Book Review: Better Off Friends
Published By: Point
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Page Count: 288
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary
Better Off Friends is a fun YA romance between Levi and Macallan.
Levi is a recent transplant from CA to WI. On his first day of school, Macallan is called down to the office to show him around. She is not pleased to be charged with this task, but quickly they realize that they are meant to be best friends. The book follows their relationship from 7th grade into high school. They go through several romantic relationships with others characters, but continue to miss the mark on their feelings for each other.
When Levi finally gets brave enough to tell Macallan how he really feels, she runs away to spend the summer in Ireland. By the time she gets back. Levi has moved on with another girl. And so it goes until other friends of theirs kind of force them to acknowledge their feelings for each other. There were many times I wanted to yell at Levi and Macallan, but I had to remind myself these were high school students we were dealing with and they aren’t always very bright when it comes to romantic relationships. So I think Elizabeth Eulberg hit those characteristics perfectly.
This book appealed to me for several reasons. First off, I grew up in IL and I now live in CA. I realize the book takes place in WI, but I was close enough to the WI border that I was familiar with all the terms and rivalries in the book, as well as all the “issues” Levi has transferring from WI to CA. It made the book even more fun for me. Also, I am half Irish, so seeing Macallan spend the summer in Ireland was a wonderful treat. I have never been there myself, but hope to go there one day. And I loved her name.
The book is very light hearted but I would like to have seen a bit more character development with Levi and Macallan. We didn’t learn much about the death of Macallan’s mother, or about her disabled uncle. And I felt like we never got to know Macallan’s father very well either.
Better Off Friends is sugary sweet and total fluff. I would categorize it as teenage chick-lit. A happy ending all wrapped up in a bow. If you’re looking for something light and fun, this is the book for you!
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?