cover art
Bibliographic Information
Title: Better Off Friends
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
ISBN: 978-0545551458
Publisher: Point, An Imprint of Scholastic
Copyright: 2014

Book Details
Jacket Design: Elizabeth B. Parisi
Jacket Art & Illustrator:
Font: New Century Schoolbook
Formats:
Hardcover, Kindle
Page Count: 288 p.

Plot Summary

For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Meeting in seventh grade, they bonded over their shared love of a British TV show. 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 – they’re best friends!

This 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?

Things get difficult when they start to realize that maybe they do have deeper feelings for one another. They never seem to realize this at the same time, though. As soon as it seemed like one would be ready to reveal inner feelings, the other would be happily announcing their newest relationship. They deal with their fears of rejection, fears of losing friendship they had, and fears of the many unknowns they face.

Do they finally fall in love? Sorry, this review is not going to spoil it for you!

Critical Evaluation

Finally, a nice story! Well-written and amusing, but not just a light-weight pastry, Better Off Friends speaks not only to teens but to people of all ages who discover, or re-discover, that friendship is at the core of any true love – all else is mere chemistry.

The book provides an excellent example of why the belief that we should only seek romantic partners through “official” means of dating is misleading, and distracts us from noticing that, sometimes, our soul mate has been there all along.

Reader’s Annotation

Can girls and guys ever truly be “just friends”? Or are they always one fight away from parting ways, and one kiss away from passion?

Information about the Author

Elizabeth Eulberg was born and raised in Wisconsin. She attended Syracuse University and made her career in the New York City book biz. She is the author of The Lonely Hearts Club, Prom & Prejudice, Take a Bow, and Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality. She lives outside of Manhattan with her three guitars, two keyboards, and one drumstick.

Genre

Fiction: Romance

Curriculum Ties

Consent – sexual or otherwise

Booktalking ideas

Can girls and guys be friends?
How does love (and sex!) complicate friendship?

Reading Level/Interest Age
Interest Level: Grades 7 and up

 

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