by Elizabeth Eulberg
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Point (February 25, 2014)
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.Andye: I was really excited to get this book! I've enjoyed Elizabeth's books in the past (especially THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB) and I loved the idea of a book all about best friends falling in love, so I couldn't wait to dive in. BETTER OFF FRIENDS was such an adorable story. It really was When Harry Met Sally about teens. I mean, who doesn't love that movie?? Ok...maybe not you, Reagan....since I'm pretty sure it's older than your life.
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?
Reagan: Yeah.... Never heard of that movie. I got into these kinds of books on the way there and back from New York when we were on the panel. I read This Is What Happy Looks Like. Then all in one day I read The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight and Better Off Friends. One thing that I loved about this book was that it started off when they were in 7th grade and ended Junior year. I've never seen anyone do that before and it was really cool.
Andye: YES! I loved that too! I know there are adult books that span many years, but I've never read a YA book that starts out in 7th grade and ends in high school. I love the way that they grew up in this book. They start out so cute, really not having romance on their minds at all, and Elizabeth does a great job of showing how things change as you get older and enter high school.
Andye: Yeah, but maybe everyone else saw what they refused to see! That they were MFEO! (Oh...you probably don't know that movie either....) I really loved Levi, but there was one point where I really wanted to punch him in the nose. He was being SO stupid and selfish.
Reagan: Exactly!! He was so cute when he was sensible. One thing I noticed was when things got tough Macallan would cry, and Levi would push her away. It was a pattern of crying, fights, and pushing each other away. Another thing I liked about this book is that it's showing you how disabled people get treated some times. People treat other people cruelly.
Andye: Yeah, I loved Macallan's uncle, but I hated the way that some of Levi's "friends" would make fun of him because of his disability. But I LOVED the way Macallan stood up for him (and others) so fiercely. I totally pictured you in that moment, because I know you'd do the same thing if you heard people being hateful like that!
Reagan: I would do that, but probably harder, and I would have poisoned something he ate. I did love her Uncle Adam he was so nice. My favorite character was Macallan, not because she's the main character, but because of her personality. She was fierce and stood up for what she believed in.
Andye: Yeah, I think she was my favorite character too. She was just so strong and independent, and she was also witty, fun, and loyal to the extreme. Of course I liked Levi too, even though he was a dumb boy sometimes. But their relationship was just so refreshing and awesome, and I just really loved their banter. I love that it's clean, I love that it can appeal to all ages, I love the way it was written, really I just loved this book!
Reagan: I could say lot more but it would spoil the book. So please just read it, when it comes out, of course. I won't say whether or not Levi and Macallan end up together or believe they're Better Off Friends.
Andye and Reagan are a mother-daughter super hero team...er...book reviewer team, who regularly race over who can finish a book first. Reagan always wins. Reagan is 13 and Andye is....well, that's not important, and they both love fantasy, though lately they've been captivated by some cute contemps. If you have any suggestions of books that moms and daughters both love, feel free to pass them on.