ALS research and raising awareness about the disease. Why? Because the ALS gene runs in her family, has affected almost all the women in her life, and there’s a 50/50 chance she might get it as well. For the most part, Vanessa’s made choices in her life to accommodate for when that day comes: she travels the world, drinks the wine, and lives her life as spontaneously as she can. And she most definitely doesn’t date to avoid leaving someone behind that loved her. But things change when she finds her sister’s baby at her doorstep.
I think one of the most interesting parts of this book was Vanessa’s life. It seemed like she’s contorted it to avoid leaving the Earth without too many things left loose. Her focus is raising money for ALS research while also worried she’ll start seeing early signs of the disease in herself. She’s worried about her father who’s developed hoarding tendencies over the years. She’s figuring out what to do about her sister’s baby that’s in her care while her sister goes on benders, and she’s encouraging her brother to step up and finally make some money. I always imagined the life of YouTubers as this glamorous fun time with tons of cool gifts and lots of money. But it really impressed me to see a character who’s dedicated to a cause, sharing her earnings with that cause, and always making more content to keep the momentum going.
But at the same time, it’s almost like Vanessa’s living on a knife’s edge; always worried she won’t be able to take care of everything, always trying to live for the moment, and never sitting down and thinking about the inevitable. She calls thinking about the inevitable as “looking at the sun” and I can imagine that’s what it’s like; you’re focused so deeply at an unpredictable future that it blinds you from the present. I loved how spontaneous she is and I really wish I was friends with her in real life. She seems like the kind of friend who will drop everything and show up at your house with a pint of ice cream and funny movies when you’ve just been dumped. She’s the kind of person who you want to go to their birthday party and genuinely wish them a happy year.
Adrian is a young, hot, and bearded criminal defense attorney who’s very much the workaholic. He gets dumped by his recent girlfriend (who was already married) and dealing with a past that’s colored the way he views the world. He lives next door to Vanessa and they only meet one very late night when the baby starts crying. It was kind of interesting how quickly Adrian helped Vanessa out. Honestly, if I heard a baby crying from next door and I went over there at 3AM to tell them to quiet down, I wouldn’t also be taking out the trash and helping them out. But I think what I loved most was watching Adrian fall in love with Grace, Vanessa’s baby.
From that point on, you can imagine the rest. Friends to lovers with some steamy moments.
I think what really impressed me about this novel is Abby Jimenez’s ability to make the emotions feel believable. There were moments reading both Adrian and Vanessa’s thought process and their fears of rejection and I thought to myself how familiar that felt. Even the scene when they finally get together was so believable to me with the rush of flurry of kisses after a very long and tense couple of months hanging out. The sad scenes make you sad and the happy ones keep a bright smile on your face. I felt like I was on such an emotional roller coaster while Vanessa and Adrian gets to know each other, shares their feelings, and figures out the rest.
Overall, this was such a great book and really made me happy to read. Hope you all enjoy it too.
Thanks to Forever Romance for the gifted copy of this book. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.