ARC Review: Just Friends by Monica Murphy

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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.


3/5 Stars 

***I received this ARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review and participation in the tour 

+++Despite being set in high school this is MATURE. Technically it can fall in YA range, but it is categorized as New Adult 

Just Friends chronicles the dark side of friendship-when everything falls apart, when heartbreak, jealousy, and boys shake the foundation of their bond. Just Friends is Mean Girls with a side of Heathers, minus the murder. 

Although Just Friends is a fairly typical story, friends who fall for a boy and let jealousy, pettiness, and hurt come between them, I could NOT put it down. It was vulgar, catty, a hot mess of angst, and in the same way that Pretty Little Liars and One Tree Hill sucked you into the black hole of their teenage tantrums, fights, and lusting after each other, Just Friends has that same magical and bewildering pull. 

This book is more about sex than anything else, despite the friendship drama. It’s always there. I know hormones are raging and what not but holy freaking angst. Seriously. Some sections are pretty graphic in terms of innuendo or just blatant sex talk. Blushing is inevitable. But this is super real. When I think about some of the stuff I heard in high school, this is fairly common. Well, at least where I grew up. 

For the life of me, I could not figure out what a sweet girl like Olivia was doing with a friend like Em. She’s literally THE WORST. She’s a jerk. She says some really messed up stuff and throws herself at guys that she knows Olivia likes. It’s pretty repulsive. I know they’ve been friends forever, but people change and there’s only so much rudeness that someone should put up with. 

This is a coming of age story. Everyone is on the brink of adulthood so emotions are high and erratic. Everyone is growing. This doesn’t mean they’re maturing. I liked Olivia (Livvy), though her wishy washy confusion and I’m mad, I’m not attitude, bugged me. She went from one extreme to another and jeez for someone who started out so tame, she sure progresses. The shift is fast and didn’t align well with her character. She jumps into things and loses her train of though, it’s like a switch being flipped. Plus, for someone who questions things, she’s SO BLIND. 

The love triangle is strong. You were warned. If you don’t like them, read with caution. 


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.



If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Dramatic reading, 



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