- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted February 15, 2014
Better Off Friends was a wonderfully charming, light and fluffy
Better Off Friends was a wonderfully charming, light and fluffy new adult contemporary read. It was the first of Elizabeth Eulberg’s novels that I’ve read, but it definitely won’t be the last.
Macallan and Levi were great characters. They had a strong friendship and were insistent it was nothing more, despite what everyone around them seemed to think. It was hard for people to swallow that though, because they were so close. This book follows them through their first meeting at eleven and through their teenage years as feelings start to get confusing and things get complicated. But, through it all the story was upbeat and sweet – and thankfully not too angsty. Sure there was drama. There were plenty of bumps along the way as they navigated their way through relationships with new people and tried to figure out how to maintain their friendship while not alienating the other’s partner, all the while fighting the feelings that were starting to develop for each other.
Better Off Friends had humor and heart and I loved every minute of it. It was easy to get caught up in all the feelings in the book. I won’t tell you how it ends because honestly, I would have been fine with whatever ending occurred. Had they gotten together, I would have cheered them because the best relationships start as friendships. If they stayed friends, I would have been thrilled because boys and girls, in fact, can be just friends. There was no way to lose with this one, as long as Macallan and Levi stayed close.
One of my favorite things about this book was the cutaway “interview” scenes with Macallan and Levi. Their interaction and dialogue left me with a huge goofy grin on my face. I thought this was a very unique way to showcase their friendship and the chemistry between them. This book is told from both Macallan and Levi’s POV, so readers get a good look at what’s going on with each character, through their own eyes and thoughts. It was all very well executed.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 13, 2014
What a sweet book! I loved every second of it. Levi and Macallan
What a sweet book! I loved every second of it. Levi and Macallan have a wonderful chemistry throughout the story. They banter, bicker, and harass each other. They support each other and help each other, but they're just friends—best friends.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The thing I liked about this book is that for the first half, I had no idea how things were going to turn out between Levi and Macallan. It wasn't a So Obvious It's Painful type of book where I could see the plot from the first paragraph. These characters had depth and felt real. I loved reading about them.
Added bonus: the book is clean. There needs to be more books like this. It's well written, engaging, and nearly squeaky clean. There were 2 curse words that I remember and a smidgen of suggestive content, but for a young adult book, it was as clean as they come. It's not often that I find a contemporary book that is addicting and clean.
Source: I received a digital galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Posted July 16, 2014
Another Great Story from Eulberg!!
Elizabeth Eulberg has done it again! Better Off Friends is another great contemporary from Elizabeth Eulberg that left me grinning from ear to ear.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
It’s hard to review a book you liked so much. I’m finding it difficult to start off this review. There is so much I want to say, but I’m having issues figuring out how to say it.
I loved the structure of the story. Macallan and Levi were recounting the story of their relationship, starting from when they first met in 7th grade. Between each chapters, present day Macallan and Levi would provide commentary on their actions in the past. The chapters alternated point of view between Macallan and Levi, and it was great getting into each of their heads to see how they interpreted the same events. I loved that because the story started in 7th grade, you got to see the full progression of Macallan and Levi’s friendship. You got to relive their relationships’ ups and downs. I loved that their friendship wasn’t perfect, because no friendship ever is.
I loved both Macallan and Levi. They were extremely well written; they felt like real people. While they sometimes made stupid decisions, I couldn’t help but like them because they felt real. Everyone makes mistakes, especially when it comes to relationships with friends, and it was great to see them tackle the ups and downs of their friendship. Levi and Macallan made the book. Macallan was such a strong character. I loved how protective she was of her family and of those she cared about. Levi was adorable, and it was great seeing him trying to adapt to his new home.
Their friendship is what drives the story. I loved seeing their relationship develop, from friends to something more. They both care deeply for each other, despite the rough patches their friendship hits. It reminded me a lot of friendship’s I’ve actually had. Their relationship wasn’t perfect, but they managed to work through their arguments and road blocks. I loved how we got to see the relationship transform and grow. Levi and Macallan realize at different times that they feel something more than just friends, but something is always getting in the way of them getting together.
This book was so cute. While the romance is important, it is really a book that focuses on their friendship. It was great to see such a strong and complex friendship between a guy and girl. While the book does have romance, I would have enjoyed it just as much without it. This story would still be great regardless of how their romantic relationships ended up. It was really a story about friends, family and were your heart feels at home. I think this beautiful quote sums up what this book really is about: "But in truth, home isn't necessarily where you sleep at night. It's where you feel like yourself. Where you're most comfortable. Where don't have to pretend where you can just be you."
