Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg 
(Point, February 2014)

Summary from publisher:
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 so 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 just be friends?  Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again -- and one kiss away from true love?

Better Off Friends is one of those books that's perfect for a snow day; a book you can settle into and be thoroughly entertained.  Just like it's predecessor When Harry Met Sally, it's a romantic exploration of friendship, but this time the focus is on teens.  While the answer to the question "Can guys and girls ever really be just friends?" might be different for each pair, the question certainly comes up for almost every mixed-gender pair.

Eulberg's writing sparkles, and her characters have a great combination of heart and humor.  She traces the path of their friendship from first meeting across five years of great fun and great heartbreak.  From time to time through out the book, current Levi and Macallan tell a bit about what each of them was thinking in interstitial vignettes.  Know those vignettes in When Harry Met Sally?  Same thing here, only just with Levi and Macallan.  I loved these glimpses into Levi and Macallan's future - these small sections is where much of the humor in the book lies.

If you want to get a feel for Levi and Macallan, check out the Scholastic spring preview video here.  In the first segment of the YA preview, Eulberg and her editor and friend David Levithan talk more about the book and their own friendship.  It's a great way to get Eulberg's voice in your head before reading the book.

Hand this book to kids who like their realistic fiction with a bit of humor and heart.  They won't be disappointed!

1 comment:

  1. Did love this but kind of wished they had stayed friends...