Title: Faking Friends
Author: Jane Fallon
Published: January 2nd 2018
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Women’s Fiction
Rating: 3 stars
Keep your friends close . . . and your best friend even closer.
Amy thought she knew everything there was to know about her best friend Melissa. Then again, Amy also thought she was on the verge of the wedding of her dreams to her long-distance fiancé.
Until she pays a surprise trip home to London. Jack is out, but it’s clear another woman has been making herself at home in their flat.
There’s something about her stuff that feels oddly familiar . . . and then it hits Amy. The Other Woman is Melissa.
Amy has lost her home, her fiancé and her best friend in one disastrous weekend – but instead of falling apart, she’s determined to get her own back.
Piecing her life back together won’t be half as fun as dismantling theirs, after all.
Mrs R’s review:
I first came across Jane Fallon in 2007 with the release of her first book, Getting Rid Of Matthew. For a debut novel, it was an easy way to pass the time but I wasn’t in a hurry to read her following books. Fast forward 11 years and I decided to give her latest novel, Faking Friends, a try, mainly because the front covers of her novels are so bold!
Faking Friends is told in the first person for the first half of the novel through the eyes of Amy. Reading from Amy’s point of view from start allowed me to become a part of 39-year-old Amy’s life as a struggling actress with fiancé, Jack. It made for a nice change to be reading about a woman in my own age bracket instead of the many 20 something books that are out there. I was also interested in getting some insight into how the acting world works. Jane’s portrayal is honest and raw as she shows through flashbacks how Amy has been constantly fighting her whole life to get an acting job, supplementing it with a second job. I admired Amy’s passion and perseverance because she didn’t care what role she got as long as he could be doing what she loved.
The second half of the story alternates between Amy and her best friend, Mel. Mel is the toxic friend that we all have in our lives but definitely don’t need. Narcissistic, selfish, a liar….I really despised Mel, especially when it becomes evident she had muscled in on Amy’s finance while they were living in separate countries so Amy could pursue her career. I could not believe that Mel would so brazenly move her belongings into Amy’s apartment without a second thought for her so called best friend. With Amy living in New York and Jack staying in their U.K apartment, it would be difficult enough without your best friend showing her true colours. Even though her story is also told in the first person, I had no sympathy for Mel.
I may have had no sympathy for Mel and bucket loads for Amy as I sped through the chapters but by the end of the book I had no patience left for anyone. Even though Jane explained the girl’s friendship through flash backs to create the foundation for where they were today, I could not get over how nasty they were to each other. Yes, Mel may have started it by stealing Amy’s boyfriend but Amy was just as bad as she too began to play games to punish her best friend. They acted like teenagers instead of working it out as the grownups they are.
Then there was the fiancé, Jack. For someone whose just found out her fiancé has been cheating, Amy sheds little tears and chooses the path of revenge on Mel. I think it was disappointing just how little she cared for Jack as he was the man she was going to marry. I have never understood why the woman blames her friend and lets the partner get off free. While Amy did enact revenge on Jack, it was nothing compared to Mel. She also felt sorry for Jack, yet she ignored her consciousness about Mel.
These relationships were a mess from start to finish. To Jane’s credit the ending is perfect as it’s realistic and truthful to the situations all three found themselves in. These three so called friends were a mess from the beginning. They get the perfect ending from Jane because it’s real and truthful. There’s a hint of hope for the future but I don’t think anyone deserved it despite looking for redemption.
Would I read another Jane Fallon? All her books seemed to themed around revenge (Got You Back, Skeletons, My Sweet Revenge) so I would need awhile between books otherwise I would become disenchanted about the human race. On the other hand, this would be a good read for the recently dumped!
Faking Friends by Jane Fallon is published on January 2nd 2018 by Penguin Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Faking Friends, Jane Fallon visit here.