counter create hit The Natural History of Us - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Natural History of Us

Availability: Ready to download

One class assignment. One second chance at love. The school player is all in. Now he needs to win back the sweet commitment girl who's forever owned his heart. Justin Carter has a secret. He's not the total player Fairfield Academy believes him to be. Not really. In fact, he used to be a one-woman guy...and his feelings for her never went away. Too bad he broke her heart One class assignment. One second chance at love. The school player is all in. Now he needs to win back the sweet commitment girl who's forever owned his heart. Justin Carter has a secret. He's not the total player Fairfield Academy believes him to be. Not really. In fact, he used to be a one-woman guy...and his feelings for her never went away. Too bad he broke her heart three years ago and made sure to ruin any chance she'd ever forgive him. Peyton Williams is a liar. She pretends to be whole, counting down the days until graduation and helping her parents at the family ranch. But the truth is, she's done everything she can to get over Justin, and salvation is just around the corner. With graduation one short month away, she'll soon break free from the painful memories and start her life fresh. Of course, she has to get through working with him on one last assignment first. For Justin, nothing ever felt as right as being with Peyton, and now that fate's given him a shot at redemption, he's determined to make the most of it. And for Peyton...well, Justin Carter has always been her kryptonite.


Compare
Ads Banner

One class assignment. One second chance at love. The school player is all in. Now he needs to win back the sweet commitment girl who's forever owned his heart. Justin Carter has a secret. He's not the total player Fairfield Academy believes him to be. Not really. In fact, he used to be a one-woman guy...and his feelings for her never went away. Too bad he broke her heart One class assignment. One second chance at love. The school player is all in. Now he needs to win back the sweet commitment girl who's forever owned his heart. Justin Carter has a secret. He's not the total player Fairfield Academy believes him to be. Not really. In fact, he used to be a one-woman guy...and his feelings for her never went away. Too bad he broke her heart three years ago and made sure to ruin any chance she'd ever forgive him. Peyton Williams is a liar. She pretends to be whole, counting down the days until graduation and helping her parents at the family ranch. But the truth is, she's done everything she can to get over Justin, and salvation is just around the corner. With graduation one short month away, she'll soon break free from the painful memories and start her life fresh. Of course, she has to get through working with him on one last assignment first. For Justin, nothing ever felt as right as being with Peyton, and now that fate's given him a shot at redemption, he's determined to make the most of it. And for Peyton...well, Justin Carter has always been her kryptonite.

30 review for The Natural History of Us

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Harris

    I am SOOO excited about this book!!! A favorite character from book 1 gets their own book, and there will be lots of angst, and a whole lot of yummy swoonage lol

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    I’ve loved all of Rachel’s books, so I knew that I would enjoy this one. There were a few things I didn’t see coming and I really enjoyed the way everything was revealed. Pre-break up Peyton was my favorite. She’s sassy and wants to try all of the new things. Her personal motto is “do what scares you” and I thought that was amazing. Post-breakup Peyton was definitely different. She’s skittish and doesn’t trust herself and that was sort of heartbreaking to Pre-break up Justin was sort of an ass. H I’ve loved all of Rachel’s books, so I knew that I would enjoy this one. There were a few things I didn’t see coming and I really enjoyed the way everything was revealed. Pre-break up Peyton was my favorite. She’s sassy and wants to try all of the new things. Her personal motto is “do what scares you” and I thought that was amazing. Post-breakup Peyton was definitely different. She’s skittish and doesn’t trust herself and that was sort of heartbreaking to Pre-break up Justin was sort of an ass. He was really concerned with his reputation and while he knew Peyton deserved more, he didn’t try to change. Post-break up Justin is adorable. He knows what he did was wrong {hindsight is always 20/20} and is on a mission to fix it. Their relationship comes across as really intense and I kept forgetting that they were only 15 years old when they first met. It took me a bit to settle into the dual POV in two different time periods. I rarely retain the information at the start of a chapter and this book had the person, the location, the date, and {on the chapters in the past} the countdown to The Incident. I found that to be more distracting than anything and eventually started to ignore it. Once I found a rhythm, I really liked getting to see how everything built up to their break up while simultaneously seeing them try to figure things out in the real time. Not only that, but it was an effective way to show how the break up changed them. And while the ending is immensely satisfying, I was definitely left wanting more of Peyton and Justin together. *Huge thanks to Spencer Hill Press and NetGalley for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**

