Not Here To Stay Friends is a YA Bachelor with a twist

Not Here to Stay Friends. Image courtesy Random House Children's Books
Not Here to Stay Friends. Image courtesy Random House Children's Books /

Sometimes, an author just gets how to write characters and dialogue. To me, one of those authors is Kaitlyn Hill, and her latest release, Not Here to Stay Friends is a testament to that.

If you’re not familiar with Kaitlyn Hill, where have you been? Her debut book, Love From Scratch was released in 2022 and honestly, it was so much fun. If you’re a fan of baking shows and a bit of unlikely fame, then you’ll enjoy that one.

However, we’re here to talk about her latest YA offering which is Not Here To Stay Friends and it shares a similar sentiment as her previous book. This time though, the tables are turned but let’s not get ahead of ourselves as this is a review after all.

If you’re a fan of Kaitlyn Hill or enjoy the friends-to-lovers trope, then Not Here To Stay Friends might end up being the perfect book for your next TBR.

Not Here To Stay Friends is a YA Bachelor story with a sweet romantic twist.

I’ll be upfront and say I’ve never watched The Bachelor, but I have an idea of how the premise works. Even so, that didn’t hamper my enjoyment of Not Here To Stay Friends by Kaitlyn Hill and I even enjoyed it more than her debut but let’s get into what it’s about.

Sloane and Liam have been best friends since they were kids and now they’re spending the summer together after being apart for five years. Sloane stayed in Tennessee while Liam moved to Los Angeles after his parents divorced. While their friendship stayed strong, being around each other again has started to stir up some feelings but that’s not all.

Upon getting to LA, Sloane is cast in a reality dating show called Aspen Woods’s Future Leading Lady featuring the actor of Sloane’s favorite show, The Cove while Liam is a production assistant on the show. If you’re into romances with a little bit of drama and mess, then you’re in for a treat with this one.

Not Here to Stay Friends had a bit of everything for my fellow romance lovers. There was Sloane and Liam not realizing their feelings for each other and the little twinges of jealousy on the page. There was some practice kissing along with them not being able to deal with not talking to each other. It all culminated in such a lovely romance between Sloane and Liam which I’m sure you could have guessed.

While I adored the romance, I also enjoyed how Kaitlyn Hill explored topics about reality shows including the staging of things, how everything is played up for the camera, and how it can shape a narrative around one person. While there was one character who could have been villainized, she never took that route and instead, made sure that character understood why they were wrong.

Not Here To Stay Friends unsurprisingly had great friendships. Aside from Sloane and Liam, we also saw the girls within the show become friends. All in all, this was a great YA story but it wasn’t perfect as the last 25% felt just a bit over-the-top. However, that’s how The Bachelor can be so maybe it’s just my problem.

Either way, I adore Kaitlyn Hill’s writing and as someone who isn’t much of a YA reader, I know I’ll be picking up her next book. If you enjoy The Bachelor and are craving some friends-to-lovers goodness, then Not Here to Stay Friends is a must-read.

Next. Interview: Kaitlyn Hill talks Not Here To Stay Friends and more. dark

Not Here To Stay Friends by Kaitlyn Hill is out now wherever books are sold. 

Will you be picking up Not Here To Stay Friends? Share with us in the comments!