Books · Reviews

Book Review: Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend by Penny Reid

Winnifred Gobaldi and Byron Visser are not best friends.

Yes, they’ve known each other for years, but they’re not even friendly. Winnie considers them more like casual, distant acquaintances who find each other barely tolerable, especially when he’s being condescending (which is all the time).

The truth is, they have nothing in common. She’s a public school science teacher with stars in her eyes, and he’s a pretentious, joyless double PhD turned world-famous bestselling fiction author. She loves sharing her passion for promulgating women in STEM careers and building community via social media, and he eschews all socialization, virtual or otherwise. She’s looking for a side hustle to help pay down a mountain of student debt, and his financial portfolio is the stuff of fiduciary wet dreams. So why are they faking a #bestfriend relationship for millions of online spectators?

When a simple case of tit-for-tat trends between nonfriends leads to a wholly unexpected kind of pretend, nothing is simple. Sometimes, it takes a public audience to reveal the truth of private feelings, and rarely—very rarely—you should believe what you see online.

Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend is a full-length, complete standalone, adult contemporary romantic comedy.

Another stellar STEM installation from Penny Reid, Ten Trends is a time commitment that may or may not pay off for some readers. Most notably, it is a long novel. Coming in at 436 pages, readers should note the length of this slow-burn romance before diving in, especially since it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

Overall, the novel is a delightful blend of STEM and social media-inspired romance, filled with Reid’s own signature heavy emotions mixed with light-hearted scenarios. Every character feels dynamic, with their own unique voice and personality. And though Reid has a talent for bringing her character to life, it is the dialogue that she truly excels at. 

That being said, there are numerous things working against this novel. Firstly, while Reid is talented at telling the intended story, Ten Trends is genuinely too long. There is much that could be cut without changing the overall story. Sometimes, the reader is swept away and the pages fly by. Othertimes, it’s a slog to get through even one scene. Secondly, the STEM aspect can come across heavyhanded, as if the reader needs to be reminded with all the silly social media shenanigans happening. This is particularly frustrating when it comes to the leads who feel too young both for their circumstances and story as a whole. 

Lastly, the book is a big tease. The leads have too many numerous – and explicit- sexually charged scenes for them to not get their sexually ever after. 

In the end, these issues didn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the novel. Ten Trends just may require more patience than others.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend by Penny Reid

    1. I honestly really enjoyed it too. I didn’t realize how long it was before reading it though, and was shocked when I reached a certain part and noticed I wasn’t even a quarter of the way through. I also love Penny Reid, but sometimes, I find myself having to take a step back from her characters.

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