Friday, May 16, 2014

Review: Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg 
Release date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Point
Pages: 276
Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Publisher

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
WHEN 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?


It has been a few months since I've been able to read anything but textbooks and articles for school, so this was the perfect title to help me ease my way back into personal reading. Elizabeth Eulberg had quickly become one of my favorite contemporary authors with her first two titles: The Lonely Hearts Club and Prom and Prejudice, and Better Off Friends only further proved her knack for getting into the heads of teenagers. The boy/girl best friend trope has been used time and time again in young adult literature, and it can often lead to a predictable and anticlimactic ending. Luckily, Eulberg's latest offering was not only unique in that aspect, it was a heartfelt and utterly enjoyable read.

Macallan and Levi became best friends in middle school, and the reader gets to watch their friendship grow and develop over the years. This is an aspect I hadn't realized I was missing in other books that focused on an old friendship-- the ability to experience the friendship from its earliest stages. When I first began reading Better Off Friends I was surprised that the characters were only in middle school and was a little worried about how I would be able to relate to the characters. Luckily, this was not the case because it only helped me get to know them better.

I highly enjoyed Better Off Friends and would definitely recommend it. Some of the highlights for me included the banter between Macallan and Levi, how strong Macallan was, and the inclusion of issues such as death, love, mental illness, and unfaithfulness in relationships. At times the plot did seem a bit packed; there were a lot of sub-plots that didn't always seem necessary, but since this did take place over the course of several years it makes sense.

Better Off Friends alternated perspective between Levi and Macallan and this allowed the reader to get into both of their heads and see what they were feeling before the other knew. This was an overall entertaining and warmhearted read, with just a few minor flaws. I am eager to read more of Eulberg's novels and to see what she will write next.


  1. Yay!! Sounds really good, I'm so going to try to get it!! :D
    I like Elizabeth Eulberg's books when they are like this :)


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