Perfect Couple sounded like a cute read, so I was excited to receive an eARC. I had a couple issues with the story right off the get go, and they prevented me from completely enjoying the book. Your mileage will probably vary. When all was said and done, I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it, either. It’s a quick read that kept me turning the pages for an afternoon and I don’t regret reading it.
Though it’s the second in Echols’ Superlatives series and I haven’t read the first book, I had no trouble getting up to speed with the characters. Harper is the yearbook photographer, she’s dating the yearbook editor, and it’s her job to take standout shots before her deadline in two weeks. There’s tension between Harper and Kennedy almost from page one, and I quickly wondered why she was dating him in the first place. Kennedy is a pouty kind of guy who has to have his own way or he retaliates by giving Harper the silent treatment. He doesn’t make her feel good about herself, and I thought he was a complete douche.
Brody is the high school quarterback. He’s gorgeous and funny, and after he and Harper were voted the perfect couple that never was, she can’t stop thinking about him. She is crushing on him from afar, but he has a cheerleader girlfriend. And, oh, yeah, she has that boyfriend. And that brings me to one of the things that stuck in my craw about this book. I do not like reading about cheating, and that is what Harper and Brody do.
Now, I get that Harper and Kennedy make a terrible couple and he treats her like dirt, but they are still dating and Harper considers him to be her boyfriend. In fact, she thinks he’s the perfect boyfriend for her, because they are both kind of weird and nerdy. Harper does everything in her power to not fit in – she wears retro glasses and retro clothes, and she is certainly not one of the popular girls around school. When her head gets turned by Brody, she changes, and that’s another thing I did not like. She chucks her glasses for contacts, her cute one piece bathing suit for a skimpy bikini, and presto! She looks and dresses like Brody’s girlfriend. Ick!
I thought it took too long for Harper to ditch Kennedy, and found it disconcerting that her interest in Brody wasn’t piqued until her classmates voted them the perfect couple that never was. Then suddenly, she wanted to be the perfect couple that was. I don’t mind that she broke up with Kennedy, but I wanted her to do for herself, not because she was infatuated with Brody. I thought she broke up with Kennedy and started dating Brody for all the wrong reasons.
I found the conflict with her parents compelling, and enjoyed the tone of the book. I liked Harper, I just wished she made different decisions. I found her intelligent and quirky, and thought that she had it together, at least as far as her plans for her future and her determination to go to college despite her mother’s protests. While Perfect Couple didn’t work on all levels for me, I was entertained and would like to read more by the author.
Series: Superlatives #2
Release date: January 13th 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Synopsis via Goodreads:
In this second book in The Superlatives trilogy from Endless Summer author Jennifer Echols, Harper and Brody think they’re an unlikely match, but the senior class says they belong together.
As yearbook photographer, Harper is responsible for those candid moments that make high school memorable. But her own life is anything but picture perfect. Her parents’ bitter divorce left her wondering what a loving relationship looks like. And ever since the senior class voted her and star quarterback Brody ‘Perfect Couple That Never Was’, her friends have been pushing her to ask Brody out.
Brody doesn’t lack female admirers, but Harper can’t see herself with him. He’s confused about the match too. Yet they find themselves drawn together; first by curiosity about why the class paired them, then by an undeniable bond.
The trouble is, though they’re attracted to each other, they have a hard time getting along or even communicating well. 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 they feel so changed from making the effort, they can’t forget each other. What if this match made in hell is the perfect couple after all?
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.