Beautiful Broken Rules by Kimberly Lauren
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
College student Emerson Moore has a hard and fast set of rules for relationships -- mainly: avoid them like the plague. She won't sleep with any guy more than three times, to prevent attachment of any kind. So far, Emerson has had great success with this, and she's having fun. Then Emerson meets Jaxon - when he and his twin brother, Jace, move in with Emerson's best friend, Cole. Emerson quickly becomes close to Jaxon. Is he the one who will turn her set of rules on its head?
This book had promise and it was a quick read, but overall, I just found it ridiculous and the writing was terrible - stilted and juvenile. It reminded me of something a middle schooler would write (though hopefully they wouldn't stray into this sexualized subject matter). Emerson is a college student absolutely determined not to have a relationship based on the fact that her parents split -- she has certainly had trauma in her life to cause her feelings, but her insane attachment to this gets to be a little silly. She is a poor communicator and a frustrating protagonist. The character development is nil and we're basically just told things about her and the rest of the characters, rather than shown them, or allowed to see things develop on their own.
Furthermore, some of the stereotypes in this book are beyond frustrating. Emerson's willingness to embrace being the school "slut" (a word she seems to have no problem with) is awful. When Jaxon enters the scene, no one seems to have an issue with his insane over-protectiveness and anger issues. It would be one thing if this was written somewhat cheekily, a la "Twilight," but these characters genuinely seem to think their actions and motivations are okay. The end result is a portrayal of college as nothing but sexual encounters with a mix of sexual harassment and domestic abuse thrown in. It all overshadows what could be a decent story (girl with commitment issues meets handsome guy with shadowy past). There were certainly some bright spots, but overall it just left me feeling too icky.
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