DNF Review: Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry

Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits, #1.5)

Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits #1.5)

Published Harlequin 2014

Genre: Young Adult Romance

Format: Kindle ebook

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so… different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah’s more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he’d be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn… seriously epic.

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998Stopped reading at 41%

I am very disappointed that I did not like this book. I really wanted to love it. There were just some factors that I could not get myself through to finish reading.

1. Echo was EXTREMELY frustrating – One of the things I have always liked about this series was that the girls and guys in these relationships had equal parts. They both had problems, they were both working together, and it was a healthy relationship. That took a turn for the worse in this book. Echo let Noah do everything for her. I’m okay with some gentlemanly-ness, but this was too much. Echo and Noah would get in these huge arguments, about really important topics that they should talk about and find a way to solve. There was no solution though – they would just kiss and it was all solved! I never felt like it was a lusty relationship in their first book, but I started to get that feeling from this one.

2. Both of the characters didn’t seem ready for a serious relationship, but they were forcing it on themselves. They were trying to do all of these extremely adult like things when they couldn’t have a real conversation or discuss any of their issues. It felt like they reversed from the first book. They were both really closed off from each other and didn’t seem to have the other’s best interests in heart. I really wanted them to come together so beautifully like I knew they good, but it wasn’t happening like I wanted it to.

I decided to DNF mostly because the book, and series, would have been better if it just left Echo and Noah where they were in Pushing the Limits. This one tried to get to a more grownup, adult relationship going, but neither of the characters seemed ready for it. With a little bit more time, this relationship could have worked. But watching it to try to excel to something more than what it was originally meant to be felt awkward. There wasn’t anything pushing me to keep going, so I just stopped. I’d like to see Echo and Noah how I first left them.

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Let’s chat: Did you read this book? What do you think of continuations of your favorite series?

 

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Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry – Excerpt and Giveaway!

Breaking-the-Rules-blitz
Today, I am super excited to participate in the book blitz for Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry! This is the newest book in her Pushing the Limits series which I have loved so far. In fact you can even check out my reviews for these books here. I am very excited to get back into Noah and Echo’s story with this latest book. Keep reading for a giveaway and excerpt from Breaking the Rules!
Breaking the Rules (Pushing the
Limits #1.5)
Release Date: 12/08/14
Harlequin Teen
Summary from Goodreads:
A summer road trip changes
everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry.
For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her
boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so… different. It
means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And
most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot,
smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything
— except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she
has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster
kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront
some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo
must decide if Noah’s more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he’d be.
And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn… seriously epic.

Available for Pre-Order: photo 9F3EE1AE-B1F5-45EB-87E4-5D28630C7FC5-7157-000003FF9121E113.jpg  photo 6682AA0B-74D4-4387-95A5-8FF5F06129C8-7157-000003FF90EF4A11.jpg  photo kobobuyicon_zpsb933c957.png  photo C5192E77-11AB-4F0C-A100-1152CA3C5DBB-7157-000003FF90C02846.jpg  photo A2DA65FC-B90B-467F-AF60-4D7E604A5611-7157-000003FF907102DD.jpg  photo bookdepositorybutton_zps03c7c0bd.jpgBooks in the series:

(covers linked to Goodreads)

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About the Author
KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.
Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.


Author Links:

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GIVEAWAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Excerpt: 

From Echo’s Point of View

It’s like watching a horror film in slow motion. She tucks her hair behind her ears, gives Noah a hesitant smile and speaks. The girl is pretty—very pretty. I run my hand over the scars on my left arm. Sometimes I don’t understand why Noah’s with me. Especially when I’m so…

Noah answers the girl then motions at me with his chin. Both girls turn, and their faces fall. Noah waves. I wave back. Butterflies tumble in my stomach when he flashes his wicked grin.

Book Blitz Organized by:

Take Me On by Katie McGarry Review

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits, #4)

Take Me On by Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits #4)

Published Harlequin Teen 2014

Genre: Young Adult Romance

Format: Hardback from the library

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means.

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she’d never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can’t stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she’d stay away from. Yet he won’t last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it’s his fault his family is falling apart. He can’t change the past, but maybe he can change Haley’s future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they’ll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998Katie McGarry has impressed me so far with her first three novels, and I was excited to pick this newest one up.

