Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg stars Levi and Macallan, longtime best friends who secretly begin to develop feeling for each other, but hide it from the other in order to preserve their friendship. Told from a dual perspective, the story follows Levi and Macallan from their meeting on the first day of seventh grade until their junior year of high school, along the way experiencing heartbreak and tests of their friendship, and learning that home isn’t always a place: it’s a person.
I kept hearing this described as the YA equivalent to ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ and I was not disappointed. This was one of those books that had you hooked from the beginning, and made you wish you had a Levi in your life.
I thought that Better Off Friends was one of those stories where it’s obvious to everyone that these characters were going to end up together eventually, but the bigger focus of the story was on their friendship. We were given a view into how tightly knit their friendship was from the beginning and how much they helped each other grow as people, with Macallan opening up about the loss of her mother and Levi’s struggles fitting in at school.
The thing I personally loved the most was how passionate Macallan was when it can to her family, especially her uncle who had a slight disability. I could totally relate to Macallan in how she stood up for the people she cared about. Having a few family members with mental disabilities, I hated when people picked on others who needed a little more assistance than we did. I applaud Elizabeth Eulberg for incorporating this into her story.
My only problem was how invested I got in the characters and it was so disappointing the closer I got to the finish. I tried to prolong it as long as I could because I wasn’t ready to let go, but like all good things it has to come to an end.
Better Off Friends deserves 4 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a light, cute book.