  3. 4 out of 5

    ♡Julalicious Book Paradise♡

    Original review on Julalicious Book Paradise Rating: 4.5/5 I will admit that I stalked Rachel for this book until she finally got tired of me and handed me a copy hahaha No, I’d like to think that she liked me and offered me an advanced copy of this book for that. :) So once I got back from Apollycon and finished another ARC, I dove right into this book and fell in love with this story. First warning… If you haven’t read The Fine Art of Pretending… Well go and read it now and stop reading my review Original review on Julalicious Book Paradise Rating: 4.5/5 I will admit that I stalked Rachel for this book until she finally got tired of me and handed me a copy hahaha No, I’d like to think that she liked me and offered me an advanced copy of this book for that. :) So once I got back from Apollycon and finished another ARC, I dove right into this book and fell in love with this story. First warning… If you haven’t read The Fine Art of Pretending… Well go and read it now and stop reading my review because even if I might not really spoil anything from the first book (who I am kidding, yes there will be some minor spoilers), the desire you might get for starting this book might be too strong and you need to read the first book first. End of discussion lol Okay, let’s be more serious now. So I really sort of liked Justin in the first book and I was happy we got to read his story this time around. I added the word “sort” only because I didn’t want him with Aly, but like always, you want him to have his happy ending and I was happy when Rachel announced that this book was going to be about him. So let’s start this review for real… If I had to imagine something about Justin’s past relationships, it wouldn’t have been what I read in this book and I’m glad that Rachel Harris was able to surprise me with this book. I really liked that we got to see more behind the player’s mask. This is really a good case of “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. So even if he was labeled as a player, I would have never believed Justin to be a bad guy. He has always been well liked and I was really intrigued to find out what happened between him and Peyton to cause such a downfall between them. Because from the beginning of this book, you know she doesn’t like him. Well… It’s more like she is mad at him for something. If the cause is known quite quickly, it took a trip to memory land throughout the book to understand the evolution of their relationship and its downfall; to see where it gone wrong and why it should be salvaged. Peyton’s life was far from being easy and to see how she changed from the event that changed her future to meeting Justin and then from the moment things fell apart between them until the present is quite a shocker. I liked her character very much because in some way, we all relate to her. We all have this point in our life that we just finally break no matter how positive we want to be and that's exactly what happened with her. Throughout the book, you will see a change in her personality, but I feel like you can only connect with her more because of it. Even if some events that happened in her life won’t happen to everyone, the feelings, the thoughts and the reactions are typically teenage-like and you can only remember when you were like this or if you are a teenager yourself, perhaps, you will recognize yourself in this. Justin is set to get her back, but nothing will be easy and he knows he has a lot to prove to win her back. But even though this is his goal, this book is so much more than that. As he tries to get closer to Peyton again, it brings out a lot of issues back to the surface for him. Things he thought he had dealt with to realize that maybe he hadn't really. You learn a lot about the Justin that not many people know. Peyton was that person who got to know him and I feel that’s probably why these two always gravitated around one another. If I had to describe this book in one word; like for me what it all sums up to, that word would be trust. Trust is a major theme in this book. From thrusting others to trusting yourself, this is what both main characters will have to learn throughout this book. So this review might or might not be helpful; I might even have confused you, but I just need to tell you that you need to read this amazing book. You will be captivated from the beginning and you will want to know what happens next. Do I want more books in this series? Definitely. And I’m already aware of whom I want the next book to be about and even told Rachel about it. I really hope my review will make you want to read this series and ask for more. I know once you start this, you won’t want it to finish. There will always be a character you want her next book to be about. I was giving an advance copy of this book by the author in exchange of an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    I loved The Fine Art of Pretending so I was really excited about this. Justin, our guy, appeared in the first book and a lot of people loved him (myself included) that Rachel decided to give him his own happy ending. For me, this book will only appeal to certain types of readers. The plot lies heavily on romance and I only recommend it to people who are suckers for romances like me (haha). It took me a while to get into it and I almost gave up. It was told in two POVs (Justin's and  Peyton's) in I loved The Fine Art of Pretending so I was really excited about this. Justin, our guy, appeared in the first book and a lot of people loved him (myself included) that Rachel decided to give him his own happy ending. For me, this book will only appeal to certain types of readers. The plot lies heavily on romance and I only recommend it to people who are suckers for romances like me (haha). It took me a while to get into it and I almost gave up. It was told in two POVs (Justin's and  Peyton's) in two different timeframes (freshman and senior year). It was quite confusing at first but once you get the hang of it, you will realize that it is what made this book special. The contrast and growth in Justin and Peyton's character over the years were handled perfectly. You can definitely see how much they've changed. This book was also surprising in some parts. There were scenes that made my jaw drop (literally!) because they were totally unexpected and I didn't see them coming. Don't get your hopes up, though. It wasn't exactly mind-blowing, just unexpected, but great nonetheless. This is only my second Rachel Harris book but I can definitely say that she writes swoon-worthy romances. It's the primary reason why I chose to read this one on Valentine's day (sad, I know, haha!). "I wish I could be as confident as you," I reply with a small laugh. "Then I'll be confident enough for the both of us." This book is perfect when you want to take a break from really complicated and heavy plots. P.S. Author Rachel Harris is such a nice person and likes to interact with her readers. I once messaged her on Goodreads after reading The Fine Art of Pretending because I loved it to bits. She replied to me and asked if I would like to join her Facebook group, Flirt Squad, where she interacts with everyone and asks opinions and suggestions on her next book. I'm the type of reader who reads even the acknowledgments and she's mentioned a few people in that group and even named one of the characters in this book after one. :D Review can also be found on my blog. Find me: Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Spotify

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cassie Mae

    Butterflies in the tummy, sore cheeks, happy sigh-inducing love you to death and can't get enough of you book. I can't even form coherent sentences. Can't wait till it comes out so I can tell everyone to buy it. Adorable, funny, and heart-wrenching. This is a book I hugged in my sleep. Absolutely ADORED! Now I must find another fluffy-with-the-feels read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nancy The book junkie

    Rating: 4.5/5 Review coming soon!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Justine Mae Disuanco

    Gabi and Carlos please!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    When I requested this book on Netgalley, it made no mention of it being book 2 in a series or that the hero featured in the first book. It probably would have helped if I read the first book before this one. I haven't read anything by this author before. I wasn't particularly taken with the writing style. I also didn't like how the story kept flashing back to three years previously. I didn't like the chapter titles which was a way to tell us which period of time it was. I would have preferred if When I requested this book on Netgalley, it made no mention of it being book 2 in a series or that the hero featured in the first book. It probably would have helped if I read the first book before this one. I haven't read anything by this author before. I wasn't particularly taken with the writing style. I also didn't like how the story kept flashing back to three years previously. I didn't like the chapter titles which was a way to tell us which period of time it was. I would have preferred if it simply said 'three years earlier' and 'present day'. In the flashbacks to three years previously, I got bored waiting to find out how Justin broke Peyton's heart. It was too slow and dragged on and on. The author definitely wanted to feature the illness that Peyton had suffered from but I can't say it added anything to the story. At the beginning, they are thrown back together due to a class assignment. The assignment has two 18 year olds pretend to be a married couple?! Strange assignment if you ask me! I found a lot of things boring and a lot of the side characters boring. I've read a lot of YA books and the synopsis for this book made me think it was going to be something different than what I actually got so I was a bit disappointed once I started reading. I quite liked Justin but I didn't really connect with Peyton. I also found the 'breaking of the heart' at age 15 and the very cheesy declarations of love at 18 a bit OTT (wanting full commitment at 18 and thinking into the future regards marriage and babies was a bit much!). The story and the writing style didn't gel with me but I'm sure younger readers will enjoy it. ARC provided by Netgalley

  9. 4 out of 5

    Three Chicks

    3.5 Stars Review by Lisa Kane We first met Justin Carter in The Fine Art of Pretending. He's Fairfield Academy's hot baseball player. There's always been a bit of a mystery about him. He has a vulnerable side and that side has a name-Peyton Williams. A few years ago these two were an item. Not that most people knew that, but when it ended, it ended badly. The fall out from that break up had a domino effect on Peyton's life. After suffering from an illness, she also lost the one constant in her life 3.5 Stars Review by Lisa Kane We first met Justin Carter in The Fine Art of Pretending. He's Fairfield Academy's hot baseball player. There's always been a bit of a mystery about him. He has a vulnerable side and that side has a name-Peyton Williams. A few years ago these two were an item. Not that most people knew that, but when it ended, it ended badly. The fall out from that break up had a domino effect on Peyton's life. After suffering from an illness, she also lost the one constant in her life-her riding. The years since their break up have been bitter for her. Her family is facing financial ruin, she's about to graduate from high school and she's lost. The last thing either Justin or Peyton expects is to be paired up in a class studying marriage and family. Justin knows he hurt Peyton and only he knows why. She wants to avoid him like the plague but this assignment is going to make that impossible. Will the truth ever come out? Can Peyton face the fears that have held her back? Does their past mean they can never have a future? "I'm so in love with you that it physically hurts."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melissa West