West, Rachel’s brother from the last book, is introduced to us with some strong opinions. He does not have a very good reputation going into the book. While I enjoyed his character from his own perspective, I was not a huge fan of his character. I really liked Hayley so much more than West. This was probably my own problem with the book. When I don’t like one of the characters in a romance, it is hard to buy into their love that is happening. I never really found a reason to like West, or why Hayley should like him. The whole point of this book is that West wants to fight for Hayley and that she’s worth fighting for. Maybe it’s just the inner feminist in me, but I just kept wanting for Hayley to stand up for herself. She has a really bad past with the physical abuse she suffered from her past boyfriend and I really wanted her to grow from that. It just didn’t happen the way I would have liked it though.

Another big aspect – other than the romance, of course – is the kickboxing aspect. West and Hayley’s ex-boyfriend, Matt, are getting into a kickboxing fight at the end of the book. I am not a huge fan of fighting for sport, or really any kind of fighting, so it was hard for me to connect to that as well. I really wish that Katie McGarry would switch back to the kind of plot set up that happened in Pushing the Limits. There was no extra activity, like cars or fighting and it was just the romance. These types of things really hinder the story for me.

However, I still really enjoyed this book. It broke away from the plot set up found in the first three. They fell for each other differently, had different problems, and physically, did more in their relationship than any of the other couples did. I really liked seeing the diversity in this series, because not all couples are exactly the same. It made the book more unique to stand away from the first three. Also, the writing was great, as usual. I really liked all the research and thought that went into what was happening. West and Hayley come from completely different worlds, with totally different families and home situations, but both of them were written really well.

Overall, I liked this next book (although I am still waiting for Abby’s book!). While I had some problems with the kickboxing aspect and West’s character, Hayley and all of the new situations in this book really saved it for me. I am looking forward to continuing with Noah and Echo’s story in the next book, as well as finishing this companion series.

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Crash Into You by Katie McGarry Review

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits #3)

Published Harlequin Teen 2013

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Format: Hardback from the library

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane.

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life—that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers…and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998I really enjoyed this next book of Katie McGarry’s series. It might be my new favorite of them! Isaiah and Rachel had a really nice relationship. The thing that really stood out to me the most about them was that it started right away within the first couple of pages. There was no waiting and slow build up for them to get together. Both of them just went straight though it, which I enjoy more than waiting for the buildup. The rest of the book was about making the relationship work and not just this tension between them.

Isaiah and Rachel both have their own problems, but I also liked how they had a combined goal together. At the beginning of the book, they get into some trouble drag racing and owe tons of money to the gang leader. It was really nice to have this main problem for the both of them to share rather than just both of them having separate problems. I didn’t really understand everything that was happening with the cars but that didn’t really overwhelm the book. Isaiah is also dealing with his mother’s reappearance in his life after she is released from jail and having a new social worker, who I really liked. Rachel has panic attacks and over protective brothers – so interesting to read about! Rachel’s panic attacks were really well written and I liked all the research that went into all of it! Her brothers were also really cool and I can’t wait to hear more about them. The next book in the series is one of her brother’s story too!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Rachel and Isaiah had a great relationship that kept me reading! While the car plot didn’t keep me totally captivated, I was still able to love the book. I’m excited to pick up the next book in this series and read more from Katie McGarry!

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Dare You To by Katie McGarry Review

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)

Dare You To by Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits, #2)

Published Harlequin Teen 2013

Genre: Young Adult Romance

Format: Hardback from the library

Buy this book: AmazonBarnes & Noble

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. “Dance with me, Beth.”

“No.” I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again….

“I dare you…”

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s home life, they’d send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom’s freedom and her own happiness. That’s how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn’t want her and going to a school that doesn’t understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t get her, but does….

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn’t be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all….

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998I love Katie McGarry. She has killed it yet again with another super cute, adorable romance that I loved from beginning to end. This is turning into one of my favorite series written by one of my favorite authors.

Beth is such a different character from the ones we normally see in a YA romance. She has a troubled past, one we got to learn about in ‘Pushing the Limits,’ and this really influences everything about her. I love her views about love and relationships. Her backstory is so unique and develops beautifully throughout the book. Then, we have Ryan. I loved him even more than I loved Beth. He has problems with his controlling parents who kicked out his gay brother. His chapters were definitely my favorite. I loved reading from his point of view.

