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February 25, 2014

Review: Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg - Best friends or more?

Better Off Friends

Title: Better Off Friends
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Scholastic Canada
Publication date: February 25, 2014
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 288
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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?
Better Off Friends was in my Top 15 Most Anticipated Contemporaries of 2014. I fell in love with the synopsis and the possibility of a guy and girl being best friends or is the inevitable always going to happen? i.e. them developing feelings for each other. I made sure that this is labeled as YA since I know Elizabeth Eulberg's previous books were mostly middle grade. However, Better Off Friends honestly read as a middle grade book and while I had no major problem with that, I was in the mood for something a bit more mature. Still, Better Off Friends brought a smile to my face because it was cute, fun, and the main protagonists were very adorable.
At the end of each chapter, you read a page of a texting/chat (maybe?) conversation between the two main leads, Macallan and Levi. You don't know how they end up but it reads as if they're remembering the occurrences of each chapter and I thought that was a really fun snippet of their future selves to read about. The story spans a very lengthy timeline, from their elementary school years all the way up to their high school years. There is the good and bad in this, the bad being that too long a timeline in such a short book doesn't leave much for delving too much in each situation or revelation. The good is that we get to witness their relationship since they were young little kids to their awkward teenage years. 
Better Off Friends was cute, adorable at times, and was a very fun read. I definitely recommend it more to younger teens over older ones and it was a good break from the usual dark books I've been reading lately. I also think this would also work for fans of contemporary middle grade books! 

7 comments:

  1. This does sounds like a fun read. Hopefully I can get a copy from my library soon. :) Great review, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  2. Ha, this book would be something for me, since I've gotten some reactions/comments on my friendship with a boy. Everyone always seems to think there is more, but we just have a good click as friends - nothing more. Unless they end up with a relationship in this book, something I'm actually expecting, haha, so that would prove everyone 'right' I'm not in the mood for this book at the moment, but I'll keep it in mind!

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  3. This does sound like a sweet read and I do find Eulberg's books read a little young, but they're always quite fun as well.

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  4. Oh that's a shame that this book came across as more of a middle grade read, I've had such high hopes for this book too and honestly can't wait for my copy to arrive, it sounds like such a cute read. I'm sorry that you weren't able to enjoy this story more Juhina, but lovely review!

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  5. This sounds really sweet and cute, although I could see why the lengthy timeline could be an issue. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Darn I was hoping for an older YA story with this one. It is interesting when a guy and girl are best friends because a lot of the time feelings do develop, not always though.

    Thanks for the great review!

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