Writer Emily Gould is a lightning rod for online vitriol, and her autobiographical first novel isn’t going to win over her haters, who view her as the poster child for a self-obsessed, social-media-addicted generation. Friendship dives headfirst into that millennial milieu via Bev and Amy, besties who’ve reached 30 but are no better off than they were at 22: Bev is forced to reboot her life after her publishing career derails; Amy slums it at a third-rate blog after crashing and burning as a writer for a prominent website (Gould had a similar trajectory at Gawker). When they hit rock bottom, their codependent relationship begins to fray.
Bev and Amy are totally frustrating — they’re like Hannah and Marnie from Girls with a few more years of resentment between them. As Gould exposes their messiness — their fights, mortifying Gchat convos, acts of self-sabotage — she almost dares you to judge them. But the specificity of their struggles (peanut butter soup for dinner, anyone?) and Gould’s hyperaware voice lend the story of their friendship poignance and shades of relatability. A-