The story was also different from most romances. It starts with this really fun banter between Beth and Ryan as they are both so strong headed and confident in everything they do. The dares were a really fun part of the story that I also really enjoyed. As their relationship developed, I really enjoyed how it went really fast and then they decided to take it slower. It was so much fun! I also really liked the writing style. The dual points of view are one of my favorite parts of Katie McGarry’s books because they give so much insight into both of the characters. Not only did I fall in love with Ryan and Beth together, but I also fell in love with them separately. And I loved seeing Noah, Isaiah, and Echo again.

This book was so adorable. I loved it so much! All of the stories being intertwined together is just so awesome. This entire world is one of my favorite in young adult romance right now. I’m so excited to read the next book, which is Isaiah’s story, and I am so happy we got to learn more about Beth. Also, meeting Ryan. Ah…I have yet another book boyfriend.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I’ve DNFed

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week’s feature is top ten bookish things we’ve quit recently – series to abandon, habits, authors, types of books, tropes, etc. I’ll be talking about some books that I’ve DNFed because I always find this interesting to read about other people’s DNFs. I’ve talked about these books a little bit on this blog already, but this is a good recap of the recent DNFs.

Sweet Temptation (The Sweet Trilogy, #4)     Love and Other Unknown Variables     Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)

Dancing with Molly     Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)     Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits, #1.5)     What I Thought Was True

Anatomy of a Boyfriend (Anatomy, #1)     Escape Theory (Keaton School, #1)      Marked (House of Night #1)

  1. Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins – I didn’t like how this was just a rehashing of the whole series but from Daemon’s perspective. There wasn’t really much to add except for too many lines about how beautiful Anna was and trying too hard to over sexualize the character.
  2. Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander – This was such a weird book, but it was about two nerds. There was lots of instalove and I couldn’t handle it.
  3. Angelfall by Susan Ee – I feel like this might have been good, but I hate post-apocalpytic books. They just freak me out too bad to continue reading them. Dystopians I’m okay with though.
  4. Dancing With Molly by Lena Horowitz – I felt so bad reading about this girl’s downfall and doing absolutely ridiculous things without any thought.
  5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas – I hate the writing style in this (too many exclamation marks!) and I wasn’t feeling the weird mix of gore and girlishness. I might try it again though.
  6. Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry – For most of the same reasons as Sweet Temptation, but it was so weird to see this couple and what happened to them. It was uncecessary.
  7. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick – I’m not sure why I DNFed this. It was a while ago, but I might try it again.
  8. Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky – This was also very weird and the sex scenes were medically described. I wasn’t cool with that.
  9. Escape Theory by Margaux Froley – I DNFed this one because I hated the insta love involved.
  10. Marked by PC Cast and Kristin Cast – This had a weird writing style and I wasn’t feeling any of the characters.

What books have you DNFed recently?

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Reading Rendezvous (1)

Reading Rendezvous

Reading Rendezvous is a weekly feature created by the Fern Team of the Book Blogger Creativity Project that acts as a travel guide, highlighting places we would like to visit and recommending books that take place there.

I am very excited to be taking part in this project, which is happening over multiple groups who work together to come up with a new type of feature. For this opening post, all the amazing book bloggers on my team will be featuring books that take place in our home state. I’ll have links to their post at the end of this!

I’m originally from Kentucky, so I am featuring a YA romance author who is both from Kentucky and writes her books set in Kentucky. Have any guesses?

It’s Katie McGarry!

Katie McGarryKATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

I think all of us in Kentucky are UK fans.

Some of her books include:

Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, Crash Into You, Crossing the Line, Take Me On, Nowhere But Here, Breaking the Rules, Red at Night, Chasing Impossible, Walk the Edge

All the books in the Pushing the Limits series take place in Louisville, KY so I’ll be featuring some of my favorite spots there.

There are plenty of fun places to visit in Louisville but a few of my favorites are the Slugger Museum and Factory, Churchill Downs (the home of the famous Kentucky Derby), and the Louisville Mega Cavern which has lots of fun things like zip lining. I love this video that will take through some of these locations and more in the home of Katie McGarry and all her characters:

You can check out all the other amazing people and their featured places too! Make sure to visit Cyra, Nori, Lauren, Karen, Sheridan, Lizzie, Tamara, Ashley, and Shayna to hear about their home places and books set there.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books In My Beach Bag

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week’s theme is the top ten books I have in my beach bag for this summer – aka books on my summer TBR!

