Better Off Friends

FeaturedHot
 
4.2 (3)
 
3.7 (1)
6288 1
Better Off Friends
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
February 25, 2014
ISBN
978-0545551458
Buy This Book
      

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY . . . for teens, from romantic comedy star Elizabeth Eulberg. For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can't be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan's friends. They are platonic and happy that way. Eventually they realize they're best friends -- which wouldn't be so bad if they didn't keep getting in each other's way. Guys won't ask Macallan out because they think she's with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can't help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated? From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again -- and one kiss away from true love?

Editor reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.2
Plot 
 
4.0  (3)
Characters 
 
4.3  (3)
Writing Style 
 
4.3  (3)
A Cute YA w/ MG Appeal
(Updated: February 21, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
A sweet and upbeat contemporary with light romantic comedy elements—one that bridges the maturity span between Middle Grade and Young Adult.

Levi starts out as a forlorn California transplant, struggling with Wisconsin’s climate and trying to fit in with the sports-obsessed guys at his new school. And Macallan is a responsible and pragmatic Midwesterner; having grown up too fast after her mother was killed in a car accident. Their unlikely connection begins when they discover they share a mutual love for an obscure British comedy, and steadily grows into a comfortable connectivity neither of them wants to live without.

The story is told from a dual POV, alternating between Macallan and Levi. (And here I have to commend the creativity; as the POV for each is marked not by the character’s name, but by a black and white image taken from a portion of the cover and placed at the start of each chapter.) Each chapter concludes with what appears to be a current dialogue between the two MCs, as they both reflect on the events of said chapter. (While this does soften an already low tension telling, it is also a unique way to augment the storytelling.) Eulberg’s prose is pleasantly readable, with vocabulary that struck out believably ahead of her character’s maturity levels. And the organic inserting of Irish/British terms added a fresh burst of flavor and culture I rarely find in this genre.

As readers will already guess from the title and blurb, the book does nothing to counter the prevailing perception that guys and girls can't be just friends. Still, the point seems to be more geared at the status of BEST friends; as it implies a level of mental intimacy that combines poorly with hormones. The ending is as predictable as you’d expect, but also as satisfying.

This reader appreciated the friendship vs. relationship conundrum for the most part. From early on its shown that Macallan connects with Levi and his parents on an adoptive familial level—particularly attaching to his mother as a sort of surrogate when the woman ends up being present and invested in events her own mother wasn’t alive to help her through. Their parents even become good friends. So it isn’t surprising that Macallan would be the most reserved over the idea of ANY changes to their unique dynamic—never mind the threat of causing undue tension and awkwardness between their families. She has the most to lose. On the downside, some readers may find Macallan frustratingly slow to know herself and make a decision.

Levi is sometimes a bit unconvincing as a male character—as his emotional state often more volatile than the heroine. (Granted the book spans ages 13-16, and that’s a shaky timeframe for most guys of the more sensitive persuasion.) Melodrama abounds as the two use casual dating (at the detriment of everyone around them) to distract from their conflicted feelings. In this respect, the pacing bogs down about the middle. But those desiring more of a mild soap opera feel may enjoy going around the same plot mountain a few times.

A solid recommendation for fans of the best-friends-turned-lovers trope and/or anyone looking to get off the insta-love bandwagon.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Sweet and Fun
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I'm a huge fan of Elizabeth Eulberg. Every time I sit down to read one of her books, I know I won't be disappointed.

What I loved: So many things. I really enjoyed the flip flop between Macallan and Levi. Their voices were distinct but it felt so natural to read both of their perspectives. They meet in seventh grade and the book follows their relationship over the next five years. The evolution of their friendship was fun to read. They had a natural, witty banter between them and it was fun to get lost in their conversations.

I LOVED how Eulberg was able to convey how complex their feelings for each other are. Everyone knows that relationships are not two-dimensional and there are many sides and feelings involved in each one we have. Because of the alternating POV's I felt like I was really inside of their heads and really understood how deep their feelings were. It made the story believable and and engaging.

What left me wanting more: Nothing. I love, love, loved it!

Final Verdict: If you are looking for a fun, sweet romance look no further.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Witty, Lighthearted, Feel-Good Romance!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
This was my first Elizabeth Eulberg book and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on more of her words!

What I Liked: I love how significant this cover is! (I'm a cover dork, I can't help it.) This is a super cute story that takes an honest look at the ins and outs of friendship with the opposite sex. Macallan (loved the unique name) and Levi are best friends who meet in seventh grade and their relationship plays out over the course of five years. It's told through their alternating POVs and peppered with a running commentary that takes place in the present. Both are witty, funny and thoroughly entertaining characters!

Levi is laid back and craves attention while Macallan is confident and pulls no punches. Except for that one time... They balance each other out and it's obvious to everyone that they care very deeply for one another, but neither Macallan nor Levi seems ready or willing to take the leap from "friends" to something "more" because it could mess everything up.

And that would totally suck.

Like any relationship, these two experience plenty of ups and downs, a few of which made my heart hurt. It takes awhile for them to figure it all out and get on the same page. But they do eventually, and it's a lot of fun to watch.

What Left Me Wanting More: I wasn't expecting this to start out in Middle School and it threw me off a little especially since they didn't sound like typical Middle Schoolers. (I know. I spend hours with them every week.)

