To get everyone up to appropriate levels of mush in time for Valentine’s Day, Ella Martin is making the rounds and sharing her favorite YA romances. Onward for a book rec, info on Ella’s series, the other stops on the blog tour and a giveaway!
Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
The foundation of any lasting romantic relationship is friendship. That’s why so many happily married couples will tell you they’ve each married their best friends. Friendship is not solely built on common interests. That’s where it starts, but over time, respect and trust emerge, and from there, it can blossom into love.
That’s a big part of the reason I loved BETTER OFF FRIENDS by Elizabeth Eulberg. It’s a dual-narrative story of Levi and Macallan, and follows them from seventh grade to senior year. They meet when Levi moves to town, and, as is often the case, they aren’t sure if they like each other. But Macallan reaches out to the new kid, inviting him to eat with her and her friends at lunch, and they find they have things in common. It’s the spark of their friendship, and from there it only grows.
It’s charming to read how they grow both together and individually. They see each other at their best and at their worst. And the tug each of them feels when their best friend’s attention is diverted elsewhere is so realistic. When Levi cuts his hair in eighth grade and girls suddenly start noticing him, Macallan gets a little irritated. And when Macallan has a boyfriend their freshman year, it’s Levi’s turn to be annoyed.
They have inside jokes no one else understands. They’re comfortable with each other, even when sitting in complete silence. They know each other better than anyone else does. But they are just friends. Best friends. Or are they?
Macallan and Levi’s relationship grew and changed as the book progressed, and it was easy to see what they loved about each other. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, either. They hurt each other. They get mad at each other. They each let their egos get in the way of their friendship. But they also rise above it and move beyond it. The result is a true HEA, something I think is rare for YA novels (well, most novels, really) and was a big part of the reason I clasped the book to my chest with a long happy sigh when I finished reading it.
Can guys and girls just be friends? Absolutely. And many times, the relationship can (and does) stay platonic. But as Eulberg points out, there’s nothing better than falling in love with your best friend.
Make sure you check out I Love Him, I Love Him Not, the second book in Ella Martin’s Westgate Prep series.
Talia Nicoletti’s life has been turned upside down–and that’s probably an understatement. Her mother goes off on a business trip… and comes back married! Her estranged father wants to be less estranged. And her best friend Jake DeSantos suddenly has a new confidante who Talia doesn’t want to like but kind of does anyway.
Talia has to unravel her tangled up emotions to figure out what she really wants. Does she want to accept her father back in her life? Can she trust her new-stepfather? There’s too much hitting Talia at once, and she’s not ready to deal with any of it. The one person she can always turn to is Jake, and he’s being secretive and isn’t exactly available. And that hurts her more than she thought possible.
Talia hates that she’s jealous of the new girl in Jake’s life, especially since she can’t decide if she loves him … or if she loves him not.
Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour:
February 9: Cuddlebuggery – Better Off Friends (you are here)
February 10: Ageless Pages Review – The Stepsister’s Tale
February 11: YA Book Nerd – Guitar Notes
February 12: On Starships & Dragonwings – These Broken Stars
February 13: Read Love Write – Reaper
February 14: The YA Club – Rebel Mechanics
Ella is giving away a copy of Better Off Friends because she’s awesome.
- To enter, please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
- You must be 13+ years to enter
- The giveaway is open to US only
- Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not the comments.