Elizabeth Eulberg is an author I know I can turn to for a great contemporary YA novel. Her books never fail to put a smile on my face and improve my mood. The Lonely Hearts Club helped improve my rejection from my number one college, and Better Off Friends had the same effect. Elizabeth Eulberg’s book always lighten my mood; her books remind me of the why YA books are so great. For the few hours of reading Better Off Friends, you can escape from your troubles and just enjoy the story of Levi and Macallan. Their story will lift your heart and leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. I would highly recommend
Posted July 14, 2014
I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher via NetG
I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Here is my honest review.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I really, really enjoyed this book. When I first marked it as read I rated it with 4 stars but now that I am writing my review, I am changing it to 5 stars.
Right off the bat, the cover and title grabbed me. I always enjoy stories about friends who fall in love. This young adult romance handled this plot setting better than I expected. Typically with young adult books, teens fall in love but I am not always left with a sense that it is an everlasting love. Eulberg however, wrote a story with two wonderful characters that I actually believe will end up 20 years down the road, still "high-school sweethearts".
One of the things I really enjoyed was the story told from both Macallan's and Levi's points of view. It flowed seamlessly. Reading an eARC meant that there might have been some formatting issues which could make this setup difficult to follow; however, the use of the swing silhouette to mark each transition was ingenious (and cute). I also thought the writing style was refreshing (for me) as it felt like the couple was being interviewed for some Barbara Walters special-type show. It wouldn't work for very many books, but it definitely worked for this one.
What made this book unique and really enjoyable was the fact that Macallan and Levi were truly just friends for many years before realizing that their friendship was more than that.
The parents - another great part of this story. They aren't perfect, but they aren't portrayed as complete loser idiots either, which I really appreciated.
I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it.
Posted June 25, 2014
Posted June 15, 2014
Posted June 5, 2014
Posted May 22, 2014
I was looking for something light, refreshing, easy, and summer.
I was looking for something light, refreshing, easy, and summer. This book fit this perfectly - although this didn't just happen in the summer. I haven't read a "romance" novel in a while - not a true one - and especially not a best friend story so this was a nice change for me.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
First off, I love the characters! I could totally relate to Macallan and Levi was so likable that it was hard not to relate to him. They are both strong characters that were well written and developed. The whole story revolves around them and you feel like you're along for the ride, experiencing what they are, feeling what they were. It was great! I loved the bantering back and forth between the characters. I especially liked the bantering between Macallan and Levi at the end of the chapter. It was cute having a picture at the beginning of the chapter so you can tell who's side of the story you are following - a girl on a swing was Macallan and a boy on the swing was Levi - I found it a nice personal touch. It was also nice that the characters had different fonts - small things but still added to the character of the book.
The one thing about this book that throw me off was how much older the characters feel. The story starts off when Levi joins Macallan's school and they become almost insta-friends, which was in Grade 7 (that's what 11 or 12??). It felt like they were already in high school - based on how they were interacting with each other. This may make me seem older than I am, but I don't remember people acting the way they did in Grade 7. For instance, one of the side characters (a friend of the main characters) dates around a lot and I just remember thinking - this doesn't seem normal... do people start full out dating like they're insinuating at that age??? As the story continues the characters seem to act a little more like their age - as far as I remember the world. Anyways, now that I've aged myself - lets continue.
I loved being a part of the growth of this relationship - I loved the ups and downs of it - it felt authentic! Really I didn't feel that I hated any one character. I may not have liked how a character was acting or their personality in general, but because Levi and/or Macallan grow past the other character's personality or trait or action I felt it wasn't worth dwelling on and that's just how that character was. So there was no real true villain in this story - just a story about how Levi and Macallan grow individually and together.
I don't know what else to say about this book - I really could go on forever but I might turn into ranting and raving with no coherent train of thought. Elizabeth Eulberg is a great author and writes amazing stories - I plan on picking up some more of her books in the future.
If you are looking for a fun read that brings you on a journey - a book that feels light and refreshing like spring/summer should be (maybe Canada will get that for more than a week!!!) then I HIGHLY suggest this book!