    I would give this book ten stars if I could. I absolutely adored it, in a re-reading lines, can't get enough, wished I could read it again for the first time sort of way. It is special and real and so emotional that you will find yourself hoping beyond hope that Peyton and Justin find their happily ever after. It is rare that I feel I can recommend a book to anyone, that any reader would love it. Well, I offer you THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US. You will laugh and smile and swoon and cry. It is every I would give this book ten stars if I could. I absolutely adored it, in a re-reading lines, can't get enough, wished I could read it again for the first time sort of way. It is special and real and so emotional that you will find yourself hoping beyond hope that Peyton and Justin find their happily ever after. It is rare that I feel I can recommend a book to anyone, that any reader would love it. Well, I offer you THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US. You will laugh and smile and swoon and cry. It is everything a great book should be and more. Rachel's best book to date, hands down. Loved it!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Find this review and more at kimberlyfaye reads. You know that feeling when you start a book and realize it's absolutely the PERFECT book for you in the moment? The Natural History of Us was that book for me. I'd been looking forward to this one since it was announced because I enjoyed the first book in the series and I love how Rachel's books make me feel. (So feel-filled and happy-making!) It took awhile for me to get to it because my stack of books is out of control, but I picked it up las Find this review and more at kimberlyfaye reads. You know that feeling when you start a book and realize it's absolutely the PERFECT book for you in the moment? The Natural History of Us was that book for me. I'd been looking forward to this one since it was announced because I enjoyed the first book in the series and I love how Rachel's books make me feel. (So feel-filled and happy-making!) It took awhile for me to get to it because my stack of books is out of control, but I picked it up last week after finishing a run of more intense book and the timing couldn't have been more perfect. I absolutely devoured the first half of it while on a bus – and I'm prone to motion sickness. I literally didn't care because I couldn't put this one down. The characters made this entire book for me. Justin was amazing. Yeah, the boy had a reputation and it wasn't entirely untrue... but he wasn't that guy underneath it all. There he was vulnerable. His home life was garbage. My heart ached for him. His past with Peyton is messy and he's definitely painted as the bad guy in the beginning. Of course, we don't know the entire story, so I had a whole lot more sympathy for him as the truth unfolded. Peyton was fantastic, too. She was strong and sweet and she didn't take crap from anyone. It was this that caused the biggest problem with her and Justin being teamed up for a school project, as she wasn't exactly open to forgiving him for their past. But as they spent more time together and got to know the other person, those old feelings resurfaced. I had all the swoons and feels and I just wanted to smush these two together. It was a wonderful romance that totally made my heart happy. This book is told in dual POV and alternates between the past, leading up to the big fall out Justin and Peyton had years ago, and the present, as they begin getting reacquainted. I loved being able to spend time in both characters' minds in both the present and the past and I loved how the story was structured. It all unfolded in such a great way and I was totally invested. It was an easy read that packed an emotional punch and, while there was definitely some angst, it wasn't overwhelming. It made me laugh and cry and, most importantly, it left me with an abundance of good feels and a huge, cheesy grin on my face. I don't spend a lot of time around teenagers, so I have nothing to truly base my statement off of, but these characters felt real and genuine to me. I love Rachel's writing. Her words spoke to me so much, I swear I highlighted half the book. I even had a tough time narrowing down my favorite quotes to share with you. Yeah, there are a bunch of them! Every time I think I'm about ready to give up on YA contemporary, I stumble on a book that makes me realize what I would be missing if I stopped reading it. The Natural History of Us and books like it are why I continue to read the genre even though I'm a lady in my (now upper) 30s. I everything about this one. There's nothing I would've changed. While neither the title nor the synopsis for the third book in this series have been released yet, I'm already itching to get my hands on it. I totally have my fingers crossed that it's Cade's book. But, you know, I'll read it no matter whose book it is. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. FAVORITE QUOTES: You know what would rock? A delete button for life. A magical way to erase memories and unwanted feelings. The tingles, the lingering hope. The little things you never thought you’d miss, like simply talking to the boy you once loved, or not talking because you didn’t need to. You already know all there is to know. Breakups are crappy any way you slice it, but the worst part, even worse than seeing the boy who once owned your heart now happy with someone else, is going from speaking every day, hanging out, and sharing all aspects of your life, to nothing. “I appreciate the way you listen. If someone has your attention, they have all of you.” I swallow hard as my eyes bore into the thin paper. “They’re the only thing on the planet that matters for those brief precious moments.” “A smile doesn’t always mean you’re happy.” I shrugged and looked away. “Sometimes it just means you’re ready to face whatever comes.” No girl had gotten to me like this. Burrowed under my skin, held my interest, or had me thinking about tomorrow. Wishing I could be that guy. Three years is a long time to hold on to hurt. To convince yourself you hate someone, never want to see them again, wish they’d suffer a disgusting ailment. You’d think it would take a lot more than a few conversations over the course of a few weeks to make it all disappear. But that’s exactly what’s happened, because when I try and dredge up the old feelings of resentment and pain I’ve clung to over Justin, all that remains are smoldering embers of sadness. Everyone knows I’m not good for much, but I was made to love this girl. I’m good for her and I’m good with her. It may’ve taken me three years to fully realize that, but I know it now. Soon, she will, too. I could count on three fingers the times in my life I’d felt worthy of affection—my grandmother telling me on her death bed that she was proud of me, newborn Chase wrapping his tiny fist around my finger, and this moment, with Peyton giving me everything she had to give. I’ve never had anyone in my life I could keep. My grandparents hung around as long as they could, but I only got a few years. My mom never wanted me, my dad couldn’t care less, and Annabeth… well, I won’t even go there. As for the others, Chase is only a kid, Rosalyn is paid to be there, and Carlos, as much as he has my back, has his own thing going. With girls, every relationship before and after Peyton has been transient. Blink and you missed it, no attachments. Casual. I did that on purpose, so no one ever got too close. No one could ever hurt me. But with this beautiful, brave, brilliant girl in front of me, I never even stood a chance.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Moriah

