Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

I am taking part in a new meme hosted by What’s Beyond Forks? where we take a book that’s been on our TBR list and we review it!


Title: Better Off Friends
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Point
Publication date: February 25, 2014
Source: Purchased

From Goodreads

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?

I have been on an unusual contemporary kick recently and so Better Off Friends seemed like a good book to read. I actually saw it on Twitter and went faith that it would be a good read. Unfortunately, I was mistaken.
I really wanted to love this book. Like I REALLY wanted to enjoy it. This book is about two friends who met in middle school and are instant best friends. I had no idea when I started the book that this was going to start off in middle school with preteens. Honestly I did not need to know that much backstory. A simple flash about the moment they met would have been enough or even just a comment thrown into their conversation.
Such a huge chunk of this book was needless and it almost turned me off completely. I went onto Goodreads to see if they ever got to high school and when I discovered they did I decided to keep going. This book has its really great parts, mostly the banter between Macallan and Levi and that was something that held me on through most of the book and I thought that the instant messaging/texts between the two were a good shining moment.
The language and personalities of these characters does not change throughout the book and that was such a huge issue for me. I would expect growth from a book that spans so many years, but there was none. The character’s issues were immature and not what I’ve come to expect from the YA books that have become so popular. Young adult novels get more sophisticated every year and in order to keep up they all need to be written on a high level and this book was just not up to standard. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone unless you have some time to waste.

Birthday Bash: Dave Connis- The Temptation of Adam

Today I am so excited to welcome Dave Connis to the blog! His novel, The Temptation of Adam will be released later this year, he comes to us today with a short excerpt! How exciting! And because the novel hasn’t released yet I will be giving away a pre-order in the prize pack so you’ll still get a copy!


 

Birthday Bash Day Five- Dave Connis

 

 

When Hannah approached me about writing a blog post themed around birthdays, I originally thought I’d write something on this history of the Happy Birthday song (a scandal, lemme tell you). I decided that was dumb, because there’s a fun little scene in my upcoming novel, THE TEMPTATION OF ADAM, where the main character, Adam, realizes that he didn’t know it was Dez’s, his love interest, birthday and his friends give him some time alone to apologize for it.. So, I’m excited to share with you this little excerpt of TOA.

“I guess I just got swept up in the trip,” she says, not mentioning anything about her family. “I liked being able to forget about being an addict for a little while. I just want to be seventeen instead of like, thirty.”
“Seventeen?” I bark. “I thought you were sixteen?”
“Today’s my birthday.”
I can’t believe I know more about Dez’s problems than the little human facts of her life. I don’t know if I should feel guilty, because she’s never told me when her birthday was, but at the same time, I didn’t ask.
“It’s your birthday?” Trey asks.
“Yeah.”
“Well, a birthday party is more fun than sitting around talking about album names! Elliot, Addy let’s go find some birthday things.” Trey says.
Elliot pushes himself off of his chair. “Maybe they have flecks-of-gold-fetti birthday cake mix. I’ll check.”
Addy stands, too. “I can cook up some killer cupcakes if they don’t.”
Trey pats my shoulder as they walk by. I flash him a “thank you” smile.
“Why didn’t you tell me it was your birthday?” I ask.
“Because having a birthday in December sucks. Everyone pays attention to Christmas and being done with school. Why bother trying to make a birthday happen? Also, you didn’t ask.”
I walk over to the hammock and part the fabric. As soon as I see her face, I smile.
“I’m sorry,” I say. I roll the hammock down and sit on the edge. “Happy birthday. Is there anything you want?”
She grabs my hand and puts it against her face. The tip of my thumb dips into her TV dinner mashed potatoes.
“To be whole.”
“Anything I can actually get you?”
She opens her eyes and for the first time I see love staring back at me, not confused attraction, or obsessive addiction. I don’t know how I know this, but I do. It’s like when you know someone is watching you, but can’t see them.
She gives me the most beautiful and thankful smile in the history of smiles. On a smile scale that starts at Mona Lisa and ends at Jessica Alba, she’s the sun.
She leans up and kisses my forehead. “You’ve already healed five parts of me, I think.”
“I won’t be able to heal everything. I want to, but I’m as un-healed as you are.”
“Five is greater than none, I guess.”
“I could swear I love you, Dez Coulter.”
“Then you probably do.” She grabs my shirt collar and pulls me close to her face. She makes a greater than sign and puts it against my chest.
“I love you too,” she says. “Saying that is my birthday present to myself.”

Here is the rafflecopter to enter the giveaway! Remember, The Temptation of Adam will be a pre-order so it will arrive shortly after release date and not with all the other books. (aka don’t panic if you win and don’t see it in the box). Again, this is U.S. only!

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Birthday Bash: Meg Trotter-Andromeda

I am so excited to welcome my friend, Meg Trotter, to the blog today! I enjoyed her book Andromeda so much and I’m happy to have it as part of the prize pack!


