Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review: Better Off Friends

Better Off Friends
By Elizabeth Eulberg
Published: February 25, 2014

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?

My review:

Macallan first meets Levi a year after her mother died. Things are still raw and she is tired of being treated differently by those around her so Levi is like a breath of fresh air. They both share a love of the same BBC show, Buggy and Floyd which initially bonds them. Macallan also becomes close to Levi's mother and their families mesh well together, sharing weekly meals. As the two grow older, their friendship continues to deepen but they hit speed bumps like Levi's desire to be popular and Macallan's tendency to run away when facing difficulties.

Better Off Friends is a novel of friendship, love, and loyalty. The story is told through the perspectives of both Macallan and Levi which allows the reader to get to know both characters better. Macallan seems almost too good to be true but she does have some flaws. It is hard for her to acknowledge her feelings, something that could have been explored more in the novel. She is loyal to her family and friends and she isn't afraid to speak her mind except when it comes to her feelings for Levi. Levi is portrayed as a decent guy though he sometimes chooses popularity over doing what is right.

The novel has been touted as "When Harry Met Sally for teens" and the comparison is apt. Though it would be nice to see a book where the characters remain just friends without undercurrents of romance, it is a good exploration of friendship and growing up and falling in love. The romance is sweet. There isn't an instant attraction but instead it is a love that is based on friendship which makes it more satisfying when the characters get their happy ending.

Better Off Friends would be a good pick for readers of contemporary teen romance and it would be appropriate for younger teens as well. Fans of Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen and teen contemporary romantic comedy should definitely consider picking this up.

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of Netgalley and the publisher


  1. Great review, Christina! When Harry Met Sally is one of my FAVORITE movies ever, so this book was an instant favorite for me since it's so similar. I loved how they were friends first and were friends for many years, etc. It's such a cute story and I'm glad you enjoyed it too. I am also glad to hear your mom is doing better. It's great to have you back to blogging! Keep us updated on your mom's recovery. :)

  2. I love books that explore friendship & love, so this one sounds great to me!

    Nice review :)


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