Three Day SummerKissing in AmericaP.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2)Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road, #1)The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)

Tangled13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)Beauty QueensWanderloveThe Secrets of Attraction

  1. Three Day Summer by Sarvenaz Tash
  2. Kissing in America by Margo Rabb
  3. PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han
  4. Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
  5. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
  6. Tangled by Carolyn Mackler
  7. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  8. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
  9. Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard
  10. The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine

What books do you want to read this summer?

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Top Ten Tuesday: For Readers Who Like Alternating POVs

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week’s theme is our top ten books for people who like (insert theme here)! Mine will be for if you like alternating perspectives.

alternating 1 alternating 2

  1. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry – This book is a contemporary about a boy and a girl who fall in love, and I really enjoyed hearing from both their perspectives! In fact, this theme was featured on one of my previous Top Ten Tuesday posts here.
  2. Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan – A super cute story set in NYC at Christmastime! This one also has both perspectives of Dash and Lily, with strong, clear voices for each.
  3. A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall – Maybe the queen of alternating perspectives. We only hear from people surrounding this romance…and some non-people too!
  4. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan – Both of these boys have really strong and clear voices as well. Both Will Graysons are different and that’s what makes this book fun.
  5. This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner – A sci-fi set in space! The two perspectives show different approaches to each situation, plus it allows for some really great romance.
  6. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma – This book is about incest, and while creepy, Suzuma handles it really well. It also includes dual perspectives from the brother and the sister, to make it even more intense.
  7. Across the Universe by Beth Revis – Another sci-fi that does dual perspectives great! This entire series is one of my favorites.
  8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – Told from three perspectives, this book gives a great insight into the South at the time of the 1960s. The perspectives allow for multiple different vantage points and experience of the prejudice.
  9. Legend by Marie Lu – Told between the perspectives of Day and June, this book is great because it features two totally different characters! Having them both tell the story allows for so much more to be said about the plot.
  10. Panic by Lauren Oliver – This one has four perspectives, each equally spread out and interesting.

Those are my favorite books with alternating perspectives! What are some of your favorites? Do you like dual POVs?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Things I Like When It Comes to Romances

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week’s theme is the top ten things I like when it comes to romances. I decided to keep it positive this week and do things I like, instead of what I don’t. Although that might be another post later 😉

  1. The perfect amount of slow burn. I don’t know if there’s an exact science to this, but I like all the build-up. I just know that it’s not too early in the book (like before the 20% mark) and it’s not too late. One of my pet peeves is reading an entire book of buildup and then never seeing the couple together! But when it’s done right, it’s sooooooo good. (Example: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han) 
  2. Friends or enemies that turn into a relationship. Whether they’ve been friends for years or they’ve always hated each other, there’s just something really intriguing about these relationships. (Example: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins, Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins)
  3. Dual points of view. Watching the girl fall for the guy and the guy fall for the girl at the same time…*sigh.* It really makes everything so much more well rounded and sweet. (Example: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry)
  4. Relationships that begin on a field trip/road trip/out of the country. It’s so much fun when they go somewhere, with the beautiful setting and the romance together. It makes a great combo. (Example: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn)
  5. The forbidden relationships (to a point). When they are overdone, it’s not good at all. However, when there is just enough, it works nicely. There’s some tension there and the problem to overcome which can help push the story along too. (Example: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins, Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman)
  6. Really nice gentlemen. Maybe it’s just a Southern thing, but guys with a lot of that good old cordiality (is that a word?) and manners…it’s super cute. (Example: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before…again, Panic by Lauren Oliver)
  7. Workplace relationships. Coffee shops, grocery stores, whatever. When it’s two co-workers, it’s almost like #4. Except with career options.(Example: Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo)
  8. Accepting couples. When one has something quirky or weird they like to do, it’s really nice to see the other one accept it and try to involve themselves within that world too. (Example: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell)
  9. Couples that so obviously have chemistry that it pops off the page. People might think it’s weird for shipping couples, but some of them seem SO REAL. It makes it so much better when they compliment each other. (Example: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout)
  10. Funny couples. The ones that are sarcastic, witty. The banter that is really flirty. I wish I could always come up with cute stuff like that in the moment. (Example: The Selection by Kiera Cass)

What are some of your favorite relationships? Or things you really like when reading them?

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