Review: The Friendship List by Susan Mallery


Release date: August 4, 2020

Publisher: HQN

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


[ ] Dance till dawn 

[ ] Go skydiving

[ ] Wear a bikini in public

[ ] Start living

Two best friends jump-start their lives in a summer that will change them forever… 

Single mom Ellen Fox couldn’t be more content—until she overhears her son saying he can’t go to his dream college because she needs him too much. If she wants him to live his best life, she has to convince him she’s living hers.

So Unity Leandre, her best friend since forever, creates a list of challenges to push Ellen out of her comfort zone. Unity will complete the list, too, but not because she needs to change. What’s wrong with a thirtysomething widow still sleeping in her late husband’s childhood bed?

The Friendship List begins as a way to make others believe they’re just fine. But somewhere between “wear three-inch heels” and “have sex with a gorgeous guy,” Ellen and Unity discover that life is meant to be lived with joy and abandon, in a story filled with humor, heartache and regrettable tattoos. 


Susan Mallery has an uncanny knack for writing about female relationships that I’ve never quite found in another author. I’ve read several of her books that focus on sister/sibling relationships and she always nails the dynamics at play between family members. This time around she explores the relationship between two longtime best friends, Ellen and Unity, who are as close as sisters anyway and once again she created wonderful characters that felt so damn real.

Ellen and Unity have both gotten a little too comfortable in their lives lately so they decide to make a list of things to do that will push them outside of their comfort zones. At first, they both start the list not actually for themselves, but Ellen so her teenaged son will realize she’ll be ok when he goes to college and Unity so Ellen isn’t doing it alone and both have no real intention of getting anything meaningful out of the list. But as they spend the summer trying new things (skydiving, tattoos, etc) they both actually start to not only have fun, they learn a few things about each other and themselves. So, an adorable premise with a little something for everyone. Besides the BFF relationship there is some romance with some heat 🔥, plenty of humor and some emotional depth and growth as well. Definitely recommended by me as a super fun summer read.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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