Going into FriendTrip, I was a little apprehensive. The teasers that M.E. Carter and Sara Ney put together were cute and eye catching and definitely had me intrigued. I’m not a big fan of books that are heavier on the humor, though, because I usually find them to just be too over the top and they tend not to hold my attention. I was worried that this would be the trap into which the escapades of best friends Becky and Janine would fall. As it turns out, I definitely underestimated what this story would turn out to be.
FriendTrip is filled to the brim with life, laughs, and love. Finding a balance between relatability and entertainment when constructing a novel can be tricky, but M.E. and Sara found the literary sweet spot with their storyline. I really enjoy books where the main characters are in the same age range as I am. As a wife and mother, it’s easy to believe that your friends or acquaintances (especially other wives and mothers) lead lives that are more glamorous than yours and it’s nice to read about women whose lives and issues mirror your own. The supportive, angst-free feel of the relationships (between both friends and lovers) made it that much easier to connect with the characters. These are ladies that you feel you could easily be friends with if they existed in real life. In terms of the entertainment factor, I lost track of the number of times I erupted in genuine, loud, belly laughs.
The subplot of Janine and her dating misadventures was hysterical and one of the highlights of FriendTrip. When I heard that M.E. and Sara were writing a novella focusing on Janine’s wedding, I couldn’t wait to dive in and get more of the story. WeddedBliss was like a slice of wedding cake – sweet, dense, and just big (or, in this case, long) enough to get me to wondering how I can sneak a second piece. As Becky turns into a crazed matron of honor, fissures start to develop in her friendship with Janine, adding another layer of depth to their relationship.
The tension between the two was particularly satisfying because it was set up in such a way that I felt like I couldn’t really pick a side. I could see where both of them were coming from and the intentions of all sides were pure even if the execution ended up being less than perfect. In the end, Janine gets her dream wedding and hard-fought HEA. Even better, it looks like the story might not quite be over yet! Seamless storytelling, endearingly real characters, and hijinks that only best friends can find themselves in are a winning combination that will always keep me coming back for more.