Final Verdict: Witty, lighthearted, feel-good romance!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0  (1)
Characters 
 
3.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Adorable and sweet
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Yes... This was a totally predictable yet another teen romance... But I loved it.
It starts off when Macallan is in seventh grade and showing a new Levi from California around her new school. They become friends over a common interest in a tv show called Floyd and buggy and basically become inseparable from that point on. Okay... I admit some parts were completely sappy and way too fluffy... But then again, it's a teen romance so what else do you expect? Some parts were funny and I enjoyed those. The book spans from seventh grade all the way until senior year and I actually liked that. You could really see them grow up (kinda) and figure out themselves. Levi was an ass sometimes but I forgive him. Macallan stands up for herself which is yet another thing I admire about Elisabeth Eulberg. She's can write a girl who takes nothing from nobody and who, in the end, gets what she deserves
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Imposters
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Frey and Rafi are inseparable . . . but very...
Better Than the Movies
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Liz Buxbaum has always known that Wes Bennett was not...
African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet the ten remarkable kings, queens, inventors, scholars, and visionaries...
Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cuddle up with your little one and get ready to...
The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
THE MYSTERY OF THE MEANEST TEACHER: A JOHNNY CONSTANTINE GRAPHIC...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A shocking thriller about a group of friends who go...
Bird Boy
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Take flight in this heartwarming story about a boy who...
Love You By Heart
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Acclaimed creator of The Word Collector, Happy Dreamer, Say Something,...
Fa-La-La Llama (Touch-and-Feel Board Book)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Get ready to deck the halls with these joyful, singing,...
The Oddmire, Book 3: Deepest, Darkest
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The third adventure in the beloved fantasy series full of...
The Oddmire, Book 2: The Unready Queen
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Human-raised brothers Tinn and Cole join forces with Fable, daughter...
The Oddmire, Book 1: Changeling
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Magic is fading from the Wild Wood. To renew it,...
Our Way Back to Always
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
To All the Boys I've Loved Before meets Morgan Matson...
The Last Gate of the Emperor
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel David Makonnen comes an...
Traitors Among Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
World War II may be over. But two sisters are...
The Devil Makes Three
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
When Tess and Eliot stumble upon an ancient book hidden...

Latest Member Reviews

Imposters
 
4.0
"IMPOSTERS by Scott Westerfeld is a YA dystopian novel, set in the future after many different and unique time periods..."
Breeder
 
4.0
"BREEDER by Honni van Rijswijk is a YA Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic novel in which natural disasters and war have killed off..."
Better Than the Movies
 
4.7
"BETTER THAN THE MOVIES by Lynn Painter is just about the cutest YA Rom-Com to ever exist. The story follows..."
Made in Korea
 
3.7
"MADE IN KOREA by Sarah Suk is a YA Contemporary that follows Valerie, a young entrepreneur, who’s obsessed with the..."
Mary, Will I Die?
 
3.0
"It started off as a prank among friends five years ago. All they had to do was say Bloody Mary..."
Small Favors
 
4.0
"Amity Falls is a small, quiet, religious town surrounded by forests. Ellerie Downing lives there with her sisters, brother, and..."
 
3.0
"WHAT I LOVED: Thanks to my brother being big into Dungeons & Dragons, I have some familiarity with tabletop gaming..."
Our Way Back to Always
 
5.0
"OUR WAY BACK TO ALWAYS is a beautiful YA contemporary romance about two best friends, Sam and Lou. After a..."
Poison Ivy: Thorns
 
4.3
"POISON IVY: THORNS is an intriguing graphic novel that takes us back to the origin story for Poison Ivy. Pamela,..."
The Devil Makes Three
 
4.3
"THE DEVIL MAKES THREE is a dark YA horror that creeps up on you. The book follows two teens, Eliot..."
Poison Ivy: Thorns
 
4.3
"Let me start with the artwork. This was so beautifully done and I loved every single panel. It really pulled..."
Lies My Memory Told Me
 
4.7
"What I Loved: In Lies my Memory Told Me, Nova is the daughter of the people who created Enhanced Memory...."
The Dead and the Dark
 
5.0
"THE DEAD AND THE DARK is a deliciously creepy paranormal thriller/horror. Logan lives with her two fathers, who co-host a..."
The Great Destroyers
 
3.3
"THE GREAT DESTROYERS is an intriguing alternate history that brings robot fighting into the Cold War. Jo is a teenager..."
Fresh
 
4.3
"FRESH is an entertaining and thought-provoking coming-of-age story. Elliott is a middle child, heading to college far from home at..."
Illusionary (Hollow Crown, #2)
 
5.0
"ILLUSIONARY is a beautifully written sequel in a strong YA fantasy duology. The book begins after the first ended, with..."
Bluebird
 
5.0
"It's 1946 and Eva and her friend Brigit leave behind destroyed Berlin for New York City. Eva carries a deadly..."
Incendiary (Hollow Crown #1)
 
4.3
"INCENDIARY is an intriguing YA fantasy with rebellion, magic, and intrigue. Renata was stolen from her parents as a child..."
Love and Other Sins
 
5.0
"Read it in one sitting and can’t wait to read the next one!!"
 
4.3
"This was definitely an interesting book. I really enjoyed all of the witchy aspects of the book! It starts off..."