Review: Elizabeth Eulberg’s Better off Friends

Title: Better off Friends
Elizabeth Eulberg      
Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: February 25th 2015
276 pages 


When Levi moves from California to Wisconsin in seventh grade him and Macallan form an instant friendship. They hang out after school, watch Buggy and Floyd, have countless inside jokes, and even their families are super close.

Written by Elizabeth Elbert, Better off Friends, which is told in alternating points of view, follows the duo from middle school to high school and poses the question: can a guy and girl ever be just friends? 

Maybe not. Their double dates turn into disasters. Guys avoid asking Macallan out because of Levi. Everything changes as the pair gets older, and it comes into question whether their friendship will too.

I really enjoyed the fact that Better off Friends actually starts with the first time Levi and Macallan meet in middle school. Starting at that moment allows the reader to fully follow their friendship and get a grasp on what their relationship is like. The two could be frustrating, especially when they got into their angst-filled teenage years, but overall I found them fleshed out.

That being said, even I felt out of the loop sometimes when it came to Levi and Macallan’s inside jokes and banter.

I thought it was interesting not only that the story switches point of view, but also at the end of every section seemingly older and more reflective versions of Levi and Macallan have a little back and forth about the situation. It was something I’ve never seen before and it really fit with the personas Eulberg created.

Eulberg was very realistic in her portal of a friendship that faces the challenge of growing up. People stop loving the same things, no longer make time for each other, and things fall apart. This happens as Levi and Macallan move onto high school.

From there it’s a barrage of hurt feelings, mixed signals, and missed opportunities for the two.

Better of Friends is a sweet and simple contemporary read that maybe, possibly, kind of answers the question: can girls and guys ever be just friends? 

You can find Better off Friends on Amazon. Give it a read and let me know what you think in the comments. Plus leave recommendations for my next book!


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