    *This review will also appear on A Leisure Moment* Would it be too ostentatious to go ahead and order everything Rachel Harris has ever written? Goodness gracious me, her books are wonderful! How on this beautiful earth am I just now discovering her writing? I swooned over Brandon and Aly’s friendship turned faux romance turned real romance in The Fine Art of Pretending, but when their story ended, I did have a few questions about the other characters in her book. For instance, Justin Carter. *This review will also appear on A Leisure Moment* Would it be too ostentatious to go ahead and order everything Rachel Harris has ever written? Goodness gracious me, her books are wonderful! How on this beautiful earth am I just now discovering her writing? I swooned over Brandon and Aly’s friendship turned faux romance turned real romance in The Fine Art of Pretending, but when their story ended, I did have a few questions about the other characters in her book. For instance, Justin Carter. Oh la la, what a guy. I had a crush on him in the first book, a strange yet wonderful thing to happen in a book where he was the guy I secretly wanted to go away. But who says he can’t have love, right? I jumped at the opportunity to get this ARC because I’m a sucker for all things love and romance and squealed with delight when I realized just what and who this story would be about. Not a fan of Rachel Harris yet? Psh, read this book and you will be! Le sigh. Baseball player with a winning smile and a secret heart of gold—boys in books have ruined me forever, to be completely honest. Justin Carter sneaked his way into my heart when he dated Aly, but he won me over completely when I got inside his head. Obviously since half of the book was told in his point of view, I got to see a completely different side to him. In The Fine Art of Pretending, his family issues and the reason behind his Casual relationships was only briefly discussed. In this book, all of those insecurities, the real reason behind his transient love life, and the beginning and end of a relationship that could have been amazing, is explained. I fell hard for Justin and loved all of his faults, as well as his inherent desire to rise above and be better even when the odds were stacked against him. Peyton had a likeable spirit. She had an unknown strength that needed to be unearthed by a certain baseball player with an irresistible smile. One of the most important aspects of this novel was the switching back and forth between the second semester of freshmen year and the end of senior year. Without the rotation, so much of what made Peyton uniquely Peyton would have been hidden from the readers. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of new love and two broken hearts trying to find their way back to each other. Peyton’s best moments were during her freshmen year, the times that she still believed in herself and wanted to literally jump back on her horse and start barrel racing again. As a result, I found myself rooting for her to discover the girl that still lived there. Yes, the romance was amazing and I wanted the coveted happily ever after, but I also liked watching a girl who had every reason in the world to give up continue to fight for what she wanted. Is there going to be more of these characters? Perhaps Carlos? His relationship with Gabi happened in the background of the story, and needless to say, my curiosity is at an all time high to see what happens between them. However, if this is the last we read of this world, I wouldn’t have wanted it to end any other way than the way that it did. It was difficult to put it down whenever I picked it up, but those last pages will make you drop everything you’re doing and dive in until you’ve reached the last page. Seriously, can I have everything Rachel Harris has ever written on my shelves now?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    I received an ARC via NetGalley. I did not finish this book. I have a rule that I must read to 25% on ARCs even if I am finding the book unbearable. Unfortunately, The Natural History of Us is one of those books that I don't continue after that point. This book is entirely too cutesy. It's filled with nicknames: "Garlos," "Sunshine," "CC," "pretty girl." Justin meets Peyton and is so cocky that he immediately makes up a nickname for her. It was awkward. Every time one was used I cringed so hard. I received an ARC via NetGalley. I did not finish this book. I have a rule that I must read to 25% on ARCs even if I am finding the book unbearable. Unfortunately, The Natural History of Us is one of those books that I don't continue after that point. This book is entirely too cutesy. It's filled with nicknames: "Garlos," "Sunshine," "CC," "pretty girl." Justin meets Peyton and is so cocky that he immediately makes up a nickname for her. It was awkward. Every time one was used I cringed so hard. Adults and high school students will likely find this cheesy and lame. I can see middle school students finding it romantic. Additionally, I am not a fan of teenagers with adult-sized confidence. It reads as inauthentic. Justin is so full of himself I'm surprised he even needs food to survive. Peyton is suddenly so full of confidence upon hanging out with Justin that she has the wherewithal to initiate hand holding and not die of embarrassment when her friend spills the beans to Justin that she has a crush. Anyone who's gone to high school knows that this is 100% fantasy. A high school girl would have been mortified by her friend's gaffe. High school crushes are scary and exciting and teenagers break out into a cold sweat at the thought of initiating a hand hold with a new love interest. They do the "does he like me? what is the deeper meaning of this incredibly trivial sentence my crush said without thinking about it too hard" thing. They read into everything and experience crippling anxiety over what's going to happen and whether or not they embarrassed themselves without realizing it. This component of the novel is beyond unbelievable and to be honest something I was not able to move past. Peyton fails to become a fully developed character despite all of the uniqueness the author attempts to write her with. She lives on a ranch, she has Guinean-Barre, she was home-schooled, she knows baseball, she and her siblings are named after professional athletes (her middle name is Manning!), etc., etc., but she fails to ever become a character that I care about or relate to at all. Her narration is totally average and never pulled me in and signed me up to the team. For someone who is supposed to be so interesting, I was never at all interested. At 25% nothing has happened. Peyton and Justin are visiting Peyton's family ranch where we're subjected to pages and pages of minutia and filler. I'm aware that the author is attempting to do the "characters get to know each other and bond" thing, but it's done poorly in the form of one massive info dump of a visit. The author seems to want to bypass any real character and relationship building by using this one visit at the farm to cover all the bases. Justin has met everyone Peyton knows while waxing poetic about his own crappy home life. The reader is supposed to download all of this background story at once so we can get on with the main event. It really turned me off. In summary: this book is the definition of the poor execution of a good idea. The author doesn't write like she's ever met a teenager or even ever actually been one. The book never feels authentic. Lazy writing and plot devices will likely annoy any readers over the age of 13 into putting this book down and never finishing.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Claire - The Coffeeholic Bookworm

    Freshman year, Peyton Williams caught Fairfield High's notorious playboy and he couldn't take his eyes off her. The two got to know each other and developed feelings either one couldn't hide anymore. But their relationship was kept secret from their respective families and friends. A secret that bore another secret. Until disaster struck and separated them. Senior year, after three years of no communication between ex lovers, suddenly they found themselves paired to each other for a parenting pr Freshman year, Peyton Williams caught Fairfield High's notorious playboy and he couldn't take his eyes off her. The two got to know each other and developed feelings either one couldn't hide anymore. But their relationship was kept secret from their respective families and friends. A secret that bore another secret. Until disaster struck and separated them. Senior year, after three years of no communication between ex lovers, suddenly they found themselves paired to each other for a parenting project. Peyton's world was in shambles when they broke up. Now that they had to see each other again, the feelings of the past seems to be catching up on her.. and him. But things weren't the same now. Peyton got Cade, her besstfriend turned boyfriend. And Justin had dated a lot since then. Will their school assignment/parenting project make a difference now that they're thrown into each other's arms again? I didn't know this is book 2 from one of Rachel Harris' best seliing books. I haven't read The Fine Art of Pretending, which, according to past reviews, also involved Justin Carter and was thought to be a real player in the book. Too bad, I didn't get to know him then. But here in The Natural History of Us, I thought Justin was just misunderstood. And he clearly had changed ways, especially after he met Peyton. I love how their love story developed. While I am not a believer of "first love never dies" (trust me, it does die LOL), I gave Justin and Peyton a chance to prove to me that theirs is a love worth fighting for, even after three years. Teenage raging hormones aside, I think the way they cling to each other was their way of showing that they care and they got each other's back. Justin's family was dysfunctional, Peyton's spirit was broken due to an illness. And when they got to spend more time together again after three long years, they became more mature and more in tune with each other. I liked Peyton more when she overcame her health issues and conquered her fear when she got back to riding horses. Cade, the BFF, was another matter though. I thought the love triangle was a cliche. I wasn't sold to Cade's romantic feelings for Peyton. Nuh uh.. I did, however, enjoyed this cute love story. My only regret was not being able to read the first book. The Natural History of Us is an easy read, smile inducing and sigh releasing. The first time I read a Harris' book a year ago, I was smitten. Three books later, I am still swooning over Miss Harris' beautiful writing. And I can't wait to read more! I received this book from Spencer Hill Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jo - •.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•

