Better off Friends
Goodreads ratings
3.93 / 5

"Better off Friends" Characters Analysis

By Elizabeth Eulberg

young adult | 288 pages | Published in 2014

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?


Estimated read time: 6 min read

List of Characters

EmilyMacallan's best friend
AmandaLevi's sister
BeccaMacallan's friend
OwenLevi's friend
MeredithMacallan's mom
Mr. WatsonMacallan's English teacher
Mrs. KimLevi's mom

Role Identification

In the novel "Better off Friends" by Elizabeth Eulberg, the main characters Macallan and Levi take center stage. They are best friends who navigate the ups and downs of their relationship as they grow up together. The story revolves around their friendship, their individual journeys, and how their bond evolves over time.

Character Descriptions

  • Macallan: Macallan is a smart and opinionated girl. She has a strong personality and is not afraid to speak her mind. She is known for her fiery red hair and her love for reading. Macallan is independent and determined, always striving to achieve her goals.
  • Levi: Levi is a laid-back and friendly guy. He is known for his infectious smile and his ability to make people laugh. Levi is athletic and enjoys playing soccer. He is often seen wearing his favorite baseball cap and has a charming and easygoing nature.
  • Emily: Emily is Macallan's best friend. She is kind-hearted, supportive, and always there for Macallan. Emily is a talented artist and often helps Macallan express her emotions through her drawings.
  • Amanda: Amanda is Levi's older sister. She is protective of Levi and acts as a mother figure in his life. Amanda is responsible and mature, always looking out for her brother's well-being.
  • Becca: Becca is one of Macallan's friends. She is outgoing and adventurous, often pushing Macallan out of her comfort zone. Becca adds a sense of excitement and spontaneity to Macallan's life.
  • Owen: Owen is one of Levi's friends. He is a bit of a troublemaker and often gets into mischief. Owen is loyal to Levi and adds a fun and mischievous element to their friendship.
  • Meredith: Meredith is Macallan's mom. She is a single mother who works hard to provide for Macallan. Meredith is loving and supportive, always encouraging Macallan to pursue her dreams.
  • Mr. Watson: Mr. Watson is Macallan's English teacher. He is passionate about literature and inspires Macallan's love for reading and writing. Mr. Watson plays a significant role in Macallan's personal growth throughout the story.
  • Mrs. Kim: Mrs. Kim is Levi's mom. She is warm and welcoming, treating Macallan like her own daughter. Mrs. Kim provides a nurturing environment for Levi and Macallan's friendship to flourish.

Character Traits

  • Macallan: Macallan is intelligent, outspoken, ambitious, determined, and passionate about literature. She can also be stubborn and guarded at times.
  • Levi: Levi is friendly, funny, laid-back, athletic, and loyal. He is known for his sense of humor and ability to make others feel comfortable.
  • Emily: Emily is kind, artistic, empathetic, and a great listener. She is always there for Macallan and supports her unconditionally.
  • Amanda: Amanda is responsible, protective, caring, and mature. She takes her role as Levi's sister seriously and looks out for him.
  • Becca: Becca is outgoing, adventurous, spontaneous, and encourages Macallan to step out of her comfort zone. She brings excitement and energy to Macallan's life.
  • Owen: Owen is mischievous, loyal, and adds a sense of fun to Levi's life. He is always up for an adventure and willing to take risks.
  • Meredith: Meredith is loving, supportive, hardworking, and encourages Macallan to pursue her dreams. She is a role model for Macallan.
  • Mr. Watson: Mr. Watson is passionate, knowledgeable, inspiring, and plays a crucial role in Macallan's personal growth. He encourages her love for literature and writing.
  • Mrs. Kim: Mrs. Kim is warm, nurturing, and treats Macallan like her own daughter. She provides a safe and loving environment for Levi and Macallan's friendship.

Character Background

Macallan and Levi meet in seventh grade when Macallan moves to a new school. They quickly become friends and develop a strong bond. Macallan comes from a single-parent household, and her love for books and literature stems from her mother's influence. Levi, on the other hand, comes from a close-knit family and has a supportive sister, Amanda. Despite their different backgrounds, Macallan and Levi form a deep connection and become inseparable.

Character Arcs

Macallan's character arc revolves around her journey of self-discovery and finding her voice. At the beginning of the story, she is guarded and hesitant to express her true feelings. Throughout the novel, Macallan learns to open up, stand up for herself, and embrace her passions. She gains confidence and becomes more comfortable with vulnerability.

Levi's character arc focuses on his growth from a carefree and easygoing teenager to a more responsible and focused young adult. As the story progresses, Levi faces challenges and learns the importance of making difficult choices. He discovers his own ambitions and learns to balance his priorities.


The central relationship in the book is between Macallan and Levi. They start as friends, but their bond deepens over time. Macallan and Levi understand and support each other through various ups and downs, including relationships, family issues, and personal challenges. Their friendship evolves into something more complicated as they navigate their feelings for each other.

Macallan's friendship with Emily is also significant. Emily is Macallan's confidante and provides unwavering support throughout the story. She is the person Macallan turns to when she needs advice or a listening ear.

Levi's relationship with his sister, Amanda, is pivotal in his life. Amanda is a constant source of guidance and protection for Levi. She plays a crucial role in his decision-making process and acts as a mother figure.

Macallan's mother, Meredith, has a loving and supportive relationship with her daughter. She encourages Macallan to pursue her dreams and provides a stable home environment.

Overall, "Better off Friends" explores the complexities of friendships, family dynamics, and personal growth. The characters' relationships shape their individual journeys and contribute to the overall narrative of the book.