Review: The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan

Review: The Friend Zone by Kristen CallihanThe Friend Zone
by Kristen Callihan
Series: Game On #2
Release Date: 05/05/15
Published by Self Published
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: ARC received for review purposes

Gray doesn’t make friends with women. He has sex with them. Until Ivy.

The last thing star tight-end Gray Grayson wants to do is drive his agent’s daughter’s bubblegum pink car. But he needs the wheels and she’s studying abroad. Something he explains when she sends him an irate text to let him know exactly how much pain she’ll put him in if he crashes her beloved ride. Before he knows it, Ivy Mackenzie has become his best texting bud. But then Ivy comes home and everything goes haywire. Because the only thing Gray can think of is being with Ivy.

Ivy doesn’t have sex with friends. Especially not with a certain football player. No matter how hot he makes her…

Gray drives Ivy crazy. He’s irreverent, sex on a stick, and completely off limits. Because, Ivy has one golden rule: never get involved with one of her father’s clients. A rule that’s proving harder to keep now that Gray is doing his best to seduce her. Her best friend is fast becoming the most irresistible guy she’s ever met.

Which means Gray is going to have to use all his skills to get himself out of the friend zone and into Ivy’s heart. Game on

ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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The Hook Up was one of my favorite books last year and I’ve been looking forward to this book since I finished reading The Hook Up last year and even more when I re-read it again earlier this year.  Gray Grayson (yup, that’s his name) was just a characters that really stood out for me and I wanted more.  No lie, this was one of my most anticipated books of the year.  It was probably in the top 5 books that I was the most excited for this year.  I literally said ‘fuck everything’ when I got my copy and started reading it almost right away.

Friends to lovers is one of my absolute favorite tropes in books and this one did it so well.  When Gray has to lend his truck to Drew, he has to borrow a bubblegum pink Fiat from his future agent’s daughter, it starts a text conversation between Gray and Ivy that soon turns into a full-blown friendship.  Guys, these text interactions were so funny and adorable.  I normally hate reading text conversations in books, but I was so looking forward to their texting.  When Ivy finally meets Gray in person, they realize they have more than just a great friendship in common.  They are also very attracted to each other.  But Gray has never had a female friend like Ivy before and he is determined not to fuck up his friendship with her.  I loved how their friendship was a major part of the book and each interaction with them left me with a huge smile on my face.  I loved the first kiss in The Hook Up and the first kiss in The Friend Zone was also fantastic!  I have no words to say how much I loved Gray and Ivy and their friendship and their flirting and the secondary characters.

This book and I… I don’t know how I feel about it yet.  I loved most parts of it, thought other parts were completely unnecessary and HATED one thing in particular.  Well, two things actually.  BUT, the thing I hated was one of my weird Nereyda pet-peeves that most other people wouldn’t even probably mind.  View Spoiler »  I don’t think this would bother as many people, not as much as it bothered me anyway, but this was a big no-no for me.  I do still think that people will enjoy this book and I still liked this book.  In fact, I fucking loved the first 80% of it so much… the rest just let me down.

I do not like this cover at all!  Sorry, but half-naked oiled up guy on cover just does nothing for me.  Do yourself a favor and don’t judge this book on the cover, it’s not one of those sexed-up books that usually have these types of covers.  I loved The Hook Up and although I had my issues with this one, I still loved Gray and Ivy and the rest of the gang.  I’ve been really looking forward to Dex’s story since book one and I can’t wait to read it.  I love that Logan from Elle Kennedy’s The Mistake was mentioned in this book, just like Drew (from The Hook Up) was mentioned in The Mistake.  It’s such a small thing, but it made me all sorts of happy.

Some of my favorite non-spoiler quotes from The Friend Zone:

– GrayG: My name? Honey, if you’re going to think about me, concentrate on my gigantic …hands. Magic hands, baby. The things I can do with these hands are mind-boggling.
IvyMac: Like palm balls all day long?
GrayG: >:-(

– “Truth? Had we met before the texts, I’d have tried something. She’s funny and smart and hot. Who wouldn’t want her? Shit, I don’t know, man. I just like her. I really like her. She’s the first person I want to talk to. Every day.”

