Elizabeth Ulberg asks a very important question in her new novel Better Off Friends, can platonic friends be just friends? Another question I want to say this answers is, Can someone is has been friend-zoned be unfriend-zoned? Growing up everyone has at least one friend that everyone else thinks is their significant other. Sometimes those friendships blossom into being BFFs and other times those friendships blossom into true romance. Every time, though, both participants are leery of complicating their supper awesome friendship. I had a best friend like this, we talked for hours on the phone, made fun of people relentlessly, and it would get so bad most people didn’t want to hang out with the two who finish each other’s sentences and are ready to back each other up. The problem was that I put him in the friend zone (hush now, I was 16, I didn’t know better), and that guy was totally my match, it’s okay though because I have another best friend, and well I have been dating him for close to 8 years and have loved every minute of it (well, maybe every other minute ;-)). What I am trying to say is that this story is very relatable.
Macallan and Levi have been friends since 7th grade, when Levi moved into town. The novel progresses from the first time they met until possibly end of junior year of high school. At the end of each episode/chapter both Macallan and Levi have a snippet of conversion regarding both of their reactions to what was just retold to the audience; this is very much like watching the actors’ commentary version of a movie. Their mistakes are very normal, their drama is very believable, and the ending is very heartwarming. To describe this silly, loving, and dramatic adventure, one would have to agree it’s a cute read; however, I do not feel fully invested in the characters or the story. I liked both characters, but not a part of me was like “Levi’s my book boyfriend” or “Macallan and I could really be friends.” There was just something lacking in that. Other than that, this is a cute romance novel that is ready to ask and answer questions about friendship, love, and growing up.