    3.5 stars I remember when I first met/started going out with my boyfriend when I was 15 years old (the age that Peyton & Justin are in this story). I was in complete awe of him and knew that I was not good enough for him. I thought he was too good to be true and that one day he would decide he didn't want to be with me. This feeling did not leave me for many years. It had nothing to do with the way he was with me but the way I saw myself. I think that 28 years I am now over this feeling but I can 3.5 stars I remember when I first met/started going out with my boyfriend when I was 15 years old (the age that Peyton & Justin are in this story). I was in complete awe of him and knew that I was not good enough for him. I thought he was too good to be true and that one day he would decide he didn't want to be with me. This feeling did not leave me for many years. It had nothing to do with the way he was with me but the way I saw myself. I think that 28 years I am now over this feeling but I can totally relate to this book because of my experience. Justin is a popular guy at school, handsome, athletic and not short of admirers. He comes from a family with wealth, lives in a beautiful home and is likely to be drafted to play professional baseball at the end of this last year in high school. He has however never felt the love of a family though. Well in his own home he hasn't. 'What would it have been like to grow up with that much love around you? What would it feel like to know that many people had your back? It was unfathomable to me.' - Justin Peyton's life could not be more opposite. She has a very full life, a loving family and knows what she wants to do. However, she has had her own struggles too that she is still trying to overcome. Once upon a time she was in love with Justin and thought they would be together forever, their whole future together was mapped out in her mind. Until he broke her heart. Several years later, in their last year at high school, they are thrown together to work on a class assignment and it is like a walk down memory lane. Feelings come back to the surface, secrets are confessed and insecurities reappear. Is this the second chance they need to clear the air and move on? Had either of them ever really moved on though? Maybe your first love is your true love, your forever love...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    Cute and sweet, this story feels healing. Both characters are clearing doing that for various reasons. It's the kind of story where you keep reading because you MUST know what came between these two, three years ago. I loved them both and was so cheering for them. Of course, I love me a baseball player. Justin has issues. His home life brings out the mama claws in me. I want to reach inside the pages and *itch slap his dad. And while I don't always understand Justin's choices, I get him. I see to Cute and sweet, this story feels healing. Both characters are clearing doing that for various reasons. It's the kind of story where you keep reading because you MUST know what came between these two, three years ago. I loved them both and was so cheering for them. Of course, I love me a baseball player. Justin has issues. His home life brings out the mama claws in me. I want to reach inside the pages and *itch slap his dad. And while I don't always understand Justin's choices, I get him. I see too many like him in my classroom. I just want to hug him and tell him that he is worth making good choices. How can I not love Peyton, who's father named her after Peyton Manning?? Yes, her middle name IS Manning. Hehe. I do love her courage. I'm not sure I could be as strong as she was as she continued to go to school with the boy who crushed her heart. Let alone the other issues this girl deals with. She is a rock and I'm so proud of her. She gives Justin a run for his money. He deserved it but I was just so proud of Peyton. The story is told with alternating scenes from the present and the past. We learn slowly what happened the first time these two were together as we watched Justin try and win her back. It was sweet, though I wanted it to move a bit faster. Gathering the pieces of both past and present, I was hoping for their future. The writing is lovely and the story adorable. This is what good YA looks like. If you love that in a story, then don't miss this one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christine Alibutud

    *cue incessant squealing* This book was cuteness. overload. Gah. The Natural History of Us was such a sweet sweet sweeeeeet read! I enjoyed The Fine Art of Pretending, and I was so glad to have learned that Justin would have his own book! As expected, I liked this one, maybe even better than the first installment. Of course, there were a few times when I wanted to slap some sense into Justin and Peyton, because come on, main characters often manage to get on our nerves, but got us wrapped in *cue incessant squealing* This book was cuteness. overload. Gah. The Natural History of Us was such a sweet sweet sweeeeeet read! I enjoyed The Fine Art of Pretending, and I was so glad to have learned that Justin would have his own book! As expected, I liked this one, maybe even better than the first installment. Of course, there were a few times when I wanted to slap some sense into Justin and Peyton, because come on, main characters often manage to get on our nerves, but got us wrapped in their little finger and make us still love them. At times I was just like: But in all honestly, after three heavy previous read, I really needed this light piece that balanced depth & fluff. 4.5 stars! "You’re far from just anyone, Peyton. You’re impulsive and fearless. You’re stubborn and curious. You drive me insane with your millions of questions. And your heart...Sunshine, it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen."

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    I did not finish this book. Hell no. I couldn't. Both main characters are DESPICABLE people. Disgusting. Justin breaks Peyton's heart and she's upset and blah blah blah. But years later, she does the SAME thing to her boyfriend by being with Justin! Now she doesn't physically cheat on her boyfriend-- but she almost does and is constantly emotionally cheating on him. Is that a thing? I don't know but it is to me. If you don't like the damn guy, break up with him, don't sit there and fantasize abo I did not finish this book. Hell no. I couldn't. Both main characters are DESPICABLE people. Disgusting. Justin breaks Peyton's heart and she's upset and blah blah blah. But years later, she does the SAME thing to her boyfriend by being with Justin! Now she doesn't physically cheat on her boyfriend-- but she almost does and is constantly emotionally cheating on him. Is that a thing? I don't know but it is to me. If you don't like the damn guy, break up with him, don't sit there and fantasize about being with someone else. Don't cuddle with someone else and fall asleep tangled in their arms. What the hell. Now Justin. I despise him. He breaks Peyton's heart yet acts like he's some innocent victim, trying to get Peyton to cheat with him and stating that Peyton is "his girl" and he's going to "win her back" and he needs to "have a talk" with Peyton's actual boyfriend. Are you serious? I can't even write this review anymore, I'm just done

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    I am so glad I finally picked this up. It was so cute and gave me everything I needed Justin wise. Awesome spin off of The Fine Art of Pretending. I was a little disappointed the character I rallied so hard for in TFAOP, but he got his happy ending and I was so glad for that! Looking forward to more by Rachel Harris. Here's to hoping for a Lauren story!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Prennyyyyyyy

