I recently picked up The F Word by Lily Pebbles, and I think you should too.
As this is my first book blog post, I should clarify something now: I’m an extremely picky reader. When I discover a new book – in a shop, a library, or online – there are two potential outcomes:
1. I pick it up (this is usually because either a) there’s hype around it or b) it has an aesthetically pleasing spine or cover (probably with metallic accents)), glance at the first two pages, and put it back on the shelf
2. I pick it up (most likely for the aforementioned reasons), skim through the first page and before I know it 20 minutes have passed, I’m 40 pages in, and my bank account is (hopefully) emotionally ready to lose £15.
The F Word resulted in the latter (as you can guess – I couldn’t review a book I put down after two pages), and within a matter of days I’d read it cover to cover. The book’s tagline is ‘A personal exploration of modern female friendship’ and, whilst it is written from personal experience, the book doesn’t apply to Lily alone. I can guarantee that every woman in our society has experiences, friends, and memories parallel to those mentioned in The F Word. This is one of the book’s many strengths.
Whilst there have always been books written about female friendships, these are rarely targeted at audiences above 12 years old. Tales of friend groups and inseparable female ‘BFFs’ (who are usually also around 12 years old) who tell each other everything, trust each other no matter what, and grow as their friendship grows with them are fun to read when you’re little. But as we grow up, it can sometimes feel that if our friendships don’t reflect the unbreakable friendships we’ve been reading about from such a young age, we’re doing something wrong. The F Word is comforting in that it reminds you that no friendship is perfect, but if you care about each other enough, you can make it work no matter what obstacles (distance, pace, etc.) might get in the way.
The F Word explores the complexities of female friendship today as we know it, and the wonderful thing about it is that it’s target audience isn’t narrowed down to an age group. If I could, I would give this book to every girl and woman I meet – if you’re younger, it has the ability to act as more of a guide (or an ‘older sister friend’, as Lily would say), and if you’re older, it can be somewhat comforting to read about similar experiences and friendships to your own.
No matter your age, The F Word will bring to mind a memory you’d forgotten about, remind you of someone you’re no longer friends with (cue: sigh of relief), and it might even give you a fresh and new perspective on the friendships you have now – for me, it’s reminded me that no matter how much effort a friendship can require, you have to put that time in if you want it to continue (and, more often than not, it’s worth it).
What I’ve seen some people refer to as this book’s weaker points are actually what I find to be so lovely about it. To put it simply, it’s chill. And – quite frankly – that’s an achievement in itself, considering the topic being discussed. Lily doesn’t claim to be the world’s greatest author – she simply shares anecdotes and advice (having learned from past experiences) on female friendship today. It’s written conversationally, which only furthers its charm and really makes you, as the reader, feel that you’re connecting engaging with the book and its author, rather than simply reading it. More often than not I caught myself nodding, rolling my eyes (in an ‘omg yes’ way) and raising my eyebrows (in a ‘girl I get you’ way), which is unheard of for a picky reader.
I hope you enjoy The F Word as much as I did – please comment down below with your thoughts on the book!
‘If I could offer one piece of invaluable advice for women and girls of all ages, it’s that there is nothing more important than creating and maintaining strong, positive and happy friendships with other women.’