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Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols | Magan Reviews

book cover for Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols

Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols [twitter website]
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 336
Target Audience: Mature Young Adult
Keywords: opposites attract, yearbook superlatives, sexual high school relationships
Format Read: ARC from Publisher (Thank you!)

Summary: Brody and Harper are chosen by their classmates as the “Perfect Couple That Never Was” for their high school yearbook superlative photo. Several failed attempts to take the photograph provide opportunities to escape their significant others to spend time together and leave them questioning why: Why their classmates chose them. Why they never got together before.

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We’ve reviewed quite a lot of Jennifer Echols’ work here on Rather Be Reading. Her work has been something we’ve really enjoyed, but it’s something we’re both feeling a bit disconnected from lately. I decided I would give things another go with Perfect Couple, really hoping that whatever was missing from the previous books had been found again.

But I don’t really feel that way. The story lacked a believable timeline and was peppered with abrupt, out-of-nowhere sexual scenes as an attempt to make readers forget their reading woes. Decisions were made just as quickly and emotions changed with the wind. I felt jerked around and really, really wanted to enjoy Perfect Couple more because I did quite like Brody and Harper. Their story just had a few too many gaping holes to really tie everything together well.

Harper and Brody are chosen by their classmates as the school’s “Perfect Couple That Never Was” for the class yearbook. Brody is an all-star quarterback. Harper is more of the artistic type. He’s dating a gorgeous cheerleader, Grace, and she’s in a relationship with Kennedy, a jerk who demeans her and treats her like utter crap. (And is incredibly moody/PMS-y…all the time.) Both are left to wonder why their peers would have paired them together. What do they see that Brody and Harper may have overlooked?

Despite ties to their significant others, Harper and Brody find themselves drawn to one another. Often very inappropriately and with little regard to boundaries if you know what I’m saying. (If you’re not one for a cheating book, you may want to steer clear. Though I couldn’t stand Kennedy, my moral compass was screaming at their indiscretions.)  The thing is I DID root for Brody and Harper to be together; the whole opposites attract thing was very appealing. But maybe I’m a traditionalist and think that there’s a time and place for all things, and I just really wish they would have slowed down and handled things respectfully.

It’s quite possible I would have enjoyed Harper and Brody’s story more if there had been more of a slow build, if they really worked to get to know one another, and if the tension has simmered just a little more. Or maybe I didn’t connect because I have aged out of Echols’ work? I probably would have given them the stink eye more than once because their fleeting decisions made little sense to me and there was so much back-and-forth I want him, I don’t want him, I want him. The bandaid was ripped from my reading-skin a few too many times, leaving me feeling very unattached and without much left to adhere to afterward. My recommendation if you’re in the mood for a great, steamy Echols’ read is to revisit Such a Rush.

Have you ever felt like you’ve aged out of an author’s work, or
have you ever significantly changed your opinion of an author’s work?

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January 10, 2015 - 9:02 pm

Nicole @ The Quiet Concert - Hmm. I was interested in these Superlatives books but mostly because I heard they were fun, but this is the most detailed review I’ve read and now I’m not so sure. I don’t think I will like these characters or the jerky pace and flip flopping. Thanks for sharing, I have things to think about now!

January 8, 2015 - 12:11 pm

Magan - Lori, I’m so glad to see you agree. I haven’t always felt that way, but I think as they’re released SO quickly and back-to-back, maybe there’s just not enough attention to detail and for me, that’s really important. I like for the books I read to be extremely polished and hers really feel like so much is slipping through the cracks in order to meet deadlines.

January 8, 2015 - 12:00 pm

Lori - I’ve found that Echol’s books are either a huge hit or a huge miss for me. I have the first book in this series, but I haven’t had the urge to read it.Now I might just skip it altogether.

January 7, 2015 - 3:29 pm

Magan - Brianna, which book of hers did you read? I’m super curious to know now. I wasn’t wowed by Perfect Couple, no. I think it has a lot to do with not seeing much growth in Echols’ writing as much as there just being gaping holes in the storyline.

January 7, 2015 - 10:08 am

Brianna - I read one of her books last year and while I enjoyed it, I’ve never gone back to read anything else she’s written. It didn’t wow me, and it sounds like Perfect Couple didn’t wow you, either. I’m not a fan of high school students being put in adult situations.

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