Blog Tour: Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols




Rating: 5 stars
Pub Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: DRC & ARC, from the publisher
Status: Book 2 of the Superlatives companion series
Links: Biggest Flirts review (also 5 stars)

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour, which was organized & hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club. The full tour schedule can be found HERE. Please go give my fellow tour hosts some love!


Summary:
Perfect Couple is #2 in the Superlatives series about seniors at a Florida high school who are selected for their class's superlative categories in the yearbook, and how the labels change the way they view themselves and alter the course of their lives.

Can your heart be put to a popular vote?

As yearbook photographer, Harper is responsible for capturing those candid moments that make high school memorable. But her own life is anything but picture perfect. Her parents' bitter divorce has left her wondering what a loving relationship would look like. And ever since the senior class voted her and star quarterback Brody the “Perfect Couple That Never Was,” her friends have been on her case to ask Brody out.

Brody doesn’t lack in female admirers, but Harper can't see herself with him. He seems confused about why they were matched together, too. They’re total opposites—the last people in the world who would ever be compatible, let alone the “perfect couple.” Yet ever since the class paired the two of them, they've found themselves drawn together--first by curiosity, then by an undeniable bond.

The trouble is, though they're very attracted to each other and both of them admit this, they have a hard time getting along or even communicating clearly. If they’re the perfect couple, this shouldn’t be so difficult! Soon it becomes clear their class was wrong, and they throw in the towel. But after they walk away, both of them feel so changed from making the effort that they can’t forget each other. What if that means this match made in hell is the perfect couple after all?



Review:
By now you should know that I'm a HUGE Jennifer Echols fan, but I have to tell you it's entirely deserved because Jenn's books just keep getting better and better. The Superlatives trilogy truly explores how the labels others give us and we give ourselves shape the way we live, especially in high school. First it was Tia–the wild girl–and Will–the boy next door turned new guy–being labeled as Biggest Flirts. Now it's Harper–the artsy girl–and Brody's– the adrenaline junkie–turn.

The thing about Harper is that she's the artsy chick, but she's constantly staying in the box, which KENNEDY of all people tries to tell her to stop doing (more on Kennedy later, but believe me, it's laughable to the point of being insulting). She dresses a certain way, she dates certain boys, she participates in certain activities. She listens to her parents (who are constantly on the cusp of a divorce), her well-meaning friends, her teachers, her classmates, her super douchey boyfriend who also happens to be her yearbook editor (that's Kennedy, btw). And then everything (seemingly) changes when she's voted Perfect Couple That Never Was with Brody, the football player with a death wish. Suddenly Harper finds herself trying to burst outside the box. Now she's wearing contacts and red bikinis, she's sneaking secret make out sessions with Brody in public gazebos, she's standing up to Kennedy. It was hard for me at first to relate to Harper because I had so much fun reading about Tia with her IDGAF attitude. Harper cares. Harper cares a lot. And I just want to shake her and say, "live how YOU want to, Harper!!!" BUT I think Harper's evolution is one of the reasons why I love this book so much.

Brody, on the other hand, is much easier to understand. He's the guy who goes all out, all the time. Brody is kind of ridiculous, but he's a good guy. That's another thing I like about the Superlatives series: all the guys are good guys. Or at least the important ones are. Brody is so straight-forward that there's really not much for me to say about him. There's a big plot point in Perfect Couple that is hugely spoilerific so I don't want to say much about it....but whether or not Brody and Harper's classmates actually want them to be together, Brody really is a perfect romantic foil for Harper. Ironically, even though he yells at her to think outside the box, misogynistic Kennedy only tries to hold Harper under his thumb. Brody is the one who encourages Harper to let go and open up a bit....but stay true to herself. This is relatively small in the scheme of the book, but one example is when Harper tries to wear contacts at the beach. As a contact newbie, she hasn't yet learned not to rub her eye so her contact fold up and sticks under her eyelid. Brody helps her out 1. by dislodging the stuck contact; 2. lending her his own sunglasses to help with glare; 3. giving her advice about contacts; and 4. eventually telling her that she should wear her glasses when she wants to. He's not saying, "hey, only wear glasses" or "only wear contacts," but he's helping her understand that she shouldn't feel like she has to do one or the other to feel accepted. And like I said, that's just one example. There are more.

I think Perfect Couple also contains an important dialogue about gender equality without being pushy about it. Harper and Kennedy's absurd excuse for a functional relationship is a good example. When Harper stands up for herself, Kennedy finds a way to punish her: formatting the yearbook pictures badly, insulting Harper's looks, or moving up the superlative photo deadlines. And at first, Harper deals with it because she feels she can't have more, despite her friends telling her how awesome she is. Much of this has to do with the relationship Harper has with her parents because her dad is a cheating bastard but thinks he can string along her mom. Eventually, Harper learns that she CAN stand up for herself without being cruel to others.

Finally, I like that Perfect Couples is sex positive. Do Harper and Brody have sex? No. But there are sexy times AND there are honest discussions of sex and the preparation that goes into it, which I think is fantastic. The cool thing is that these moments happen not just during actual sexy times (a beach make out, for instance) when Brody asks Harper if she is okay with what they're doing and/or going further, but Harper and her mom also have an AH-mazing parent-teen talk about sex. Let me tell you: I NEVER talked sex with my parents, but I did have other, older people to turn to with questions. I love love love that Jenn included this because it's important, dangit!

Perfect Couple is a really fun, entertaining book that manages a good balance between the sweet and sassy high school goings on of teenagers and important discussions of real life situations like your parents' semi-pending divorce, gender relations, teen sex, and more. I HIGHLY recommend the entire series!

Book Buy Links:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg


Follow the Tour:
http://theunofficialaddictionbookfanclub.blogspot.com/2014/11/ffbc-blog-tour-perfect-couple.html

Superlatives starts with the Biggest Flirts
Pub Date: May 20, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Summary: Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger.

As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…


Available from:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg

Be sure to check out my 5 star review of Biggest Flirts here.

Which couple is Most Likely to Succeed?
Pub Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Summary: The yearbook votes have been cast.

Sometimes your friends know you better than you know yourself.

As vice president of Student Council, Kaye knows the importance of keeping order. Not only in school, but in her personal life. Which is why she and her boyfriend Aidan already have their lives mapped out: attend Columbia University together, pursue banking careers, and eventually get married. Everything Kaye has accomplished in high school—student government, cheerleading, stellar grades—has been in preparation for that future.

To his entire class, Sawyer is an irreverent bad boy. His antics on the field as school mascot and his love of partying have earned him total slacker status. And since his father is a convicted felon, everyone figures Sawyer will follow in his footsteps and never amount to much.

But while Kaye and Sawyer appear to be opposites on every level, fate—and their friends—keep conspiring to throw them together. Perhaps the seniors see the simmering attraction Kaye and Sawyer are unwilling to acknowledge to themselves…

As the year unfolds, Kaye begins to realize her ideal life is not what she thought. And Sawyer decides it's finally time to let down the facade and show everyone who he really is. Is a potential relationship between them most likely to succeed—or to be their favorite mistake? 


Available from:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg

I haven't posted my review yet, but I have read Most Likely to Succeed, and it might be my favorite!

About the Author:
Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

Author Links:
   

Giveaway: 
Win (1) of (5) books in the Superlatives series: Biggest Flirts (Superlatives #1) or Perfect Couple (Superlatives #2) by Jennifer Echols (US Only)

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1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this one too! Loved that it was sex positive. I couldn't stand Kennedy argh but I really did love the story! I think I need to go back and read the first book :D

    ReplyDelete