Posted May 11, 2014
So, I know that Elizabeth is amazing, but even I didn't suspect
So, I know that Elizabeth is amazing, but even I didn't suspect the awesomesauceness of this book! I've read Take a Bow by her and loved it. From page one, this book left me conflicted on how I wanted it to end, and yet she managed to end it perfectly! The story starts in the seventh grade and goes through their junior (?) year in high school. It's super fun and has commentary from the characters between chapters!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 29, 2014
Better Off Friends was in my Top 15 Most Anticipated Contemporar
Better Off Friends was in my Top 15 Most Anticipated Contemporaries of 2014. I fell in love with the synopsis and the possibility of a guy and girl being best friends or is the inevitable always going to happen? i.e. them developing feelings for each other. I made sure that this is labeled as YA since I know Elizabeth Eulberg's previous books were mostly middle grade. However, Better Off Friends honestly read as a middle grade book and while I had no major problem with that, I was in the mood for something a bit more mature. Still, Better Off Friends brought a smile to my face because it was cute, fun, and the main protagonists were very adorable.At the end of each chapter, you read a page of a texting/chat (maybe?) conversation between the two main leads, Macallan and Levi. You don't know how they end up but it reads as if they're remembering the occurrences of each chapter and I thought that was a really fun snippet of their future selves to read about. The story spans a very lengthy timeline, from their elementary school years all the way up to their high school years. There is the good and bad in this, the bad being that too long a timeline in such a short book doesn't leave much for delving too much in each situation or revelation. The good is that we get to witness their relationship since they were young little kids to their awkward teenage years. Better Off Friends was cute, adorable at times, and was a very fun read. I definitely recommend it more to younger teens over older ones and it was a good break from the usual dark books I've been reading lately. I also think this would also work for fans of contemporary middle grade books!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 7, 2014
I absolutely love this book! It's a must read for everyone out t
I absolutely love this book! It's a must read for everyone out there that is looking for the perfect best-friend to couple romance. There are probably a lot of books out there that are about the same topic, but Elizabeth Euberg has created by far one of the best. When Levi and Macallan first meet in the 7th grade, Macallan is only showing him around campus. Being the new kid in school, Levi is left on his own to figure out the rest and make friends. But that doesn't go well, and Macallan sees that and she invites him to have lunch with her friends. However, she wasn't expecting to like him so much after finding out that they have a lot in common. The two end up bonding over a British TV show by quoting it and laughing as if they knew some sort of inside joke.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
When it's time for them to go home, it's almost hard to separate them. Macallan is still recovering from her mom's death and having met Levi brings her new hope and bond with his mother. Their friendship blossoms right from the start and they grow up experiencing what other teens would experience at the time. It isn't long before the two start to feel something more for one another, but being friends is what keeps them from telling each other what they really feel. Macallan sees Levi go out with her best friend and she even had to keep a secret from him all for trying to be a loyal friend to her best friend. This is the moment where Macallan's friendship with Levi is put to the test. There are a lot of feelings that they both need to sort out, but have established a friendship that will withstand anything and they need to figure out if they can be more than friends or not.
The author does a good job with the alternate POV's in the book, it makes it a lot of interesting to see what both of the characters feel and think of another. Overall, I really enjoyed reading the book and I highly recommend it.
*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Posted March 24, 2014
Posted March 24, 2014
Have you ever wondered if a high school romance is worth sacrifi
Have you ever wondered if a high school romance is worth sacrificing your friendship? The book Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg is a book about how friendship is better than romance. I feel that friendship is better than romance because if things don’t go right, then you can still be friends.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Levi and Macallan like each other, supposedly, but Levi has a girlfriend (Emily). Macallan told Levi about her feelings about him and he totally crushed them. Is it worth sacrificing your friendship for romance?
It was astonishing. I loved that they stayed friends and did not let romance get in their way. What I didn’t like was Macallan’s best friends and her were not best friends any more.
I would recommend this book for girls, ages 12-15. You would enjoy the book if you like boy drama and happy endings. The theme is sort of romance and friendship.
Posted March 15, 2014
I loved this book. It was so cute and fun, and just an all-aroun
I loved this book. It was so cute and fun, and just an all-around feel good book. I didn't want to put it down, I just wanted to keep reading when I first picked it up. It definitely draws you in from the beginning, and keeps you until the very end.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The book starts when Macallan and Levi are in seventh grade, which is one of the things that draws you in. I usually don't read books with characters that young, nor do you really see a lot of books that have that long of a time span. I loved seeing their friendship grow and change as they do in the transition from preteen to teen/middle school to high school (junior high? We call it middle school where I'm from).
I loved the dual perspectives. Sometimes it doesn't work, but this time it really, really did. The best part, though, was the little back-and-forths between Macallan and Levi at the end of each chapter. I feel like that was what really made this book. It was just a lot of fun, and definitely developed the MC's even more. The banter between the two was hilarious, realistic, and cute.
Both of the characters were also developed in their own right. Levi is this calm, collected, California dude. Macallan is strong and independent, even if she can be stubborn. They balance each other out perfectly, and bring even more depth to each other's character. I also love the strong element of family and friends portrayed in the book. I think it's really great that Eulberg showcases really strong family figures for both Levi and Macallan.
