Thursday, May 29, 2014

Rachel Rambles About Better off Friends

Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
From Goodreads:
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?

I'm a huge fan of contemporary romances, so as soon as I read the summary of this book, I was pretty positive I was going to love it. I waited around a bit for some reviews to come out, and when they were all super gushy and enthusiastic about the awesomeness of this book, I went ahead and bought myself a copy.

Better off Friends is absolutely adorable. It's written for a bit of a younger audience than the Young Adult books I normally read, and I'd say that this book is like a Middle Grade/Young Adult crossover. It begins when the main characters are in seventh grade and follows them through middle school and high school, ending when they're in eleventh grade. Because the characters are so young, the story is a tad more innocent than other Young Adult romances. Better off Friends doesn't have any bad language or sex or alcohol, and I would feel comfortable giving it to readers in elementary school. The lack of language/sex/alcohol isn't a bad or good thing, in my opinion. I just thought I'd point it out.

Even though this book could certainly be enjoyed by younger readers, that doesn't mean us old folks won't get anything out of it. (That was a joke! I'm only 17! Hardly an "old folk." :D) Better off Friends is the kind of story that people of all ages will appreciate. It's the classic best-friends-falling-in-love storyline, which is a personal favorite trope of mine. Macallan and Levi's relationship is so natural and realistic, and their friendship is powerful on its own without counting the romantic feelings. The reader gets to experience Macallan and Levi grow up throughout this book that spans several years, and they change a lot. They are, after all, becoming young adults, so their growth is evident on the pages. As they grow and change, their relationship to each other grows and changes, and it's really interesting to see how new developments in their lives affect their friendship.

This book is light and simple and fun, and I adore it with all my heart. It's the kind of book that will make you gush over the cuteness, but it also tells a meaningful story of family and friends. Macallan and Levi have a ton of obstacles in their lives--the usual teenage things: family, friends, romance, school, etc.--and it makes them real and honest characters that the reader can't help but wish happiness upon. Better off Friends is the epitome of a cute summer read, and if you like contemporary romance books or When Harry Met Sally, I think you'll love this book.

Better off Friends was my first Elizabeth Eulberg, but certainly not my last. I'm looking forward to checking out the rest of her books in the near future. For all of you Elizabeth Eulberg fans out there, any recommendations? :)

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