Review – Just Friends by Monica Murphy


Just Friends by Monica Murphy

Karen's Review

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is something that shines in a young adult (YA) romance. Maybe it’s the movement, the faster pace, the engagement of the story. Perhaps it’s the childhood innocence resonating through the story. It could be the trip down memory lane it takes to those teenage years, sparking good and trying times. The glue that usually cements YA stories—with tough topics, some sexy scenes, and lots of depth—together is hope. Who doesn’t need a little hope in their life?

While I’ve read many college romances in the past few years, I can’t recall the last time when I hit the ‘rewind button’ even further and read a high school romance: a full-on young adult story. With adrenaline surging through me, I was excited to be reunited with a true YA romance.

Just Friends came to life before my eyes as I fell into a deep coma of captivation, fully immersed and intoxicated, where I felt every word I read. I feel deep into this slightly dark and deceptive tale, so deep that Just Friends found my lost high school years. I felt my teenage years flash before my eyes. Those years when I was a rebel against my parents…against the world…where I knew everything and they knew nothing.

Fast and furiously, Just Friends became my fix…my fascination. I could not put this all-consuming story down. This alluring tale was my addiction, my angst, and my amazing escape. These characters wrapped me into their web of deceit and dangerous consequences from playing with ones’ hearts where I fell into their tumultuous triangle of messy love. Oh did I LOVE every messy minute!

“The problem with messing around with your best friend who happens to be a boy is that they form certain expectations. We’ve crossed the line. In his eyes, there’s no going back. He wants more. He wants it—me—all the time. I think I want that too, but I’m not sure.”

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Once a girl messed around with a boy, one of her best friends. Then that boy best friend messed around the with other girl best friend. Their triangle of friendship became one of fraud. A new boy enters the mix, messing with two of the best friends in the triangle, making for one screwed up square of deception.

“When he looks at me like this, I can feel that crackling chemistry between us…I can’t wash away his touch. His words. His everything…And I shouldn’t. He doesn’t belong to me. He belongs to Em. I should be thinking about Dustin. Not Ryan.”

Olivia, Emily, and Dustin are best friends, best friends for life, or so they thought until things became difficult. One Summer, Olivia went away to stay with her dad. One Summer, everything yet nothing changed. One Summer, friendships were formed and friendships fell in one messy love triangle or more like square. High school that’s supposed to be care-free became complicated.

“He played us both. She’s a fool. But then again, so am I.”

I did not expect to love a YA story as much as a contemporary romance…but I did! I did not expect to become engrossed and entangled in story of high schoolers…but oh I was so tangled and twisted up in every part of this tale! I did not expect to fall in insta-love with Just Friends…but I FELL IN LOVE SO HARD with this spellbinding story! I did not expect Just Friends to be my new favorite Monica Murphy romance but it is now my favorite story by this amazing author!

Intoxicating and intense, Just Friends is a coming of age romance that bleeds angst, penetrating the heart and soul, where you’re thrust full throttle into this tender yet turbulent tale of first love. This story tormented me in the best way where I welcomed every ounce of angst! My pulse pounded. My heart beat out of my chest. My feelings flowed all over the pages. I WAS ALL IN…hook…line…sinker! I sunk so hard, fell so hard, and LOVE THIS STORY SO HARD! Just Friends is JUST AMAZING!!! I’m dying for the sequel like yesterday.


5 terrifically turbulent stars

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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.


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