Review: Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

better off friends -elizabeth eulbergWHEN 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?

4.5 Drink Me Potions

I have been waiting for a long time to get my hands on Better Off Friends. For me, that made me nervous that I would expect too much from it. However, it delivered in more ways than one. I gobbled it up in one sitting.

This beautiful story is written in alternating perspectives between our besties, Macallan and Levi. They both have such unique personalities that you can almost picture them talking to you. In between chapters, short conversations between the two occur as they reminisce about their relationship. The whole book is written in a way that implies the two are telling us their story, from the beginning when they first met and became friends, with them commenting on the events of the previous chapter like “What? You actually thought that at that time?“.

I found it a little long at first, expecting most of the story to revolve around them in high school and what not. But it begins when they’re in grade 7, and it goes through the years with them until junior year. I totally understand it was necessary to see how their friendship grows, and the character development of both as they grew older. Guess my over-inflated expectations prevented a five-star rating.

However, I loved most everything else. Their quick-witted banter and fun really reflects what a close friendship should look like. Does it matter that they’re of opposite gender? No. It was very enjoyable, seeing the fun they had, and what they would do when things got complicated.

This brings me to my main point. The question this story revolves around is Can girls and guys be best friends without something more?. I found that Elizabeth Eulberg really considered all the complications that could arise if one or both of them felt something more for the other. What would happen if the other started dating? How would double dates be like? Would jealousy and other crazy stuff come in the way of the friendship? Can it survive all the misunderstandings and what not? Ms. Eulberg, I am a fan for that.

This is an almost 5-star. I would suggest you read this, even more so if you’re like me and wonder about the age-old question above as well.

Overall Recommendation:
A realistic book that resonates deeply with me, I highly recommend it to anyone who ever had a bestie of the opposite gender, or even for those who would like to see what may come out of one when complicated feelings arise. Two loveable protagonists, individually and together, this will be a fun (and occasionally swoon-worthy) read for the summer!

P.S. I kinda wish the ending was longer…

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