Just Friends by Monica Murphy
Release Date: September 13th, 2016
Genre: New Adult Romance
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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.
Admittedly I’m always hesitant when it comes to Young Adult novels, but there was something about Just Friends that made me throw caution to the wind and step into the storm that was teen angst. Slated as mature Young Adult (which it definitely is) my hesitation quickly gave way to curiosity as I got swept along in the sexed up teen drama. I’m still trying to dissect how Monica Murphy was able to write about characters that made me both want to tear my hair out but also have a sleep over and take turns braiding each other’s hair.
After spending most her summer with her father in Oregon with his new family, Olivia Hudson can’t wait return home and back into the fold of her two best friends, Emily and Dustin. Her slight hesitation comes from the fact that before she left, herself and Dustin had become over friendly with one another and she becomes worried it will confuse the dynamic of their trio. It’s a hesitation Dustin doesn’t share as he would like nothing more than to evolve their relationship.
He acts like he wants forever and that terrifies me. We’re too young. Things can change.
Once home all hopes of falling back into their routine are soon dashed. In her absence there has been a new addition, Ryan. Emily is smitten with him and much to her annoyance Olivia is too. The friction between Dustin and Ryan palpable as it seems Ryan has his eye on Olivia also.
“He’s hurting Em right now. Can’t you see? He doesn’t care about her. And he won’t care about you either. Not like I do, Livvy.”
If life couldn’t get more complicated enough, Livvy learns of a betrayal that shatters the group completely. With the friend code no longer in existence, there is nothing to stop Livvy from shooting Ryan down. My first reactions to Ryan were not positive. He came across as creepy at times and I would have liked nothing more than to wipe the smug perma smile off his face.
Amanda is a character, who becomes not only Olivia’s saving grace but that of the reader too. In a world where indecision and he said-she said reign, she brings stability and genuine likability to proceedings. It also helps that her sub plot story with fellow student Jordon adds further dimension and addiction to the story.
Just Friends is messy, aggravating, but incredibly addictive reading. It’s the drama you want no part of, but love to hear about.
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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.
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