Better off Friends

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

a standalone novel
published on February 25th 2014 by Point
contemporary | romance

find the author on
Goodreads | website

find the book on
Goodreads | The Book Depository

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?

REVIEW

*Warning: The general plot of Better Off Friends will be explained in this review. Beware!

After seeing so many people rooting for the two main characters, I was more than eager to check this out for myself. To be honest, when I first saw it on NetGalley, I wasn’t hugely interested. But when the reviews stating this book was “adorable and lovable,” I definitely had to pick it up myself.

You may or may not know that I have a weakness for romances between two best friends. It’s like, no matter how bad they really are, I end up enjoying them and wanting the two characters together. Most of the time. Even if it wasn’t amazing, I still thought the romance was absolutely adorable. You know those books where you want to scream “JUST KISS ALREADY!” right? This was one of those books.

I love how we were introduced to how Macallan and Levi’s friendship began, as well as how it got deeper until they reached the best friend status. Most books focus on the present, but in Better Off Friends, we’re taken to the past, and then move on to the present. It was a great way to present development and change.

Now, I did have a lot of peeves about this book as well. Let’s start off with the pretty shallow, predictable and very generic plot. There are thousands of YA novels published with this formula:

1. Girl and guy are really close, inseparable friends.

2. Girl and guy get their own boyfriends/girlfriends. (Or maybe just one of them do.)

3. Insert unnecessary drama (A LOT of it) and a time where the two don’t talk and/or are in a we’re-not-friends phase here.

4. Girl and guy (one before the other, most of the time) realize their feelings for each other but don’t want to “ruin their friendship.”

5. Girl and guy end up confessing to each other and BAM! There’s a happy ending.

And yes. I just summarized the book! So sorry for people who got spoiled. But hey, it was OBVIOUS, right?

Levi and Macallan were both very selfish, immature characters. They snobbed their dates to talk to each other and they flirted with each other even when they had girlfriends and boyfriends. Really, guys? Go do that when you’re single, please.

Despite the plot being a formula plot and kind of immature characters, Elizabeth Eulberg made me enjoy the story because of her very fresh good-for-teens writing. It was simple, easy to imagine and made the feels come off the page. Trust me–I cried a lot. In front of my brother. And with all these feels, it was so easy to root for Macallan and Levi together. That ending was not enough.

The book was pretty fun overall, so don’t look too much into this when you read it. If you do, you’ll probably end up realizing that there were so many annoying things about this. So I suggest checking this up if you’re up for a mindless, adorable read. I totally sound like I’m contradicting myself, right?

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Skulls 3

3 skulls

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Let’s discuss! Do you have a guy (or girl, if you’re a guy) best friend? Have you ever had feelings for him/her? Do you want to pick this book up, or have you?
SIG - Aimee
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39 thoughts on “Review: Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

  1. I’ve wanted to read this book for ages, but now I’m not sure. I was excited that it would focus on the “friends” aspect rather than them getting together :/ because I think best friends are important. But I’d still like to read this just to see for myself. Lovely review! :)

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  2. I may try this one out when I get the chance of getting a copy. I do love these kinds of books every now and then! =)

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  3. Your warning scared me that’s why I skipped your review lol I just read the last two paragraphs. I saw “irritating characters” and now I am wondering if this is worth a try. I don’t want to ask if they’ll be together in the end(I want books with just friends period. Just to prove a point that boys and girls can be friends too. :p) because I’m still thinking of trying this one. :)

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    1. Haha! xD Well it wasn’t what was I was expecting, to be honest. If you promise to read this one mindlessly and not think about the things in it, I think it’ll be enjoyable for you. :)

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  4. I just love the sound of this, but as much as we don’t want it to be true, people do endlessly flirt with people they are comfortable with, even when they get into a relationship. A shame you didn’t enjoy it too much Amy!

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  5. I remember my cousin loving this but your review gave me another perspective! I’m not a big fan of people flirting/CHEATING with another, even if it is with the main lead. I love fluffy reads but I think I’ll skip this one. Great review Aimee! :)

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  6. Agree with your gripes! It really was predictable (though I did enjoy it nonetheless). I think it would’ve been cool for the story to end with them actually being ‘better off as friends’. Would’ve been a refreshing change!

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  7. No no no *hides, covers eyes*

    I am planning to read this. Sorry, Aimee, i’m skimming your review, but when I first saw the word “obvious” and “shallow” I got scared. Lol. Too bad it wasn’t that good. I hope I’ll like this better.

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  8. Urgh, the predictability! Just between us, I love this light fluffy reads from time to time, they tend to leave you all warm and fuzzy and ready move onto something with more substance. I enjoy best friend romances too, but you’re totally right, they all seem to be the same. It takes either one or both to find someone else to realise they’re in love with their best friend. Going to check this one out anyway. Awesome review AImee.

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    1. Don’t worry, I definitly lovesomething light every now and then to get me out of reading slumps! Best friend romances are actually my favorites. I hope you enjoy this one Kelly!

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  9. I’m one of the ones that totally loved this book. I can totally understand what you mean about the generic plot… That just happens to be one of my very favorite, so I really enjoy it. I have a weakness for friends-turn-lovers books. Great review, Aimee! :)

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  10. My fiance and I were best friends. I think you just summed up our relationship! That being said we were in our twenties when we met and became friends. It took him years to spill his feelings and years for me to admit to mine. I love these stories, it’s the Drew Barrymore movie of the book world! I’ll have to snag this and throw it on my shelf for those nights I want something adorable.

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  11. Well good things and some not that good. I think it must be perfect when we want somthing light so we don’t really have think too deep. Thanks for the review.

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  12. I really detest books that have unnecessary drama however I love the sound it and looks like a lot of fun. Might borrow it from the library, actually.

    Lovely review, Aimee! <33

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  13. The plot does sound a bit cliche and it sounds like Levi and Macallan have times when they might be a bit irksome, but, besides that, this actually sounds quite good! Definitely going to give it a try, because it sounds enjoyable despite its flaws. Thanks so much for sharing Aimee, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

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  14. I’ve read way too many of these formulaic books so not sure I’ll enjoy this one. I think it’s one of those ‘you have to be in the right mood’ books. I hate the emotional cheating that seems to go on, and you’re totally right. DON’T flirt with each other if you have significant others. Sigh. Wonderful review Aimee, glad you enjoyed this one overall, it does sound cute. :)

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