    I HOPE AND PRAY THAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT JUSTIN!!!! PLEEEEEASE!!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jessica *The Lovely Books*

    Update 7/6/2017 I love Justin!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    My original review of this title can be found here on The Book Hookup. **Disclaimer:** An eARC of these title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition. ♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating: 4 stars! The Natural History of Us was cute and angsty with great characters and a fantastic second-chance romance, a bit of all my My original review of this title can be found here on The Book Hookup. **Disclaimer:** An eARC of these title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition. ♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating: 4 stars! The Natural History of Us was cute and angsty with great characters and a fantastic second-chance romance, a bit of all my faves! Definitely worth mentioning in my opinion, but Rachel Harris writes excellent first (and second and third and 31st) kisses! ♥ Review: It’s a little none fact that tropes exist in fiction for the simple fact that they’re the types of stories that readers continually want to read, and The Natural History of Us just happens to have one of my all-time faves: second-chance romance. To me, there’s something special about two people belonging together–“inevitability” as Justin would say–and for whatever the reason, though usually it’s stupidity or immaturity or simply being the right person at the wrong point in their lives, the couple breaks up. Yet, eventually, they always finds themselves back together. But it’s that chase in-between the shared heartache and the back-togetherness that I live for. Those moments of shared history that fuel a strained connection, and those instances where they realize that in this second with this very person is exactly where I’m meant to be. My little heart just flutters away at the thought of how love is so strong and despite life sometimes throwing these crappy, unavoidable circumstances at us time and again, love still usually always wins out. *le sigh* In this book, Justin thinks he’s doing Peyton a great service by setting her free, but after three years and with MLB or baseball scholarship to his intended college on the horizon, Justin realizes the only real thing, the only good thing, missing from his life is the girl he willingly lost years ago. Since freshman year, he’s had a lot of time to grow up and mature, to see all these wonderful examples of love and marriage working despite the major lack of love and a “good” marriage being present in his own home, and when a senior project just before graduation forces him into a partnership with his long lost love Peyton, he seizes the opportunity to win back her heart. However, he’s going to have to work extremely hard to win Peyton’s affection. He broke not only her heart, but her spirit when she was at her most vulnerable and in an inexcusable way, and though her traitorous heart still secretly longs for Justin, she’s moved on with her best friend who has loved her for forever. Told in alternating dual POVs with a jumping timeline between past and present, Harris delivered a story of unfolding love twice that was easy to follow and just as easy to adore. Being in the headspace of both teens as they fell for each other the first and second time really allowed me to connect with them, to understand their positions and reasoning even though I may have wanted to shake them, especially Justin, and say stop it with out this young love foolishness. Regardless of that, I feel like Justin and Peyton had great voices and messages (and life teaching moments) that I feel like many teens today will connect to, relate with. Simply put, I liked the characters, both who they were individually and how they fit together. I liked their supporting cast, Justin’s teammates and Peyton’s family and friends, as well. I also always enjoy the fact that Harris tightropes the balance between just the right amount of angst and fluff, and pulls off the perfect dialogue of a teenager without it sounding like she’s reliving her own past and injecting her own voice into the story. She captures the teen voice so effortlessly and that makes it really easy to get into her books. As for why this is four stars instead of five, it was a few minor issues that were really me being a tad nit-picky. I feel like with the dual timelines, which I both appreciated and loved, also made it a little more difficult to flesh out all the characters, both main and secondary, as much as I feel like she did in the first book of this companion series. Don’t get me wrong, I felt like I knew who the characters were and liked the development I saw, but in a way, it almost felt like I was being told from the now and then timeline of their character arc and not experiencing it with them throughout the story. Secondly, I wasn’t too crazy about the love triangle set-up. I understand the reasoning behind including it, but I never felt the connection there–probably because Peyton wasn’t all in and it read that way–so it felt like more of a hindrance every time he was around. Lastly, I would’ve loved to have seen them as an official couple for a chapter longer or maybe in an epilogue to really have the story come full circle for me. It’s definitely a personal issue I have with books, but as much as I love the journey to love, I also want to bask in the bliss of coupledom for a little bit longer before the book shuts the door in my face. All in all, it was a great story of learning to fall in love with a person twice. It had really great characters and really good writing. But if I’m being perfectly honest, I’ll always read YA Contemporary Romance books by Rachel Harris for the kissing. They’re pretty freaking epic, just saying. ♥ Teaser Quote: I touched my forehead against hers. “And I’m yours.” Her hands left my shoulders and skimmed hesitantly over my back. “I mean it, Sunshine. You deserve better, but if you still want me even after knowing what a disaster I am, then I’m all in. I’m too selfish to walk away.” I leaned back. “But don’t say I didn’t warn you.” ~quotes taken from the e-ARC of The Natural History of Us, Justin’s POV, at 43% ♥ Rec It? Yes! If you loved the companion novel, The Fine Art of Pretending, I feel like you’d really enjoy this one too! If you haven’t read it, well, then I’d just flat-out recommend this one or both, honestly! Go snatch them up with a quickness; you can always come back and thank me later. ♥ A very special thanks to Spencer Hill Press and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Well, wasn’t that just the cutest! I really like the exes-who-still-have-feelings trope, and it was really well done here. I loved both Peyton and Justin. The jumps back and forward in time were done really well, with no confusion, and both characters sounded different enough that it wasn’t hard to tell who was narrating. Their romance was great, with plenty of swoony moments. I really enjoyed The Fine Art of Pretending, so I figured I would like this one too, and I did. I also liked the cameos Well, wasn’t that just the cutest! I really like the exes-who-still-have-feelings trope, and it was really well done here. I loved both Peyton and Justin. The jumps back and forward in time were done really well, with no confusion, and both characters sounded different enough that it wasn’t hard to tell who was narrating. Their romance was great, with plenty of swoony moments. I really enjoyed The Fine Art of Pretending, so I figured I would like this one too, and I did. I also liked the cameos of characters from book one.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I love stories of second chances and held secrets. This has both. It is also a pretty good at portraying high school. The story goes back and forth in time with freshman year and senior year. Of how Justin and Peyton started, ended and then where they go from there. Justin has a rich father who is absent in his life and always working. His grandparents raised him until they died when he was young. His stepmom ignores him. Justin’s half-brother adores Justin and the feeling is mutual. Justin only I love stories of second chances and held secrets. This has both. It is also a pretty good at portraying high school. The story goes back and forth in time with freshman year and senior year. Of how Justin and Peyton started, ended and then where they go from there. Justin has a rich father who is absent in his life and always working. His grandparents raised him until they died when he was young. His stepmom ignores him. Justin’s half-brother adores Justin and the feeling is mutual. Justin only has the housekeeper for company. Justin's life is for baseball as that is what his father wants from him, although he never shows up for any games. But Justin has a great coach at school. Justin wants to please him as he is a good man and praises his team and Justin. Peyton has been recovering from an illness that took her strength from her. She is still working to get back to where she was before. Her family has a ranch. They have a dog salon and boarding. They have horses and Peyton has been good on a horse. She competes with barrels. Since the accident and illness she has been slightly afraid to get back on the horse. Her family adores her and they have lots of traditions and a huge extended family. Who wouldn’t want to be around all that happiness? Justin gets to know Peyton and finds himself drawn to her like a moth to a flame. But he doesn’t do commitments. He is a player. He also doesn’t have time. But he just can’t seem to stay away. When Justin learns Peyton’s dad is his coach, he really tries to keep his distance. That didn’t work out either. So they agree to a secret relationship. This is in the freshman year. Then something happens and Peyton sees a girl with Justin. She can’t believe he would cheat on her. Peyton’s parents never even knew about their relationship in freshman year. Then go forward to senior year. Justin and Peyton are paired to do the parents with robot baby thing. Peyton isn’t happy. But Justin wants her back and he will do whatever it takes. Including getting her now boyfriend away from her somehow. But there is the fact that he majorly hurt her and will that ever be resolved because Peyton hasn’t really ever gotten over Justin either. I really liked how you don’t get a clue of what happened in freshman year for Justin to do what he did until the last third of the book. All I found myself doing was rooting for them. Justin really is a good guy and he deserves happiness too. Justin is always rooting for Peyton’s progress with her horse. Peyton is always rooting at Justin’s baseball games. They are dang good for each other!! There are all the little things that they do for the other. “Do what scares you” “What are you chasing?” Those are some of the little words of encouragement that they share with each other and it is enough to help the other out and hold on to hope!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Inah

