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Just Friends - Robyn Sisman

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5 Reviews

Author: Robyn Sisman / Genre: Fiction

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    5 Reviews
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      27.01.2013 16:58
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      Back in the bag for the charity shop!

      I brought this book while having a browse of the books in the oxfam shop. I brought it for 99p, as I thought it looked like an easy read. I'd started reading it a few weeks ago, but it didn't particularly keep my interest! I finished reading it last friday, when we had all that snow! I decided I wasn't going anywhere for the whole weekend, so I sat down and finished what I'd started!

      The story revolves around Jack and Freya, who are, just friends. Freya is a British person who lives in New York and now runs a successful gallery and keeps a look out for up and coming artists. She is convinced that her boyfriend, Michael, a hot shot lawyer (albeit dull and straight-laced), is about to propose. Her friend Jack, is a very laddish lad! He is a writer and teaches creative writing to university student. He also has a penchant for the young ladies on his course, much to Freya's dismay. All of a sudden, Freya's step sister is getting married. Freya discovers that she needs a date for the wedding, taking place back in the UK. That's all I'm going to say, otherwise, it'll really give away the story.

      To be honest, I had higher expectations of this book. Don't get me wrong, it was ok. However, I found it to be very predictable. From the first few chapters, I had a feeling I knew what was going to happen at the end... and I was right! Also, in comparison to other authors of a similar genre, I didn't find it particularly funny or entertaining in the slightest. I'll admit it, I judged the book from its cover! The cover and blurb makes it sound like it's going to be one of those "laugh out loud" kind of books.

      Although, one aspect of this that I did enjoy, was Freya's friend, Catarina. Maybe it's from an aspiring lawyer point of view, that I found this character to be the most warming. Cat is from a typical Italian-American family and so far, in unmarried and has no children. She's a fiesty lawyer, who finds herself up against Michael in a divorce matter. And does he know about it! I really liked her character and thought it was very well defined. After of course, Freya and Jack, we know most about Cat and what makes her tick. Her character is very warm and generous, as opposed to how 'cold' it seems Freya can be (until the end of the story).

      This book started out as being quite hardgoing. I had started reading it previously, but hadn't really been inclined to finish it. I think the only reason I picked it up again was because of the snow and having been sent home from work early, before the snow set in too much! If I had been able to go out and do my usual weekend things, I wouldn't particularly have carried on reading. This is probably because not much really happens throughout the book!

      I'm going to give it 3 stars, because it wasn't terrible and it wasn't so uneventful that I didn't finish it. However, if you don't enjoy predictable endings with a lack of humour throughout, it's probably not for you. It was reasonable value for me, as I found it in oxfam for 99p, however it is available on amazon for £5.73. Personally, I would feel ripped off, had I purchased it for that price. But each to their own!

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      21.08.2001 03:58
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      I’m particularly choosy when reading novels. Usually I go for crime, science fiction or fantasy just because they always seem to have more substance, so this book was a refreshing change. Desperate for something to read, I popped to late night Tesco’s and took the first book that appealed (one with pigs on the front cover!). The Story Jack and Freya have been friends for many years and know each other only too well. Freya doesn’t approve of Jack’s taste of bimbo students and he has problems with her scorn for human frailty. A story about two thirty-something’s which appealed to me (god am I that old?), I liked the tension and I liked the character, Freya. This book is a romance set in today’s world, there’s none of that Mills and Boons stuff here. Freya is cool and intelligent with wit and style. I could identify with her as being down to earth and passionate (she drinks beer and plays poker). The story reminds me of the tensions between Mr Darcy and Lizzie (Pride & Prejudice), who instantly disliked each other, then become friends, who then become lovers. It has all the tension of that man/woman relationship and really does answer the question: Can a man and a woman really just be friends? Amazingly this was a book I just couldn’t put down. Given that I am not an avid reader and my usual choice of Ruth Rendall or Terry Pratchett novels, proves I am an ‘everyday’ novel reader virgin. I don’t want to give too much away about the story or characters as you should read it for yourself. It is a book aimed at women, but if any of you guys out there want to know what a real woman thinks, then read this! Once I had read it I wanted to read more of Robyn Sisman’s novels, so if anyone can recommend any more then please let me know!

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        06.10.2000 01:03
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        Firstly, any book that will cost you less than £5 can't be bad value can it? This is one such example of a boo you should buy and try - chances are you will enjoy it, but if you do not, then use it for that wonky, un-even cabinet that we all seem to have in the corner of out living rooms! My biggest problem with this generally good book is just how predictable it is. From the very off, you were just waiting for 'it' to happen, and you knew it would only be a matter of time, which proved to be the case. That aside, this cannot spoil what is a very rewarding and easy-going read about two friends and their travels. If you are stuck for a good book, then you won't go far wrong, just don't expect originality or surprise, because you'll know from the start how the book will pan out, and there are few surprises to upset the rhythm and motion of the book.

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        30.09.2000 16:27

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        I was sceptical... the plot did sound just that bit too close to a Meg Ryan movie, and the overwhelmingly pink cover suggested hearts and flowers. But I was hooked by 'Just Friends.' I found the central characters interesting and different from the typical 'thirtysomethings' - and the writing was also a cut above. Robyn Sisman really keeps you reading, as the plot twists and turns. Maybe you know that this kind of book is bound to have a happy ending - but you still wonder as you turn the pages! It's occasionally a bit trite and I'm not convinced it bears much relation to real life. But as enjoyable escapism, you can't beat it.

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        31.08.2000 19:13
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        If you liked the film When Harry Met Sally then you’ll love this book. Jack and Freya are ‘just friends’ and have been for over 10 years. Freya is an independent tough woman determined to make it in New York. Jack is a would be writer who lives a bohemian lifestyle, dates bimbos and refuses to take any money or help from his rich family. The start of the book sees Freya in a relationship with Michael – a boring lawyer who she is convinced is about to propose. However things don’t turn out as expected and Michael breaks off their relationship. Having nowhere to go Freya goes to see her old friend Jack and ends up inviting herself to stay at his place. Of course things do not go smoothly with many arguments as they both appear to be very scornful of each others lifestyles. There are some very funny episodes when they try to get even with each other ( this starts when Jack first sets Freya up on a disastrous blind date). During a trip to a family wedding in England it appears that things are getting better between them but……I won’t spoil the end for you. Suffice to say: can a man and woman ever be just friends? Can pigs fly?

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