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 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?
Better Off Friends is out now from Point/Scholastic!
Goodreads Choice Award Nominee
International Literacy Association Young Adults’ Choices Reading List selection
Wisconsin State Reading Association Just One More Page! selection
South Carolina Junior Book Award Nominee
“…a pitch-perfect rom com. With a nod to When Harry Met Sally, rising YA romance writer Eulberg situates relatable characters in realistic situations. There’s depth, too… A humorous and cozy story about friendships and relationships, and the oh-so-fine line between them.”
“Reminiscent of When Harry Met Sally, Eulberg’s account of an evolving relationship offers witty banter interspersed with pangs of unrequited love. …their roller-coaster relationship provides plenty of entertainment and romantic thrills along the way.”
– Publishers Weekly
“Can a guy and a girl ever really be friends, as in ‘friends, but just friends?’ This is the question that animates this delicious, delightful romantic comedy. Readers will devour each chapter, narrated in Macallan’s and Levi’s alternating voices, correct in their confidence that Eulberg is going to deliver on her promise of an enormously satisfying story.”
– Children’s Literature
BEHIND THE STORY
Better Off Friends came from a conversation my editor, David Levithan, had with one of his colleagues, Erin Black, who said she was looking for a YA story like When Harry Met Sally… that grapples with that age old question: can a guy and a girl really be just friends? When David mentioned it to me, I called dibs.
Over the course of a year (while I was writing Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality), I thought about how I could tell the story in a fresh way. I went back to When Harry Met Sally… and loved that it’s a story that takes place over a long period of time so you can really see the relationship develop between those two characters. So I knew that I wanted Better Off Friends to be over the course of a few years as well as have little moments of the characters bantering throughout the book so the reader can see right from the beginning the kind of friendship they have.
I began to slowly develop the characters of Macallan and Levi, and map out their friendship through five years. When I began writing the book, I decided on a whim to have it set in Wisconsin, which ended up becoming a character of its own. As someone who grew up in Wisconsin, it was fun to set a book in a place that I have such affection for. This also provided me with countless ways to insert my love for the Green Bay Packers (from Levi’s last name, Rodgers, to the various teachers names throughout the book). GO PACK!
Writing this book was a lot of fun, but it also made me cry in a few places. I’m really proud of Better Off Friends and hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.