    I don't know if I have already established it but Rachel Harris is one of my favorite authors so it's not a secret that I was really excited to read this book. The Fine Art of Pretending was one of my favorite reads last year so I was looking forward to reading about Justin Carter. If I remember correctly, I did say that there's more to him than he leads us on and this book just proved me right. Basically the story's about Justin and Peyton, how they met, fell in love, broke up, and got back toge I don't know if I have already established it but Rachel Harris is one of my favorite authors so it's not a secret that I was really excited to read this book. The Fine Art of Pretending was one of my favorite reads last year so I was looking forward to reading about Justin Carter. If I remember correctly, I did say that there's more to him than he leads us on and this book just proved me right. Basically the story's about Justin and Peyton, how they met, fell in love, broke up, and got back together. While I did enjoy reading this, I had a bit of an issue with it. Let's first run through the things that I love about this book. First, I really love the aspect of friendship in the book. I love that the book didn't overlook it as opposed to just focusing on the romance and drama between the main characters. Faith and Cade were actually pretty interesting. It was also cool to see the familiar characters like Drew, Carlos and of course Aly and Brandon. I also loved the writing style. It was told in a dual POV in two timelines, the characters' freshman and senior year so it was like knowing their past as their present unfolded. However, I think that some things in the plot fell flat for me. Like I kept on putting the book down. I guess the story didn't grab me as much as the first book did. Also, while I did enjoy the POVs, , it was also very challenging to read since I had to keep track of a lot of things. The characters' chemistry were okay but the ultimate fluff I was waiting for barely made it. Overall, it was still an enjoyable and sweet read!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Malka

    5 STARS I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is cute and heartwarming and also slightly heartbreaking. The Natural History of Us follows Peyton and Justin and their stories at two very points in their lives. I found that format to be perfect for this book. There was a bit of foreshadowing and suspense that went on, and I loved how throughout the book you pieced together bits and pieces of what happened, and then soon after had those suspicions confirmed. 5 STARS I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is cute and heartwarming and also slightly heartbreaking. The Natural History of Us follows Peyton and Justin and their stories at two very points in their lives. I found that format to be perfect for this book. There was a bit of foreshadowing and suspense that went on, and I loved how throughout the book you pieced together bits and pieces of what happened, and then soon after had those suspicions confirmed. One of the things I loved about the book was the romance. It was super sweet and mushy, and had me rooting for the two of them to work out the whole time. I completely understood both character's decisions, and even approved of them most of the time even if it hurt me in the inside. I especially love how though the characters were flawed and made mistakes, in the end they were good, kind people (view spoiler)[ Cade acknowledging how Justin helped Peyton, even though he was jealous and upset. (hide spoiler)] All in all this is a sweet book, with realistic human characters. I enjoyed it immensely and definitely would recommend it to anyone looking for a happy, cute, romantic contemporary.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cheyanne Young

    Another charming Rachel Harris book! full review to come!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    3.5 stars, but didn't want to round up. Fluff read. Mild quantity of language.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lenore Kosinski

    http://celebrityreaders.com/2018/03/2... 4 stars — I was so intrigued by Justin’s character in The Fine Art of Pretending, and I was so happy with the story we got for him! There was a lot to it, and I appreciated all the little nuances. Justin was EVERYTHING. I mean, he was a straight up asshole for what he did in freshman year, but he was so vulnerable and damaged and I just wanted something good to happen to him. Seeing all his emotions when he was at Peyton’s for Easter was just…tore my heart http://celebrityreaders.com/2018/03/2... 4 stars — I was so intrigued by Justin’s character in The Fine Art of Pretending, and I was so happy with the story we got for him! There was a lot to it, and I appreciated all the little nuances. Justin was EVERYTHING. I mean, he was a straight up asshole for what he did in freshman year, but he was so vulnerable and damaged and I just wanted something good to happen to him. Seeing all his emotions when he was at Peyton’s for Easter was just…tore my heart out, you know? He really did have a lot to learn and a lot of growing up to do, but I felt like I saw him do that. And I loved that while he wasn’t perfect and got a bit too jealous and manipulative with Cade, I appreciated that he also wanted what was best for Peyton. Peyton was a bunch of awesome too. You could feel her sunshiney self peeking through in the freshman years, how much she appreciated life, how fearless she attempted to be, how guileless she was. I loved that she saw past Justin’s facade, and couldn’t help but reach out to him and try to make him see himself through her eyes. I was less impressed with senior year Peyton, but I also understood how she came to be that way. She actually regressed, but there were still bits of her true self inside. I wished I could have seen her growth better. I wasn’t happy with the way she treated Cade and the way that all played out in the end. I wanted her to own up to her feelings and be a better person than she was (even though I get that no one’s perfect and we all make mistakes). I think she was awfully lucky that Cade handled it as well as he did and she didn’t lose a friend. I get that he should have known that she didn’t love him in the same way, but she’s still playing with someone’s feelings, you know?? I hated that. I LOVED the development of Peyton and Justin’s relationship in the past. They were so cute together and I totally saw how they complemented each other and brought out good things in each other. I loved their connection, and while I was a bit weirded out thinking about 15 year olds getting it on (that seems so young), I sort of let it pass. The present was a bit harder, b/c there were misunderstandings, hurt feelings, all that stuff in their way. Not to mention another boyfriend. But I loved the few moments we got with them together working on the project. The connections they made were palpable. I loved the answers she gave that first date night. I also loved how he helped her get over her fears and get back to herself. I LOVED the introduction of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. A friend of my SIL actually suffered from this, and while I’m not close to her and don’t know all she went through, what I heard through my SIL sounded just insane. It was nice to see it brought up and addressed if that makes sense. It wasn’t present in such a way that we really saw her go through it, just the aftermath and how it affected Peyton and her family. Honestly, a whole chunk of this book was solid 5 stars. Honest to goodness. There was a lot of emotion in it, and some pretty interesting ups and downs that felt authentic for a teenage relationship. I even enjoyed the past and present parts, they seemed to fit and flow fairly well. Occasionally it got a bit confusing, just because the senior/freshman thing wasn’t super prominent and so I wouldn’t initially realize which one we were in (not to mention one of the past flashbacks had the wrong date — May instead of January). But the part that lost that whole star could be summed up with the presence of the Cade character. I think Justin and Peyton had enough going on that they didn’t need to add in another boyfriend. Or if they did, I felt like that resolution needed to happen differently. And even if I ignore all that, I wanted something more with the climax/confrontation/resolution of the past. Does that make sense? It felt too easy. I needed them to have deeper discussions or something. So a definite hit with me in general, I was super satisfied with Justin’s HEA.