Birthday Bash Day Four: Meg Trotter

 

As an avid book lover, my birthday has traditionally been an excuse for me to buy more books. Any time a friend or relative asks me what I want for my birthday, the answer has been easy: books, gift cards to bookstores, gift cards to stores that carry books ….. or cash. So I can buy books.
Relatives look at my overflowing bookshelves with concern, saying, “Are you sure you want more books?” Or, “Do you think you may have a slight hording problem?”
My book obsession has only gotten worse over the years, especially since I discovered that in Tennessee, where I live, there is a giant book festival about a two hour drive from my house, called the Southern Festival of Books. And when does this annual festival occur, you might ask?
It’s always the week of my birthday.
I couldn’t have planned that better myself.
This particular festival was first brought to my attention years ago by my now best friend and fellow writer, S.I. Mathews. One day, before we were super close, she showed up at my work with a gift bag. She’d been to the Southern Festival of Books and had remembered it was my birthday. Inside the bag was a copy of a book with a beautiful cover. It was “Hourglass” by Myra McEntire. As I flipped it open to admire the inside, I saw it was signed by the author. I was impressed! I had never had a book signed by the author before. My friend informed me that the author also lived in Tennessee and not only that — she actually met her and had conversations with her.
Now I was interested. At the time, I had no idea that you could actually meet authors and talk to them. To me, authors wrote their awesome books, threw them out into the world, and then just started on the next one. How cool would it be to meet the person whose brain actually produced an entire publishable novel?
The next year I went to that book festival, and met McEntire (who is a lovely person, I might add), and got her next book. She signed that one as well.
I was hooked. I needed to collect signatures on every book possible.Year after year I’ve gone back and gotten signed books from my favorite YA authors like McEnitre, Victoria Schwab and Maggie Stiefvater, while trying not to be a total weirdo when I met them in person. (To date, none of them have called me a weirdo. To my knowledge.)
It’s become a tradition for S.I. Matthews and I to make that trip to the book festival each year and return with our arms weighed down with way more books than we have money for. And every year since that first one, she’s always grabbing one from my stack, putting it on hers, and saying, “This one’s your birthday present.”
And I have to grin, because on my birthday, I couldn’t ask for anything better: a pile of books, meeting really cool authors — and a friend who understands that it doesn’t really count as hording if you’re hording books.

 


For as long as she can remember, seventeen-year-old Princess Andromeda has done what was expected of her. She consented to a political marriage to a hateful older man. She became a quiet, obedient housewife. After her husband’s death, she agreed to be united in yet another political marriage for the sake of her country’s stability.

However, when the Greek goddess of the sea disrupts this second wedding ceremony, jealous of the pomp of the celebration, she places a curse on Andromeda and her home: either sacrifice the princess to a sea beast or let the creature destroy her country. A visit to the Oracle reveals that Andromeda needs four ancient weapons of the Greek gods to fight off the beast and the goddess who controls it.

Now Andromeda must find the strength and the cunning to do what she has never done before — to fight for her own life — while keeping the well-meaning “hero” Perseus out of her way.

Here is the link for the Raffecopter. Don’t forget this is U.S. only!

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Birthday Bash: Courtney Ruggles-The Sixth Domicile

Birthday Bash Day Two: Courtney Ruggles

 

My birthday is one of my favorite days of the year.  I know some people don’t like their birthdays, but I’ve never been one of those people.  I mean, honestly, the day is about me, well, I make the whole month about me ;) !  Not in a selfish way, I like to think, but in a reflection kind of way.  But let’s face it, I love receiving a birthday surprise here and there.

I use my birthday as a time to reflect on my past year.  I am another year older, supposed to be another year wiser, another year more mature (I’m not sure if I ever accomplish that last one really).  Is this a year that I am proud of? Can I go back to the year I was 26, and ask if I accomplished a lot of things? All the things I wanted to accomplish?  Or will the year 29, the one I’m currently in, be the best one so far? I have no idea, but I try to make each one count more than the last year. Whether it’s accomplishing my publishing dream, like I did in year 27, going into year 28.  Or the biggest one so far- having my son in year 25 which turned to year 26 three days later. Or making this year epic as well as 25 when I have our daughter.  Heck, I wouldn’t have birthdays like 25 or 29 if it hadn’t been for year 20 when I started dating my husband, or year 22 when he asked me to marry him, or year 23 when I actually did.  And then all the years after which he’s put up with me and I’ve put up with him.  And all those years I’d never change for a million dollars, well, unless my husband agrees to being traded for a million dollars and we have a secret, underground marriage.

In my series, The Domicile Series, everyone is assigned a series of numbers and letters for their names based upon their birthdays.  It dictates who they’ll be matched to even.  Their serial names show their age, how long they lived in the Domicile, and possible threats to the Domicile as revolutionaries.  I’m glad my birthday is a day about reflecting rather than dictating my life!

So, cheers to birthdays! Cheers to making them count! Cheers to deciding how we live leading up to our birthdays and achieving whatever we desire to!


Thanks so much for participating Courtney! I’ve got a copy of The Sixth Domicle in my present pack to give away! Here’s a little bit about it:

“A heart-wrenching dystopian with star-crossed lovers and a reminder that love and freedom can never be caged.” -Casey Bond, bestselling author of the Frenzy Series

A five star Readers Favorite!

In a future ravaged by greed and war, The Domicile has emerged. A new civilization governed by clandestine Elders where citizens are united by white masks and uniform identities. To remove one’s mask, to go outside the Domicile, to show defiance, means being sent to the Meurtre, a horrifying death sentence.

Q437B doesn’t follow the rules. She craves sunlight, dares to love her childhood friend B116A, and–the most forbidden of all–has seen the true face of her beloved beneath his mask.

But when Q becomes an Adulte, The Domicile threatens to take away everything that makes her happy. She is forced to marry an abusive soldier who demands she conform.

Whispers spread about the unconventional lessons she teaches her new students. And when Q openly disobeys the Elders, the people become restless, questioning the truth of the world in the wake of such defiance.

Rumblings of discontent stir as others begin to follow the path toward their freedom. The Revolution has begun, and Q is the spark that ignited the flames.

The Sixth Domicile is book 1 in the Domicile Series, A New Adult dystopian. Fans of Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Ally Condie’s Matched series will love The Sixth Domicile.

Click on the link below for the rafflecopter! Thanks so much for participating everyone!

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