Past Perfect Life

Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genre: Young Adult
Source:  Book Expo 2019

Goodreads:  Small-town Wisconsin high school senior Allison Smith loves her life the way it is-spending quality time with her widowed father and her tight-knit circle of friends, including best friend Marian and maybe-more-than-friends Neil. Sure she is stressed out about college applications . . . who wouldn’t be? In a few short months, everything’s going to change, big time.
But when Ally files her applications, they send up a red flag . . . because she’s not Allison Smith. And Ally’s-make that Amanda’s-ordinary life is suddenly blown apart. Was everything before a lie? Who will she be after? And what will she do as now comes crashing down around her?

Ope’s Opinion: This book had perfect pace.  It started out sort of slow with no drama.  So you might think, why keep reading??  Well, it was how Ally’s life started out.  She was happily living with her dad, thinking all was normal until she started applying for college.  Then the pace of the book picked up and secrets were revealed…

I highly recommend this to a YA or adult reader.  It will keep their attention, the characters are realistic, the emotions are real and friendships are positive.  The only negative was the “f” word was used a couple of times – both in high stressed situations.

The ending made me see how strong Ally was ( a good example ).  She handled her situation better then some adults would.  I felt it was very positive and uplifting.

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Better off Friends

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Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Point
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Source: Purchased

Goodreads:  WHEN HARRY MET SALLY . . . for teens, from romantic comedy star Elizabeth Eulberg.

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?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

Ope’s Opinion: I really like YA books and I like when it isn’t instant love, but this one was really drawn out for me.

The characters were likable, but wishy-washy with their feelings.  I understand protecting a friendship you don’t want to loose, that is important.  They just kept going back and forth, as to who was available and who would admit deeper feelings.

I did like that the physical part of the relationships in this book was very basic – kept to kissing.  It was nice to see a relationship that wasn’t all about the physical aspects.  They did know each other and enjoyed similar things.

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