Book Review | Not Here To Stay Friends @TBRBeyondTours

Coming back after a little break to share my thoughts on a really fun book.

Not Here To Stay Friends
Kaitlyn Hill

This friends-to-lovers spin on The Bachelor follows two childhood besties reuniting to spend the summer in L.A. after five years apart—but when they both get involved with a teen reality dating show, their lives take an unexpected turn for the unreal.

Sloane McKinney feels like a background character in her own life. But this summer will be different, because she’s spending it with her childhood best friend, Liam Daniels, in her dream city, Los Angeles. Sure, she’s surprised to find that Liam just happens to have had a Hot Guy glow-up since she last saw him, but so what? A little attraction won’t ruin her plans for their fun—and completely platonic—reunion.

What might, however, is that Liam has been roped into working for his producer dad’s new teen reality dating show, Aspen Woods’s Future Leading Lady. Liam figures Sloane can still hang out with him on set while he fetches coffee for the film crew, or whatever it is that production assistants do. Except it turns out the show is one contestant short . . . and Sloane is the perfect last-minute addition.

Once cameras are rolling, the whirlwind of dating teen heartthrob Aspen Woods feels way more real than Sloane expected, and Liam doesn’t exactly enjoy watching it all unfold. But it’s behind the scenes where the drama really picks up. . . .

Because wanting to kiss your best friend? That’s a plot twist neither Sloane nor Liam ever saw coming.

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After a strange month and a lack of desire to read anything it was really refreshing to pick up this book. I went into this book with a desire to be entertained and it ended up exceeding what I had hoped for and was funny, dramatic (but not in an angsty way), and endearing.

If I’m honest I was a little unsure about whether this would be a book I would get along with, especially after reading the first few pages, but since it could have been my mood I kept going and after that, I struggled to put it down. I actually read it in one day because I was having such fun reading about Sloane and Liam and the unusual situation they found themselves in.

Friends-to-lovers is a trope I always seem to enjoy if it’s done well and this was perfect. There was enough tension between Sloane and Liam, the added complication of Aspen and being on a reality show meant it was all the right ingredients for a good slow build between the two. I enjoyed their chemistry, it jumps off the page from the start, but it gets so much better as they start to question whether they are just friends.

I’m not a huge reality TV show fan but I actually really enjoyed this as a setting, getting to see behind the scenes and the conflicting emotions of competing with people that you have to live with alongside getting little to no privacy. It also added a great opportunity for Sloane and Liam to be around each other but not get a lot of time together which worked so well to help confuse things for both of them and have a few dramatic scenes as they start getting jealous.

I was also kind of surprised by the ending, I definitely expected it to be a more predictable outcome in terms of the reality show but the author managed to do something unexpected that I really enjoyed. It was a much better conclusion and kept up the fun element of the story.

If you want an upbeat and fun friends-to-lovers with a dose of light-hearted drama then I highly recommend Not Here To Stay Friends.

Kaitlyn Hill is a writer, reader, and sweet tea enthusiast who believes that all the world is not, in fact, a stage, but a romance novel waiting to happen. She is the author of Love from Scratch and Not Here to Stay Friends.

Kaitlyn has a BA in Sociology/Anthropology and German Studies, which means that she can tell you way too much about the Communist Manifesto in Karl Marx’s mother tongue. Before landing on writing, she worked in roles from city government intern in a small German town to Haunted Mansion Maid at Walt Disney World, and most recently, at her hometown public library.

Aside from books, Kaitlyn’s favorite things are giraffes, ABBA, and excessively long naps. She lives with her real life romance hero in Lexington, Kentucky.

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