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#Book Review #For the Love of Friends by Sara Goodman Confino @Lake Union Publishing

A sharp and hilariously relatable novel about the business of weddings, the toll they can take, and the lengths one exasperated bridesmaid will go to for the love of friends.

Lily Weiss is her mother’s worst nightmare: thirty-two and single—the horror! She’s also a talented writer but hides behind a boring job at a science foundation. To her friends, she’s reliable and selfless, which is how she winds up a bridesmaid in five weddings in six weeks. Anything for her three best friends and two (younger) siblings, right? Even if her own love life is…well, she’d rather not talk about it. To keep her sanity, Lily needs a safe place to vent.
And so her anonymous blog, Bridesmania, is born. The posts start pouring out of her: all the feels about mom-zillas, her vanishing bank balance, the wicked bridesmaids of the west, high-strung brides-to-be, body-shaming dress clerks, bachelorette parties, and Spanx for days, not to mention being deemed guardian of eighty-eight-year-old Granny (who enjoys morning mimosas in the nude) for her brother’s destination wedding.
So far the blog has stayed anonymous. But as everyone knows, few things online remain secret forever…
When all is said and done, can Lily help all five couples make it to happily ever after? And will her own happy ending be close behind?

(From the blurb)

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Publication Date: August 1, 2021

No of pages: 364

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Chicklit, Contemporary Romance

My thoughts:

For the Love of Friends is a typical summer read- everybody knows that summer the best season for weddings and everybody knows it’s impossible to survive being a bridesmaid in five weddings over two months without some major damage to one’s sanity. Here is a story that will make you think even more fondly of your friends who never (occasionally/ sometimes/ quite a lot ) lost their good old common sense and good nature and started asking impossible things from you.

Lily Weiss, our protagonist, is a friend/sibling and bridesmaid to 5 manic brides. She adores her dad and has quite a complicated relationship with her mother (nothing Lily does is going to be good enough, starting from being thirty two years old and single) and her younger sister. Lily is bored with what she has to do at work. Still, she is lacking courage to leave her secure job and become a writer. Compromise? a wedding blog where she can put down on paper (sorry, screen) her observations and tell her jokes without hurting anyone’s feelings. Yes, some of the stories are incredibly entertaining (¡Hola abuela!) or shocking esp. her involvement with not one, but two of the best men from her best friend’s wedding party.

To be perfectly honest, my feelings towards Lily were all over the place. First, I liked the way she refused to beat herself up about her one night stand and feel obliged to start another dead-end/ short-term relationship… unfortunately, things weren’t that straightforward and she came very close to sabotaging herself. Perhaps, I was a bit too harsh on Lily- I expected a thirty two year old to be more mature and more self-aware, but some things you see only when you are ready to see them.

Lily’s blogging journey sounded interesting- a lot of people relish in the anonymity of the Internet and give vent to their feelings (perhaps, even slightly exaggerating things to make the content more striking). We know it will all blow in her face and there will be consequences…Perhaps, Lily needed a push, a disaster to force her into changing. I liked the fact that she grows as a person, a friend, and a family member, and clears a lot of issues in the end.

The writing was almost addictive with a lot of funny moments and sarky comments. I haven’t mentioned it so far, but there’s also romance- I just don’t want to give the story away. Some time in the middle, I wondered if five weddings were really too many (I know, that’s the whole point!) and the book could have been as good or even better with fewer plotlines. Then again, not all our relationships in life are equally deep or equally important at all points of our lives, but they all benefit from kindness, attention, and communication, and this book really drives it home.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.


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