Published by Spencer Hill Press on April 5, 2016
Series: The Fine Art of Pretending #2
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, Romance
Source: eARC from Publisher
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 Natural History of Us is the second book in the young adult contemporary romance series, The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris. Each of the books back be read as standalones, and they are each told in dual narrative between the book’s main couple. The Natural History of Us features Justin and Peyton. I loved Justin and Peyton so much, and their story is just as cute as I wanted it to be.
The Natural History of Us is told in dual narrative between Justin and Peyton, as well as told in a dual time line format- alternating between freshman year and senior year. Rachel Harris made a note in her afterword/acknowledgment section saying that both of these dual formats is not for the faint of heart, and I completely believe her. It is a lot to keep up with. (it makes me wonder how she wrote it too. Did she do all the freshman year stuff, and then the senior year events, or did she write it out alternating as she went?)
I ended up connecting with the senior year events more, and wanted to read through the freshman year chapters more quickly, but they are important to the storyline because it shows where the couple “went wrong” the first time. And I will admit, after seeing how Smitten past and present Justin are with Peyton, I was more than a little curious to see how they did fall apart in the first place. They seemed great for each other right from the first moment. Turns out, it was all very high school for their reasons, but I suppose that is fitting, since they were only 15 at the time.
Bottom Line: The Natural History of Us is a very cute story. I loved the class project. What I loved most of all was how hell bent Justin was on winning Peyton back. I am a sucker for a guy willing to go all out to get the girl he wants. And that is exactly what happened in this book. Read it if you are looking for a cute high school romance.
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