The F Word

Here’s to the girl who knows you inside out. The work wife, our long distance confidant, and tea chat companions. To the one who is cripplingly honest, and the new friends we’re yet to meet.

When I look back on my life almost every decision, experience and memory comes with a female companion somewhere behind the scenes – supporting me, pushing me, or telling me outright that I’m in the wrong.

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.

They might be complex and emotional, but they’re the mini love stories that make us who we are; they move us into new homes, out of bad relationships, through births and illnesses, and they shape us into the women we want to become.

The F Word is a celebration of female friendships… all strings attached.

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The F Word: A Personal Exploration of Modern Female Friendship by Lily Pebbles is the love letter to the strength, tenacity, complexity and fun of female friendships I’ve always wanted to read.  One of my besties sent it to me as an International Women’s Day gift.

Yep. I’m lucky like that.

It has bothered me for a long time the relatively low status that friendships have. We’re all about love and sex, as if those relationships are the only ones you need, so much so that, for some people, that becomes their truth. I think we’ve all had at least one friend who vanishes without a trace the moment they get into a romantic relationship. But for me, my female friends are some of the most important in my life – and not just because I’m single. In the past, female friendships have also been the sources of some of my greatest heartbreaks. I still feel a little bit sad thinking back to when I was 9 and my best friend at the time, Lara, told me that she didn’t want to be my best friend anymore, because I didn’t ride horses and Zoe did ride horses so she was going to be best friends with her instead. Brutal.

In The F Word, Lily covers all that and more. Through a collection of her own experiences interwoven with those of the women around her, she breaks down different kinds of friendships and the roles they play in our lives. She sketches familiar figures, from the ‘work wife’ and the ‘big sister friend’ to the BFF (it’s not a person, it’s a tier) and the BFFN or ‘best friend for now’.  Crucially, I think, she made clear that #friendshipgoals isn’t only one thing – it isn’t only the 90s Friends-style daily hangouts in your nearest coffee shop, sometimes it’s only seeing someone a couple of times a year but always being able to pick up right where you left off. Other times it’s organising Skype dates with someone who lives on the other side of the planet, or drifting away for a time only to come back together later on, when your lives are once again in sync. She makes clear that the length and depth of a friendship is much greater than a single Instagram post, which, in a world where something is only legitimate once it’s online, is important.

There is so much goodness in this book. Whether she’s discussing how to be a good friend, maintaining friendships even once you’re romantically attached or the thorny subject of toxic friendships, Lily approaches it all with empathy and a sort of calm wisdom I’m told you find once you’ve reached the end of your twenties. Lily, as anyone who has ever dived into her YouTube videos will know, is a very calming presence, and that sense of her is sprinkled all over the book. I can easily imagine myself returning to it on a rainy Sunday when I’m in need of a comfort read.

Most of all, The F Word leaves you feeling inspired by your community of women, and even more crucially, open to letting more into your life. This book is the perfect antidote to the Mean Girls crap we’ve been fed out whole lives. Female friendships are the best. I’m so happy we’re finally acknowledging it.


Author: Lydia Tewkesbury

27. Loves a good story.

21 thoughts on “The F Word”

    1. I really am 🙂

      It was so good. We have been stuck the whole women being catty towards each other stereotype for so long – books like this are really valuable. There’s another one that just came out called Text Me When You Get Home, which is about the same subject, and I really want to read that one too.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Beautiful photo 🙂 that’s a strong name for the book. I haven’t actually heard of this book before. Aw, that’s a sweet gift to receive 🙂

    Yeah, I agree – friendships for like 90% of our life (cause you can have just one wife/husband/bf/gf, but so many friends)… In the end, it’s usually friends that help you when you’re in tough situations. Sadly, it’s hard to retain friends when you actually get into a relationship, especially one that’s stable… I thought it wouldn’t happen to me :/ but it’s mostly a time issue, as it turns out. It’s really hard to keep friendships when you’re past 28, it seems 😦

    BFFN is an interesting term 😀 I like it for sure. Nice concept.

    Anyway, the book sounds amazing 🙂 nice review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! I always feel a bit insecure about my photo taking so that means a lot 🙂

      Time is the hardest thing when you grow up – I totally get that. One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is that I think Lily really understood that. I for sure have friendships where we don’t see each other very often, but when we do it’s like we can just pick up from where we left off, even if it’s been a year – and that was totally represented in the book too. Being an adult is hard! x


  2. I love the sound of this book! And you’re indeed so lucky to have your friend giving it to you for International Women’s Day ❤
    I understand it's hard to sometimes juggle so many relationships in one's life and it's easy to get consumed by a heart-throbbing romance, but don't expect people to wait for you when you're done and in need of support again. People move on, and if you don't value someone's friendship, they won't value yours either. Unless it's your close family and someone who loves you unconditionally, that is. And even then, they don't deserve to be replaced.
    I do admit that I love Mean Girls. It was one of those movies that made me laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of it all and realise how messed up female friendships could be, along with the misogynist world we live in. But it has a nice message in the end, so whatever faults it might have I think it makes up for it.
    Amazing review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I totally love Mean Girls too. I just like that we have other representations of women’s relationships now.

      You’re so right. I’ve been in that situation lately, with a friend who is very consumed by their relationship and only gets in touch when something goes wrong. On the one hand I don’t want to leave them out in the cold, but on the other, what am I getting out of the friendship? It’s a tricky one, and something that really does show how we don’t value our friendships enough. Romantic love isn’t the only kind of love!


      1. Ah phew! It felt like you didn’t in your post xD
        Yeah I understand… But maybe talk to her about it? See if she even realises what she’s doing? Because sometimes people don’t, and they don’t even know they’re hurting anyone, they’re so blind by luuurve.
        I agree, but unfortunately and especially in the media, romantic love is the most common one to be addressed and showcased. Friendships and family relations always seem to take the backseat, somehow. Which is a shame!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Waaahh, I thought I was the only one. I used to crumble into a billion pieces as a kid when a friend would mess around and say “I ain’t your friend no more”. I have always cherished my friendships more than anything out there and totally relate with you on how some friends vanish when they get into a relationship. Definitely sucks. This book sounds so good though, and definitely touches upon a nice subject that is rarely taken seriously nowadays. Even in fiction. You rarely see stories focused on friendship. Awesome review, yo! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Oh you are not the only one I promise. Even these days when a friend vanishes on me I find it very hard to deal with. It’s a very sucky part of adulthood that some people just vanish once they get into a romantic relationship. Not everyone does though, and the friendships that are still there after the dust settles are the most important in your life.

      It’s so important, right? I think it’s so funny that we spend all our lives on social media, supposedly communicating with our ‘friends’, yet we don’t really have the language to talk about the love that actually comes out of a long term, deep friendship.


  4. This book sounds ridiculously fantastic. I’ve never come across this book before but I think I’m going to casually order this for my BFF has a surprise gift.

    You are exactly right about EVERYTHING surrounding romantic relationships though. There are so many other personal relationships that are crucial to fantastic living and they become seemingly less important after schooling finishes in general society.


    1. Do it! Getting this in the post from my friend was honestly one of the sweetest things that’s happened to me in a long while.

      Thank you! I know right? Friendships are so important, it makes me sad to see them so often devalued.

      Liked by 1 person

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