Saturday 17 September 2016

Review ~ Just Friends (Friends #1) by Monica Murphy

Book Description:

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.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 3.5 stars

“We’re all messing around with each other. And it’s a freaking disaster waiting to happen.”

There is nothing more addictive than car crash reading, well for me anyway. You know it’s a train wreck, you know it’s all going to end badly, yet you just cannot look away, you just cannot stop reading…well that is what Just Friends was like for me. I’m in my forties, yet I love reading about teenagers, their experiences in college and the mistakes they make but most of all the fun they have and their relationship disasters…I live vicariously through these stories and live a school life I never had and I love it. This was that 90’s drama Beverly Hills 90210 on speed.

“…I force myself to ignore the signs. The signs that I might be attracted to this boy who just had his tongue in my best friend’s mouth…”

I should have hated this book, the characters are naïve, selfish, self-absorbed, irritating, immature and extremely indecisive. The flick flack of emotions as all those hormones go spiralling out of control was exhausting, yet, and this is a huge yet, I couldn’t put it down. I’m a glutton for punishment, but I am also a glutton for angst and this was one huge angst fest and once again, I loved it.

This book is one hot mess of emotions and hormones, three best friends, two girls and one boy, Olivia, Dustin and Emily, just how much trouble could these characters wreak?

Olivia comes from divorced parents and alternates her summers between living with her dad and mum. This particular summer she has been with her dad so has been without her two best friends. Returning from her fathers, Olivia seems to have entered the twilight zone where her two best friends have suddenly started hanging out with the “it crowd.” Pool parties, alcohol and weed never mix and Olivia struggles to come to terms with the changes that have happened while she has been gone. Emily seems to be hooking up with the new star football player Ryan, but Ryan makes a play for Olivia straight off the bat. Olivia had a few dalliances between the sheets with Dustin before she left for summer break, never going all the way but definitely blurring the lines of friendship and Dustin is keen to pick up where they left off. But something seems off…

“You came home from Oregon and both Ryan and Dustin didn’t care about me anymore. All they cared about is you.” ~ Emily

As secrets are revealed and this trios bond is blown to smithereens all hell breaks loose and some of the characters just morph from dislikeable to downright hateable. But, it is like crack, the more they disintegrate, the more mistakes they make, the more mistakes they make the juicier the storyline. It was a car crash!!

“He turns and walks back toward his house. Walks right out of my life. And quietly breaks my heart.”

Leaving her two best friends behind Olivia makes a new best friend called Amanda, finally some normality in this head spinning quadrangle of epic proportions. Her on/off flirting with Jordan made this book for me and I cannot wait to read more about this unlikely couple going forward. Even though they are total opposites, they just fit, Jordan just needs to convince Amanda.

Out of all of the main characters in this book, Dustin seems to grow up the most. He knows he has made mistakes and tries his hardest to remedy them, but it doesn’t come easy. Olivia wound me up to the point of combustion, I absolutely abhor everything about Emily and I don’t trust Ryan as far as I could throw him so all in all, a great mix of dysfunctional characters, but ones that make for entertaining reading.

“I may have been with Em last night, but I wanted it to be you.”

Yes, it was exhausting, yes it was angsty, yes it was frustrating but it was unputdownable. These are selfish kids and the constant Dustin, Ryan, Dustin, Ryan, Dustin, Ryan will have your head spinning faster than the girl in the Exorcist, the constant squabbling will drive you mental but as soon as I had finished…I wanted the next book. As I said, GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT! So, Monica Murphy, BRING IT ON!!

“You need to make up your mind who you want, Olivia…You can’t have us both.”

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