Friday, January 9, 2015

Blog Tour: Perfect Couple (Superlatives #2) by Jennifer Echols {Review + Excerpt + Giveaway}

Release date: January 13, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 336
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
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?
I was pretty much dying to read Biggest Flirts, the first book in this series. Yet, for whatever stupid reason, I haven't picked it up yet. But, after reading this second installment, I'm absolutely making that a priority. Sure, I've probably spoiled a bit of the book for myself, but that won't change my enthusiasm now. Perfect Couple is such a quick, enjoyable read, and I can imagine all too many of us are going to see ourselves in Harper.

Harper is the good girl. She's quiet and studious, always the girl behind the camera, rather than in front of it. She dresses just a little quirkily, just to make herself stand out in some way. Harper is easy to relate to. She's rather passive and speaks when she needs to, doing as she's told. But it's very freeing to see Harper realize how she's limited herself, just because she thought it was what was expected of her, and to take control of things in her life. One little realization--that she likes Brody, the guy who should be completely wrong for her, and really can't stand Kennedy, her current boyfriend and the guy who should be completely right for her--changes how she views everything. And it's understandable, because Brody is the quarterback of the football team, the guy who goes through girls like they're disposable. The good girl who never takes a risk and the fearless daredevil don't go together. But as soon as they consider it, by way of the Senior Superlatives vote, they can see just how compatible they are.

I liked Harper--yes, because I see elements of myself in her, sure, but also because she's driven and works for what she wants. She's got sense. And I liked Brody, too, because he manages to undermine a lot of the stereotypes for what his "kind" of character should be.

There certainly were bits that I didn't find so appealing. There's cheating involved here, since both Harper and Brody are in relationships of a kind--but it still counts as cheating. There are also moments that feel a little forced and out of place at times. Not a ton, but noticeable all the same.

Perfect Couple is just the kind of book you expect when you pick it up--fun, flirty, and satisfying. It's definitely made me a fan of Jennifer Echols.

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.

His words set my heart beating rapidly, but I threw back my head and laughed like nothing was wrong. "You've known me since kindergarten."

He shook his head. "Not really. You look completely different today."

"You mean I look like everybody else," I said ruefully.

"No, ma'am," he said firmly, "you do not."

Speechless, I stared at him. His eyes flicked ever so briefly to my bikini top, then back up to my face. My chest and upper arms burned in a delicious way, a feeling I wasn't ready to give up just because I hadn't brought a tripod.

Now that Kennedy had made motions to forgive me, he would miss me. He would look around the beach for me. He would give me the third degree when I eventually returned to our home base on the towels. But I didn't care about that while Brody was gazing at me.

I was alone with him. Neither of us was going anywhere for a while if we could help it, but I couldn't think of a thing to say to him--which underscored why we were a terrible match in the first place. I wondered if he felt the same wy about the title we'd been elected to. I said, "I've been racking my brain about this. Why do you think the class chose us for this?"

"Well, our study hall also chose Sawyer as our representative on the student council, so a good portion of our school is obviously on crack." When he saw my face fall, he said, "The good kind of crack."

"Crack--you know, the nutritional kind."

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