Frenemies Review
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Augusta (Gus) Curtis thought her life would be different when she turned thirty. She thought she’d meet the milestone with a wonderful, grown-up life—a great career, a nice apartment, and a gorgeous, loving boyfriend. Instead, with the big 3-0 just months away, she works a decent job as a librarian in a small Boston museum. The one-bedroom apartment she’s lived in for years still looks like a dorm room. And she just walked into her gorgeous boyfriend Nate’s house, only to find him making out with her gorgeous, back-stabbing college roommate and sometimes-friend, Helen. Fortunately, she still has her two best friends, Georgia and Amy Lee, to help her through it.

But even Georgia and Amy Lee begin to wonder if Gus has finally gone over the edge as she continues to obsess over Nate. Not only is she obsessed with Nate, but she’s also obsessed with hating Helen—who doesn’t understand why Gus is so angry with her, and who goes out of her way to manipulate everyone against Gus. And she really hates Henry, Nate’s rich, handsome roommate, who was the one who let her into the house on that fateful night—and who constantly seems to be laughing at her and her pain.

  
 
To make matters worse, with the holiday season approaching, there’s no way that Gus can avoid Nate and Helen and Henry—because she’ll have to see them every weekend, at every single holiday party that the people in their extended circle of friends throw.

I don’t think there’s a single woman out there who won’t be able to relate to Gus’s story—because we’ve all known those back-stabbing, manipulative women who go out of their way to make the people around them (even the women they call their friends) look bad, in an attempt to get what they want. Crane’s insights into the inner workings of the woman’s mind (“She said this, but that obviously means this, so I need to respond by saying this.”) are both painfully accurate and thoroughly entertaining. You’ll find it’s a lot more amusing when it happens to someone other than yourself—especially if that someone is fictional.

On the down side, however, after about 50 pages, you’ll pretty much have the whole story figured out—because it’s pretty transparent. Sometimes, it’s even blatantly, agonizingly obvious. And that occasionally makes Gus a frustrating character—because it’s so obvious, but, despite the fact that she seems to be pretty intelligent, she just doesn’t get it. Of course, that’s also what makes Gus real—because we’ve all had our frustrating moments (let’s face it—sometimes it’s more like years) of blindness. And, fortunately, everything eventually comes together in a pretty satisfying conclusion.

Although I would have preferred a few more surprises, I’ve often pointed out that chick lit isn’t really known for its unpredictability—and its enjoyable and insightful story makes Frenemies pure chick lit fun. Pick up a copy before heading out to the beach.

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