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“The F Word”: a review of Lily Pebbles’ book celebrating friendship

Picture of Lily Pebbles’ book “The F Word: A Personal Exploration of Modern Female Friendships”

Lily Pebbles’ is a lifestyle and beauty Youtuber from the U.K. Her first book, The F Word, is a celebration and personal exploration of contemporary friendships. I have always been interested in friendships, in particular female friendships, because when I moved to Switzerland in 2013 I saw massive shifts in who I thought were friends and who actually stuck around for the long haul. In her book, Pebbles does a taxonomy of sorts of the different types of friends and friendships both good and bad. She uses personal experiences and examples to explore the theme of friendship and offers advice for finding, maintaining, and letting go of friendships.

Pebbles’ book has been received with polarised reviews, I think mainly because many people had hoped this would be a cultural/historical study into friendships and was more of a personal memoir-like discussion. The writing is fairly simplistic, but I feel that she offers a lot of thought provoking descriptions about different types of friends and friendships that have lead me to think about the people in my life I call friend. She offers examples of toxic relationships and friendship breakdowns and how to recover from them. She offers up advice on how to appologise when you make a mistake (something I think everyone could get better at doing) as well as different ways to celebrate the different types of friendships you have in your life.

In general, I feel that we need to have more honest and open discussions about friendship. I also feel like Pebbles’ novel has given me motivation to find other cultural texts about friendship. Women are often taught to focus on romantic relationships, but friendships are just as important, if not more, and can be as equally rewarding and challenging as their romantic counterpart. The problem is that we often don’t have the language or tools to help us navigate friendships. I, for example, have often wondered how to end friendships gracefully. Unlike romantic breakups where I feel like you can send that message, “We need to talk…”, friendship breakups are often harder and more stressful because we don’t have experience of cultural knowledge. We often think that friendships are just supposed to last, when in reality they are just like any other relationship that can fizzle out for a multitude of reasons.

Whether you pick up Lily Pebbles’ book on friendship or not, I hope that this review has made you think about the friendships you have in your life and if you are happy with them.

What great books have you read about friendship and what are ways that you celebrate the friends you have in your life? As always, share the reading love.

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