Better Off Friends by 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?

Source: ARC from Scholastic for review purposes

Macallan and Levi are real, true blue friends.  Despite the fact that they are from two very different places, they have a lot in common.  When Levi moves from California to Wisconsin in eighth grade, he’s kind of adrift because it’s completely different than where he’s from and the kids he is now going to school with have been together since kindergarten.  It’s a tough time to be making friends, even if you are from some exotic place.

Macallan is still in mourning for her recently deceased mother and going through a rough time. Initially, she doesn’t give Levi the time of day, but in a fit of compassion, asks him to join she & her friends for lunch.  They then discover a strange conection based on an English television show they both love. Friendship blooms from there and, when circumstances force Macallan to choose Levi over other, older friends, their bond becomes cemented.  They develop their own language, have their own inside jokes, and pretty much make everyone around them irritated and confused as to their real relationship.

Because their story starts when they’re so young, at times I found the book to be a little young for me, but they grow up and their story does get more age appropriate for this mom to read about :).  I do think it’s for a younger crowd, but it was a sweet, uncomplicated story of friends finally giving into their attraction to each other, which was always there, simmering in the background.  I loved Macallan’s personality and the fact that she was so strong and tough.  And Levi was a total sweetheart.  I loved that the book showed both points of view.  This is a great book for a rainy afternoon when you need something to make you smile.



6 thoughts on “Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

  1. Sandie February 28, 2014 at 8:20 am Reply

    I actually love that Elizabeth Eulberg’s books are “light romance” or what I think of as “starter” young adult. I think they’re the kind of books you wouldn’t hesitate to let a middle school-aged girl borrow. There are so many books I’m not sure I’d recommend to a 5-7th grader, but Elizabeth’s are just the right blend of sweet and romantic without being overly mature.

    • Daphne February 28, 2014 at 8:22 am Reply

      i completely agree, but it’s not my go to. i did love the book but it read a bit young for me.

  2. Candice March 3, 2014 at 10:39 am Reply

    I found it a little odd that we first met them in 8th grade… but kind of liked that we got to see their friendship grow rather than just be presented with “Macallan and Levi are best friends ready go” at the beginning of the book. It made the romance a little more realistic to me because we saw it grow. But yes… it did read a little too young for me… says the 31 year old woman who reads books written for 16 year olds. 🙂

    • Daphne March 3, 2014 at 10:49 am Reply

      well, i thought about that & i’m older than you 🙂 i had no problems w/ Percy Jackson, who was the same age…idk

  3. Ashley @The Quiet Concert March 3, 2014 at 10:44 am Reply

    Oh no, I am worried now about the a little too young feel of the book… I have been trying to avoid the younger voice lately. I will still probably check this one out but it is not a high priority.

    • Daphne March 3, 2014 at 10:50 am Reply

      i’d say save it for a day when you just finished an emotional book and not sure what to read. 🙂

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