  30. 5 out of 5

    BookHookup

    The original review of this title can be found here on The Book Hookup. Christina's Review: **Disclaimer:** An eARC of these title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition. ♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating: 4 stars! The Natural History of Us was cute and angsty with great characters and a fantastic second- The original review of this title can be found here on The Book Hookup. Christina's Review: **Disclaimer:** An eARC of these title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition. ♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating: 4 stars! The Natural History of Us was cute and angsty with great characters and a fantastic second-chance romance, a bit of all my faves! Definitely worth mentioning in my opinion, but Rachel Harris writes excellent first (and second and third and 31st) kisses! ♥ Review: It’s a little none fact that tropes exist in fiction for the simple fact that they’re the types of stories that readers continually want to read, and The Natural History of Us just happens to have one of my all-time faves: second-chance romance. To me, there’s something special about two people belonging together–“inevitability” as Justin would say–and for whatever the reason, though usually it’s stupidity or immaturity or simply being the right person at the wrong point in their lives, the couple breaks up. Yet, eventually, they always finds themselves back together. But it’s that chase in-between the shared heartache and the back-togetherness that I live for. Those moments of shared history that fuel a strained connection, and those instances where they realize that in this second with this very person is exactly where I’m meant to be. My little heart just flutters away at the thought of how love is so strong and despite life sometimes throwing these crappy, unavoidable circumstances at us time and again, love still usually always wins out. *le sigh* In this book, Justin thinks he’s doing Peyton a great service by setting her free, but after three years and with MLB or baseball scholarship to his intended college on the horizon, Justin realizes the only real thing, the only good thing, missing from his life is the girl he willingly lost years ago. Since freshman year, he’s had a lot of time to grow up and mature, to see all these wonderful examples of love and marriage working despite the major lack of love and a “good” marriage being present in his own home, and when a senior project just before graduation forces him into a partnership with his long lost love Peyton, he seizes the opportunity to win back her heart. However, he’s going to have to work extremely hard to win Peyton’s affection. He broke not only her heart, but her spirit when she was at her most vulnerable and in an inexcusable way, and though her traitorous heart still secretly longs for Justin, she’s moved on with her best friend who has loved her for forever. Told in alternating dual POVs with a jumping timeline between past and present, Harris delivered a story of unfolding love twice that was easy to follow and just as easy to adore. Being in the headspace of both teens as they fell for each other the first and second time really allowed me to connect with them, to understand their positions and reasoning even though I may have wanted to shake them, especially Justin, and say stop it with out this young love foolishness. Regardless of that, I feel like Justin and Peyton had great voices and messages (and life teaching moments) that I feel like many teens today will connect to, relate with. Simply put, I liked the characters, both who they were individually and how they fit together. I liked their supporting cast, Justin’s teammates and Peyton’s family and friends, as well. I also always enjoy the fact that Harris tightropes the balance between just the right amount of angst and fluff, and pulls off the perfect dialogue of a teenager without it sounding like she’s reliving her own past and injecting her own voice into the story. She captures the teen voice so effortlessly and that makes it really easy to get into her books. As for why this is four stars instead of five, it was a few minor issues that were really me being a tad nit-picky. I feel like with the dual timelines, which I both appreciated and loved, also made it a little more difficult to flesh out all the characters, both main and secondary, as much as I feel like she did in the first book of this companion series. Don’t get me wrong, I felt like I knew who the characters were and liked the development I saw, but in a way, it almost felt like I was being told from the now and then timeline of their character arc and not experiencing it with them throughout the story. Secondly, I wasn’t too crazy about the love triangle set-up. I understand the reasoning behind including it, but I never felt the connection there–probably because Peyton wasn’t all in and it read that way–so it felt like more of a hindrance every time he was around. Lastly, I would’ve loved to have seen them as an official couple for a chapter longer or maybe in an epilogue to really have the story come full circle for me. It’s definitely a personal issue I have with books, but as much as I love the journey to love, I also want to bask in the bliss of coupledom for a little bit longer before the book shuts the door in my face. All in all, it was a great story of learning to fall in love with a person twice. It had really great characters and really good writing. But if I’m being perfectly honest, I’ll always read YA Contemporary Romance books by Rachel Harris for the kissing. They’re pretty freaking epic, just saying. ♥ Teaser Quote: I touched my forehead against hers. “And I’m yours.” Her hands left my shoulders and skimmed hesitantly over my back. “I mean it, Sunshine. You deserve better, but if you still want me even after knowing what a disaster I am, then I’m all in. I’m too selfish to walk away.” I leaned back. “But don’t say I didn’t warn you.” ~quotes taken from the e-ARC of The Natural History of Us, Justin’s POV, at 43% ♥ Rec It? Yes! If you loved the companion novel, The Fine Art of Pretending, I feel like you’d really enjoy this one too! If you haven’t read it, well, then I’d just flat-out recommend this one or both, honestly! Go snatch them up with a quickness; you can always come back and thank me later. ♥ A very special thanks to Spencer Hill Press and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.