– The little shit… I bark out a laugh. Whatever has happened between us, she’s still my best friend. The one person I want to be with most in the world. And I adore her. I’m so gone on her, I don’t know my left from my right anymore. She’s my center line. All thoughts run through Ivy Mackenzie.

– “I’ve just officially met Ivy Mackenzie, and I realize I’ve missed her for what seems like years.”

– “All I wanted to do was kiss her, explore the gentle curve of her lower lip before sucking on it. And Ivy would have flipped out. Because friends do not maul other friend’s mouths.”

– “Gray…” I suckle his plump lower lip. “I need you.” He shudders, his hands in my hair, on my cheeks. “You have me,” he says against my lips. “I don’t think you understand how much you have me.”

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Nereyda is a 31 year-old mother of two girls with addiction to Friends, fashion, books, Pinterest, Netflix, the color black and a little bit of everything else. Also, the world's worst texter...

Latest posts by Nereyda (see all)

  • I’m disappointed by how big that oily cover is, Nereyda. Haha! It’s like being attacked right in the face. 😛
    Anyways, I knew when I read that thing that you would be disappointed and I was sad because I know how much you were anticipating this book! Hopefully, the next book will live up to ALL of your expectations and won’t have silly plot devices (well except for the man bun thing because eww – OMG maybe the cover will have a big OILY guy with a giant man bun 😛 – try to get that image out of your head!)
    Great review, Nereyda!

    • Ugh, I can’t stop picturing it… why Nick???
      I got worried when you said you were curious about what I would think. But I wasn’t expecting THAT!
      Dex has to make up for this book!

  • I’m sorry that story line sort of ruined the book for you. 🙁 I can certainly understand. There are things that bug us as readers and it’s hard to let go when it happens in a book. I was really nervous Grayson was gonna have ~relations with other girls in the beginning, so I was really happy when that didn’t happen.

    And TY so so much for sending me a copy! <3

    Danielle @ Love at First Page recently posted: 2015 Summer of Series Challenge
    • This is how you must feel when a love triangle situation sneaks in on you in a book you’re loving 🙂

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  • The more I think about it, the more I agree with you. I put 4.5 on GR but it is probably more like 3.5 because I completely agree about the “twist.” I LOVED the book so much until then but the ending kind of killed it. UGH! It’s too bad because I seriously seriously loved Gray and Ivy so much and they didn’t need that ending. I am excited for book 3 still and when I was reading this one, I thought about you when the p-word came up — I was like, oh no, this is ruining the book and I know Nereyda will not be into this haha

    Eva @ All Books Considered recently posted: Review: The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer
    • I thought and thought about that damn twist and the more I thought about it, the more it annoyed me. It didn’t make sense at all and it kind of ruined the book for me even if I did love the beginning, or most of the book actually.
      I love how you and Nick just knew I would not be happy about this 🙂

  • Don’t worry, you’re not the only one disappointed about the cover. I loved The Hook Up as well and was so excited for the cover reveal of this book and I instantly cringed when I saw it. I mean, they could do better, you know? But I’m still so excited to read this book. And I actually want to hit myself because I clicked the “View Spoiler” on your review post and now I want to jump out my window for doing so, lmao!

    Great review, btw! And new follower via Bloglovin!

    Blessie (Mischievous Reads) recently posted: BOOK REVIEW: The Deal by Elle Kennedy
    • Ugh, this cover is so… cringeworthy. So much oil and abs! And yes, those era my thoughts, can you try a little harder than slapping a half naked guy on the cover?
      Sorry about the spoiler! It seems like I don’t have any self control over spoilers, it’s like my finger just automatically clicks on it against my will 🙂

  • Haha. I remember when you posted on my STS about this one (I think that’s where it was) and you said about something you didn’t like. Then I read it and was like, YUP. I know Nereyda wouldn’t like that! Haha. It did bother me too, I admit. It felt too much like a plot device and I could have done without. It didn’t bother me to the point of not liking the book, but still. I agree- it was unnecessary.

    I LOVED Gray and Ivy together though. Their text conversations were so cute. And they had some hella chemistry!

    • I love how you guys just know me. When Nick said she was curious to see what I would think of it, I was like ‘oh no.’
      They were so cute… but yeah, I fucking hate book babies 🙂