Review | What Are Friends For? by Lizzie O’Hagan

A modern take on Cyrano. 3.5/5 stars.

What Are Friends For by Lizzie O'Hagan book cover

Thank you to Headline for providing me with an e-copy of this book via NetGalley.

The blurb:

Eve doesn’t have time for dating, but having watched her best friend and flatmate have her heart broken one too many times, she reluctantly volunteers to play her Cupid.

Max is too much of a hopeless romantic to find the algorithms of online dating anything other than clinical, but he lives with his romantically-challenged best friend who desperately needs his advice.

And after all, what are friends for?

As Eve and Max become more involved in their best friends’ relationship, they quickly realise there is a fine line between instruction and imitation, especially when they find they can’t stop thinking about their best friend’s date…

My take:

The premise of this book is great. It’s a modern-day take on Cyrano de Bergerac, and the use of text exchanges between the lovers is engaging and lively. The settings for the dates were well-described, and there was a pub that I – and probably most book-lovers – would love to visit. Aside from the romantic relationships, I particularly enjoyed the friendships, especially seeing a close friendship between two men (Max and Tom) depicted in first person.

However, I would warn those looking for a rom com, this is really more a story about friendship and dealing with loneliness, self-doubt and grief than a light love story.

I felt a bit let down by the ending. The entire book was a build up to Eve and Max getting together, but we are cheated of that big moment! In fact, the ending felt rushed and anti-climactic. And if the romance was a little unresolved, an important character suddenly appeared very late in the story and was another thing we didn’t get to see wrapped up.

Overall: a good premise and interesting characters let down a little by the anti-climactic ending.

Claire Huston / Art and Soul

13 thoughts on “Review | What Are Friends For? by Lizzie O’Hagan

    • Thank you!
      It was such a shame, because the build up had been great. But I think the author decided to try and wrap up some other big themes at the end and leave the romance more to one side, which is a bit odd given that the whole plot revolves around the romance up to that point!


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