Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Review: Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulburg

Author: Elizabeth Eulburg
Pages: 276 
Publisher: Point
Release Date: February 25th, 2014
Status: Standalone 

Summary (from Goodreads):

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?

Better Off Friends is one of the best books I have ever read in awhile. It's one of those stories that you read, thinking you know the story, but by the end of the book you're attached to the characters and have a special place in your heart for them.

The story is about two kids who meet at school one day: Macallan, a strong girl who loses her mother; and Levi, the surfer kid from California who moves to a new place that seems like another world. Together, they develop a deep relationship that doesn't grow over night. It starts in their last two years of middle school and transitions into their life in high school to their present day situation.

The two lead characters, Machallan and Levi, were wonderful to read about.
Macallan is a strong, independent, loyal, but also loving and caring girl. I understood her character very well, especially her hesitation  towards going into a relationship with Levi because she's a loyal friend and doesn't want to ruin everything she has with him. She does what she cans to keep things "real" between the two of them, as well as keep his opinions and feelings in mind when making decisions.

While Macallan was a great character, Levi is my favourite because his character grows on me. In the beginning of the story, he's very shy and awkward because he's the "surfer kid" with long hair, but then turns into everyone's favourite person when he later learns (from Macallan) to accept that California is no longer his home. He has his ups and downs as a character, and yes, he does let his ego get in the way of his actions, but nonetheless, he's a great guy who loves Macallan and always has her best interest in mind as well.

Their relationship was really cute, and it took a lot of hiccups along the road for them to finally get to a good place together. There were a lot of awkward years and situations alongside the nice and cute ones, but it was nice to read about those situations because it made their relationship real.

But what really made this story unique was the fact that it was told by Macallan and Levi in alternating perspectives, and there were parts where they would leave commentary, almost like they told the story- the entirety of it- in the future. There were parts in the novel where Macallan and Levi would introduce a new problem or a new discovery about each other, and they would do so with nice commentary. My favourite one that comes to mind was the chapter when Macallan actually gets her period and tells Levi to leave. He's so confused in the chapter, but in the commentary, he finally realizes that she got her period and is embarrassed by the fact he never actually figured it out.

Overall, this story was wonderful, and I really recommend this book to everyone- especially for those who love to root for the best friends!

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