Just Friends by Monica Murphy
Release Date: September 13th, 2016
Genre: New Adult Romance
It’s the end of summer. Just before I start senior year with my two best friends in the whole world. Dustin and Emily are everything to me. We’ve been inseparable since middle school, and when we’re together, nothing can go wrong.
But things aren’t always what they seem. Em’s turned into a drunken mess who parties too much. Dustin and I have hooked up a few times―and now he’s ready to take our relationship to the next level. Yet I’m not sure I want things to change. I’m scared if I take it any further with Dustin, our friendship will be ruined forever. Then there’s Ryan. The new guy. He’s hot. He flirts way too much. And Em has totally set her sights on him.
So when my best friend betrays me in the worst possible way, guess who’s there to help me pick up the pieces of my broken heart? Ryan. But he’s so confusing. Annoying. Sweet. Sexy. I want to trust him, yet he makes it so hard. What I really want is for everything to go back to the way it was before.
Before I found out that best friends make the worst kind of enemies.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2bHAn2k
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2bIEISO
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Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2byYFg7
About the Author:
Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.
She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.
Connect with Monica:
Just friends is the new story from American author Monica Murphy. At first I was a little hesitant about it. But it’s Monica, so I grabbed it and was surprised how great it was. The book is full of betrayal, figuring out who you are, moments which confuse you a little. But the story got under my skin. The variety of characters is a great aspect to the storyline. You just don’t know what to expect from them.
The book tells the story of Olivia, who came home from summer at her father’s house. She has the feeling something is different. That something changed while she was away. Her best friend Emily barely talks to her. She didn’t talk to her even when she was away. Liv discovers that Em is not like she used to be. She parties too hard, gets drunk too often. She is not like the girl Olivia left at home. She wonders what happened. What can possibly be the reason for her behavior? And there is Dustin. Great, handsome, caring, sweet Dustin. Guy with who she is more than friends. Liv doesn’t want to take their relationship further, but he has something else in mind. Apart from everything there is also Ryan. Em’s summer fling or something like that. Olivia doesn’t like him. But there is something interesting about him. Something, that makes her want him. When she discovers how Dustin and Emily betrayed her, she is broken. She can‘t comprehend why would they do that. Exactly at that time Ryan helps her as much as he can. But this is just the beginning, because friends really make the worst enemies.
At first I thought that I wouldn’t like the story. I couldn’t relate to the characters. I said to myself: “Why on Earth would you do that to your long term friend? Are you insane or what?” But the characters are teenagers, so they act improperly. They can be selfish. Ignorant. They don’t care whether they hurt someone or not. I think this is why Dustin and Em did what they did. They didn’t look at the consequences. They probably didn’t think at all.
Olivia is a typical teenage girl, who is scared of changes. She wants things to be as they are. She can’t imagine taking the next step with Dustin, but he is so forceful. He tries to persuade her to do as he wishes. Liv is stubborn and if I was her I would do exactly the same thing. She doesn’t want to lose his friendship. But on the other hand, Dustin is the guy she always wanted. This confuses me a little. Because her other action didn’t make her really smart. She wants to be with him, but still doesn’t want to be with him. This made me crazy. But I was a teenager too, I have made some awkward decisions, some things I regret doing, so I could relate to her at this point. Sometimes I felt sorry for her, because it is hard to watch one of your closest friends turn on you and make hell out of your life. I can’t wait to read more about what actually happened in the next book.
The character I like the most is Dustin. Yes, he can be pushy and moody and jealous, but exactly these features make him so authentic, so real and this is the kind of character I grow to love. I understand his intentions to take things with Liv further. They have known each other for so long. There is this saying from my fav book that says: “Love is friendship set on fire.” I really hoped that this would be the case of these two, because nevertheless how things were between them at some point I wanted them together. But things got complicated and I was slowly losing my hope.
I didn’t like Emily at first. I thought that she is the worst best friend ever. But a small voice in my head kept telling me that there is more about her. So I didn’t give up on her. And now I still don’t understand her actions. Personally I think that she envied Liv at some point. Em’s life isn’t as happy as everyone thinks. She is that type of friend I wouldn’t want in my life. She says that she loves Liv, but her actions speak otherwise. I think her main problem with Olivia is that in Em’s eyes she gets what she wants even without asking. And Em envies her. It now makes sense. She would do everything to be in Olivia’s shoes. So she betrays her in the worst way possible. I so can’t wait to learn more about her.
Ryan is the typical mysterious, cocky boy who you don’t want to mess with. My opinion about him changed during the story a lot, because his character was changing too. At first I didn’t like him. He was arrogant and persistent. But not everything is just black and white. And this is exactly how Ryan is. He is colorful. He can make terrible choices and really great ones. I started to root for him and Liv and then the end happened. I freaking need the second book like right now.
I’m so curious about Amanda and Tuttle. Their interactions are so amazing that I can’t imagine them being apart. Amanda is the type of girl you want to have as your best friend. At first she is secretive and doesn’t give anything up, but later she learns that she can rely on others. Well, Tuttle is a mystery for me. That guy is like a closed and unread book. I can’t wait to learn more about him. I like Amanda’s and Liv’ friendship. It started of slow, but as the story went on they became good friends. At first I thought that Am would be just some kind of replacement for Emily, but I was terribly wrong.
Just friends is like modern Beverly Hills 902 10. It is so well written. I read it on one strike. The story includes a lot of drama, troubles among friends, some fun parts that make you laugh so hard. It is also about betrayal, which you don’t expect, especially from friends. It is about unexpected choices and most unpredictable life moments. I just love the story so much. It is so realistic and the characters act like real people. We all went through some teenage drama in our lives, so most of us can relate to this story really much. And this is one of the many reasons why this book grew on me. But despite all the good things there were parts I had some troubles to get through. Em acting like a total bitch. If I would be in Liv’s shoes I wouldn’t let Emily go that far. Ryan running after Olivia like she is some kind of trophy. Yes, they relationship changed, but the beginning makes me mad. I just wanted to shake Ryan to stop acting like an idiot. These are the little things that bugged me. As much as I wanted to understand certain actions they went beyond me.
Monica also wrote a prequel to Just friends called One night. It is free on wattpad. In One night she introduces the characters to the readers, so they get a more complex view on them. I will definitely read this while I wait for the sequel.
ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.