Just Friends By: Monica Murphy Release Date: Sept. 13, 2016 Add to Goodreads Source: Paperback from the author in exchange for a honest review GR's Summary: 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.
Just Friends was chock-full of teenage drama. It entailed best friends, new friends, betrayals, first love, dysfunction, and angst! What a page turner! Ms. Murphy nailed the teen voice to perfection; and while I didn't necessarily like the main characters, I loved the story that they begun to tell....
Olivia "Livvy" is bummed that she has to spend her summer with her stepmother, and two half-siblings. This means that she is going to miss out on all of the fun to be had with her two best friends, Emily "Em," and Dustin. Therefore, she is looking forward to returning home. Unfortunately, her life is about to take an unexpected and difficult turn! This will lead Livvy to befriend and become closer to previous acquaintance, Amanda, and to begin dating the new football star, and Em's summer fling, Ryan!
I loved the constant realistic teenage drama, plot twists, and intensity that Just Friends offered. The teens were most definitely realistically flawed. Livvy was very wishy-washy, and naive when it came to her friendships and crushes. Em was selfish, manipulative, and in a dark downward spiral. I didn't know what to think of Ryan. I have a feeling that he is just using Livvy, and isn't sincere in his feelings for her. He runs hot and cold, and isn't the nicest guy. However, he did offer glimpses of redemption. I didn't care for Dustin at first, due to his unfortunate decision making, but I really think he learned from his mistake and is a good guy overall.
My favorite characters were actually Amanda "Mandy," (Livvy's new best friend) and her crush Jordan Tuttle. Amanda was very mature, down to earth, and a solid loyal and loving friend. It was obvious that this "player" was sincere in his feelings for her. He made me swoon throughout the entirety of the story!
While cliffhangers can be difficult, I am relieved that Just Friends will be continuing. The best part, is that Amanda and Jordan will be sharing the spotlight with Livvy and her boys! Right after I finished Just Friends, I went on to Wattpad to read the prequel, One Night! It was so good, and I got more Amanda and Jordan!!! Also, Ms. Murphy took turns alternating the characters voices, which gave me even more insight in to the characters. I highly recommend reading the prequel, One Night, and Just Friends back to back.
I am really looking forward to the next installment of the Just Friends Series. I want more Amanda and Jordan Tuttle, as well as to see how everything plays out with Livvy and her love triangle.
I hope we get more Cannon as well. He was a very minor character in the story. However, he had a significant part in the prequel and has a really big crush on Em.
I give Just Friends, by Monica Murphy, 4 Heartbreak, Crushes-are-Complicated, and So-Are-Teenage-Friendships Filled Stars!
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.