There are also going to be times when you want to smack one or both of them upside the head. They make bad decisions, but also figure out the right ones. This book will give you all the feelings as you watch Macallan and Levi grow as characters and in their relationship. But in a good way.
(And also, the Buggy and Floyd thing. LOVED it. I mean, it's exactly how my friends and I act when nerding out about things. Sherlock and Watson, anyone?)
So yes. You need this book. You need these feels. All of them. All the things. Just do it.
(I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.)
Posted March 14, 2014
Posted March 6, 2014
I am such a sucker for the whole best friends falling for one a
I am such a sucker for the whole best friends falling for one another trope. It's definitely one of my favorites and I love reading about it in a young adult setting. This novel in particular was especially fun, as it is set over time. Levi and Mac first meet each other in 7th grade and the novel shows the different sides of their friendship until their senior year of high school. One of my favorite things about Levi and Mac's friendship is that it's real. It's far from perfect and strained at times, as they are trying to figure it out and factor in if it can withstand all the changes that come with growing up.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I love how Eulberg ends the chapters with present day Levi and Mac reminiscing about their friendship together. Their banter is witty and fun and you can't help but chuckle as they relive the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful together.
When Levi and Macallan first meet in the 7th grade, Mac isn't really interested in befriending him. It's her job to show the new kid around the school and she plans to do that and that alone. However, after seeing him sit alone at lunch that same day, she ends up feeling bad for the new kid and invites him to sit with her and her best friends. The two end up bonding over a British tv show and that is what started their friendship. At first it was a bit awkward- Levi's mom ends up intervening and telling Mac's uncle that she is happy to have Mac over Wednesday afternoons, as her dad can't pick her up until later. Mac is very studious and is still dealing with the aftermath of losing her mom. Levi's mom is such a great role model to her and she ends up bonding with her, which is what Mac really needs. Levi's mom is there for her at a really awkward time in a girl's life and really takes Mac under her wing.
Soon, Mac and Levi's friendship grows into much more. They trust one another, care for one another, and are bound together by their love for that tv show. However, it's silly to think things can stay exactly as they are. Mac and Levi are growing up individually and if they want their friendship to survive, it will have to grow with them as well. They have gotten to an age where boyfriends and girlfriends come into the picture and at times, it's definitely been a challenge for them.
Levi starts dating Emily, Mac's best friend, and Mac is put in the middle after finding out some information that could really hurt Levi. She is torn between loyalties and doesn't know how to handle it. She doesn't want to lose either friendship, but ultimately, it's not right that she's carrying secrets and she will have to make a choice between the two.
This is really the first test of Levi and Mac's friendship and really shows the readers just how much Levi and Mac care for each other and would go to bat for one another. Their friendship will continue to be tested as they grow older, as the two have that connection that most people only long for. When they are together they are completely at ease, have inside jokes, and just know each other better than anyone else could. It really complicates things when they both are dating another person.
Levi loves Mac, but he really longs for guy friends as well. He is struggling to find his place in high school, trying out different sports, simply wanting to be accepted as 'one of the guys'. He finds himself struggling to balance his friendship with Mac, his friendship with the guys, and a relationship and finds he cannot do it all. I understand he's trying to find his place, but he does not do a good job balancing and of course something's got to give.
"All I wanted out of my high school life was to be with the guys, have girlfriend, be on a team. I didn't feel complete. And that's because I'm not complete without you."
The biggest question this book poses is: Can two people who have a connection like Mac and Levi really just be friends? They fight their attraction for one another and both are afraid of the unknown. It just never seems to be their time and I found myself pulling out my hair in frustration because you could tell they both felt more for one another and I hated seeing the other hurting. I can't imagine how hard it must be to love your best friend from a distance and have to watch them as they spend time with another. They try to distance themselves from it and not put themselves in situations where they'll have to endure it.
As I said before, Levi and Mac's friendship is far from perfect. But Levi and Mac themselves are hardly perfect either. Both of them make mistakes that cause the other pain, but they are both trying to find their place and grow as individuals. Sometimes that brings them closer together and sometimes it drives them further apart.
Better off Friends was such a great story and I loved every minute of it. I cannot recommend this book enough, as it really proves that a true friendship can withstand any obstacle, and sometimes can lead to something more.
Posted May 8, 2014
No text was provided for this review.
Posted March 3, 2014
No text was provided for this review.
Posted March 5, 2014
No text was provided for this review.
Posted April 24, 2014
No text was provided for this review.