Title: Better Off Friends
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Published On: February 25th 2014
Source: Netgalley- Received in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 4 Stars
"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?"
ADORABLE! This book was completely and totally adorable. I was grinning through practically the entire book. JUST SO MANY FEELS! Okay, first off, the characters: Macallan and Levi. Macallan is witty, sarcastic, and judgemental, but she’s also loyal, caring, and an awesome cook. Levi is sweet, funny, and dorky, but he’s not always dependable and can be a bit of an idiot. Together, they were perfect.
Better Off Friends starts with Levi moving to Macallan’s town and school and they meet on his first day at school. At first, Macallan doesn’t take much notice of Levi, that is, until they find that they have one passion in common: their favorite TV show. Macallan is having a hard time because her mom just passed away, and Levi has trouble fitting in, and they find friendship together and with their close-knit group of friends.
Soon, they’re best friends and struggling with their growing feelings for each other, and can I just say how much I wanted them to end up together?! Of course, you’ll have to read the book to find out if they do (or find a review with spoilers, whatever) end up together.
I loved how the romance was so slow and how it was built up slowly and beautifully. My main problem with romance in YA fiction is how so many books have characters that meet and instantly fall passionately in love with each other because that is so unrealistic, but Better Off Friends wasn’t like that. This book showed Macallan’s and Levi’s relationship growing from strangers to friends to best friends to possibly something more. It was slow and sweet and innocent and very swoon-worthy!
Even better? The book wasn’t solely about the romance. It was about family, loss, friendship (not only between Macallan and Levi) and growing up while surviving high school. The family element of the book was strong, since Macallan bonded with Levi’s mom and both their families became incredibly close because of their friendship, and I loved that.
Of course, I did have a few small issues with this book and that’s why I gave it four stars rather than five. First, the drama and the number of times they could have done something or said something to move forward yet did nothing was very annoying. It worked, but it was annoying. I’m not really going to expand on that, though. Also, the mini love-triangles with Macallan or Levi’s girlfriend/boyfriends. Again, it worked, but it drove me insane. Also, the fact that they’re in love with each other and using other people as distractions? Rude and cruel and noooo. I didn’t like that part, but whatever.
Also, and this wasn’t a huge problem at all, and I’m not sure if it was the formatting of the ARC or what, but the POV’s switching was sometimes confusing. Like, both POV’s are in the first person, which is fine, but sometimes it switches with no indication of the switch of who’s POV it is. I think it was just a formatting issue, and I was able to figure out what was what after a little while, but it was confusing and annoying anyway.
As of the POV’s themselves, I enjoyed both viewpoints and I think they’re both well written and realistic, and I could sense the difference in voices, despite my issues above.
Let me just saying it one more time, this book was so adorable. I’d recommend it for all ages because I think everyone can relate to at least one element of this book.