The Natural History of Us - Rachel Harris

One class assignment. One second chance at love. The school player is all in. Now he needs to win back the sweet commitment girl who's forever owned his heart.
Justin Carter has a secret. He's not the total player Fairfield Academy believes him to be. Not really. In fact, he used to be a one-woman guy...and his feelings for her never went away. Too bad he broke her heart three years ago and made sure to ruin any chance she'd ever forgive him.

Peyton Williams is a liar. She pretends to be whole, counting down the days until graduation and helping her parents at the family ranch. But the truth is, she's done everything she can to get over Justin, and salvation is just around the corner. With graduation one short month away, she'll soon break free from the painful memories and start her life fresh. Of course, she has to get through working with him on one last assignment first.

For Justin, nothing ever felt as right as being with Peyton, and now that fate's given him a shot at redemption, he's determined to make the most of it. And for Peyton...well, Justin Carter has always been her kryptonite.

The second half of this book wasn't bad, but the whole thing had a very singular focus and was too predictable for me to really appreciate.

 

This book was told in alternating chapters from both Peyton and Justin's viewpoints and in the present, the end of their senior year, and in the past near the middle of their freshman year. This book might have been more realistic had it been set a few years later as a lot of the events that happened in their freshman year were quite adult.

 

I felt like the first time around, their breakup wasn't entirely realistic, and even if they soul mates, they both pined way too much in three years given that neither made any effort to reach out and talk, become friends, or at least get some closure. I think of my freshman year boyfriend as a hairy monkey in retrospect. There was nothing about their love that sold me on it being true enough for their age. Though I understand the breakup triggered another misfortune, Peyton herself admits this is something that would have happened anyway.

 

The baseball players in this book had their own fangirls, which was fine. The way Peyton and her friends looked down upon these girls really annoyed me; I wanted to tell them to shut up and go and live their own lives.

 

Justin was interesting, but too suave for me to buy. I found myself either cringing at his lines or wondering what god he was praying to that he knew what to say at certain times. Peyton was unexciting. I honestly think Lauren, Peyton's 'rival,' was the person I was most curious about in the book although I think I'm supposed to hate her.

 

Maybe if I were in middle school, I'd love this book. However, I'm not, and this fell into the young adult trap of feeling far too juvenile with characters performing adult behaviours.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.