Friday, September 2, 2016

Review: Rules of a Rebel and a Shy Girl by Jessica Sorensen

Title: Rules of a Rebel and a Shy Girl
Series: Standalone
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Release date: August 26, 2016
Cliffhanger: No
Rating: 4 stars

It started with a kiss and ended with a list. The middle is a bit more complicated.
The list of rules is supposed to protect mine and Beck’s friendship and stop us from accidentally kissing again. But most of all, it’s supposed to protect my heart from getting crushed and keep me from ending up broken like my mom.

I’ve always been great at following rules. But the more time I spend with Beck, the more I can’t stop thinking about that kiss and how amazing his lips felt against mine. For the first time in my life, I wish I was a rule breaker. But I can never cross that line. Not with Beck. Not with anyone.

Besides, if Beck knew the truth about my life, then the list wouldn’t have to exist because he wouldn't have kissed me to begin with.

It started with the most amazing kiss ever and led to Willow handing me a list.
That stupid list. When she gave it to me, I wanted to shred it to pieces, pull her against me, and kiss her until she realized a piece of paper wasn’t going to stop me. Willow’s been my best friend since forever and she should know by now that I’m not a follow-the-rules kind of guy.

She may think that kiss was a mistake, but she’s wrong. Kisses like that can’t be a mistake. Willow and I belong together, have since the day I promised to always protect her from the bad stuff in her life. And somehow I’m going to prove it to her. Just like I’ll always protect her no matter what.

A standalone contemporary romance.
Suggested reading age 18+

This was my first book by Jessica Sorensen in a few years and it was such a pleasure to read! Beck and Willow were just adorable together and their connection was so unmistakable it couldn't be denied. I was immediately drawn in by the cute cover and synopsis and I'm so glad that I decided to read it.

From the very beginning, we get a peek into the type of neglect that Willow endures from her mother. I grew an immediate loathing for her and it only increased a hundred fold as the story wore on. The horrible conditions that she forced her daughter to endure made my stomach turn. As a parent, she was completely selfish and uncaring. Even cruel. And I immediately sympathized with Willow's plight. Her childhood memories grew more grim by the page, but since her very first recollection there was always one common factor: Beck. He came into her life and became the one source of comfort and sense of safety.

Sometimes, I wished I could stay in his arms forever. Life would be so much easier that way.

Her father's abandonment took its toll on her mother when she was young. She turned from a woman who cared for her and did all the things a mother should do to an emotional wreck. She spiraled as far as she could go, turning to drugs and alcohol and leaving her child alone for days with no warning. She had a revolving door of dangerous men that dictated her happiness. Instead of Willow following her mom's bad example, she struggled day by day to feed herself, pay the bills, and make good grades so that she could escape the life that she was enduring. Along the way, she vowed to never make the same mistakes and depend on a man for happiness.

I just prefer not to think about boyfriends: of having one, of ruining my life to have one, of getting consumed by one, of ending up like my mom.

After high school graduation, it's becoming clear however that her no dating rule is in danger of being broken. Her feelings for Beck have been evolving over time and are becoming harder and harder to ignore. The sexual tension that crackles between them can only be stretched so far before it snaps.

Tumbling, falling, out-of-control-that's how I feel when I'm around him. I like him too much.

There wasn't a lot of descriptive physical moments in this book. But the angst of will-they-won't-they tension was done so well that it more than made up for it. I never felt like I needed any explicit scenes between these two, there was enough sexual tension between them and bursts of surrendering to their attraction that kept me more than satisfied.

This was one of the cutest friends to lovers stories I've read in a long time. Beck was the epitome of chivalrous, adoring, and protective. There was absolutely nothing he wouldn't do to make her safe, happy, and comfortable. Being best friends with her since childhood, he knew everything there was to know about her. The shameful parts and the best parts. And he loved every side of her without exception. Total unconditional love. I loved this guy so much, he was one of the sweetest I've come across in a long time, and together they fit together so effortlessly and completely.

Willow's rules to keep him in the friend zone are doomed to fail because once Beck gets a taste of her, there's no stopping him from making his perfect girl his.

But she's hiding things from him, and when the truth comes out will he still see her in the same light?

If you're looking for a sweet, feel-good friends to lovers book this will definitely be the one for you. This will not disappoint!


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