I read the first installment of this series weeks ago, and I must say this one was slightly better. More than Friends was decent. It was a quick read and did not deal with any tough subject matter. Drug and alcohol abuse was briefly mentioned; however, the author did not go in-depth.
In essence, this book is a cliché tale about two teenagers who are attracted to each other. The book features two background characters from the first book. It’s told in two POVs- the majority of the chapters being in Amanda’s. In the span of 320 pages, we see Amanda Winters and Jordan Tuttle grow closer and start to develop feelings for each other. Unfortunately, you cannot have a book without drama and the book ends on an annoying, but fitting cliffhanger.
If you are looking for a fast, instalove, slight commitment this book is for you.
This book felt problematic at times for me. The underlying theme that I have found in both books, is the strong presence of unnecessary girl hate. There were no genuine female friendships. I’ll touch more upon this subject later. But something that I will cover in this section, is the ascendance of girl on girl hate because a girl starts to date a boy that another likes. And in this book, all of the hate came from that.
It was very frustrating that most of the girls in this book were awful to each other because another was dating a guy that she liked. The slut shaming and hatred added nothing to the plot and simply made most characters seem very two dimensional. And quite frankly, it made no sense at all.
Amanda was a decent character. She gained my respect when she apologized to a girl after slut shaming her. She genuinely felt bad for what she did. And I applaud her. However, Amanda did not really stand out as a main character to me. There was not really any depth to her or to any of the characters. Their motive for acting the way they did felt superficial or nonexistent. I knew very few about Amanda.
In the last book, Amanda was a part of the band; however, after discovering that her boyfriend was cheating with her best friend, she quit. In this book, the summary mentions that Amanda has new friends, a new job, and new interests.
Amanda’s new interest was never explored, unless it was Tuttle or her new hobby as a water girl for the football team. It would have been nice to see her find a new interest, or get back into the band. Also, it would have been nice to see her narrative about her feelings about quitting band. I feel as if that would have been something that was hard for her.
As a whole, Amanda’s narrative felt very unreliable. She was a very nice person; however, because of the constant girl hate if left me wondering if the other characters were portrayed in a fair light. Also, she had conflicting feelings about many characters. This was very prominent with Ryan, Livvy’s boyfriend. I was not sure if she was a fan of him.
Amanda and Livvy’s friendship fell very flat for me. I vaguely remember the first book, so I’m not quite sure how the friendship begun. The main problem I had with the friendship is that it did not feel genuine. That could be because we did not really get any genuine conversations between them. The conversations that did place centered on Ryan, Em (Livvy’s ex-friend who she now hates), and Tuttle.
And also, Livvy was not a nice person, and it felt weird to me that her and Amanda were friends because Amanda was the complete opposite of her. This is very apparent in the scene when Amanda confronts Livvy about her cheating that happened in the last book.
In the book, Em warned Amanda about Livvy’s evil ways, and I could see Livvy turning on Amanda without a second thought. She has did it before with Em, so it makes me very cautious of this friendship.
As a person who loves banter, I enjoyed Tuttle and Amanda’s banter. It was a nice touch to their relationship. A use the term ‘relationship’ extremely lightly because there was so much lack of communication and confusion that I do not think that it fully developed to it’s potential in this book. This is why the cliffhanger is so important to have. Amanda and Tuttle are not ready to have a relationship yet because they still have a few issues to settle. And most importantly, they need to actually talk. No making out, no talking about other people, just having a talk.
More than Friends is filled with cliché tropes, two dimensional characters, and girl hate. However, it does have potential, if you do not read too much into it.