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Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry 

5.5 stars




A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so… different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah’s more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he’d be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn… seriously epic.


My thoughts

BAM. Noah and Echo are back! And I’m loving it! I can’t put into words how much I love these two.

Because ho-ly shit what an emotional rollercoaster this was! I knew it would be bad, but it was like every emotion from Pushing the Limits was intensified by 2 or 3, possibly 5.

It’s funny because I try to keep my reviews all fancy and serious when what I honestly want to do is just straight out fangirl about how amazingly swoonworthy Noah is and how crazy adorable Echo and Noah are, when together. The great part is, I can! So, assuming that everyone who read this review has already read Pushing the Limits – if not, stop right here – I do not have to hide my fangirling over Noah Hutchins. FINALLY! :3 Like I said with the intensified emotions, I felt like my feelings for Noah grew up until the point of exploding. But in a good way. OF COURSE in a good way. Because GAAAHHH, I love him! Everything he was in Pushing The Limits, he was that now too, but twice. Twice as sweet, protective, caring, worried, swoonworthy, hot. And sadly, broken.

To be honest, when I read Pushing The Limits, I knew there was a second book called Dare You To, but I thought that it would continue on Echo’s and Noah’s adventures. So I finished PTL with the feeling there was another whole book about them. And I was kinda heartbroken when I found out that was not the case at all. It left me with a feeling that their story was left unfinished. Breaking The Rules couldn’t have been a better follow-up, honestly. It was exactly what I hoped for and more. There were several things left undone by the end of Pushing The Limits that I had to fill in myself, yet what I craved for was to read exactly what they were instead. And that was Breaking The Rules, alright.

Truly, so amazing. My feelings and emotions were thrown all over the place. Shot at, drowned, heated up until the point of explosion, melted to the floor. There was so much pain and heartache left to unravel for these two, and my heart broke for them over and over after all the things they have already been through. I loved to see Echo and Noah grow through Breaking The Rules. The differences in them at the beginning and the end. Katie is a master at describing these kind of evolvements, because I’ve also seen them in her other books and I can only admire and respect her for that.

I feel like I could talk about this book for hours, but what it comes down to is that you just have to experience it for yourself. I can’t explain in worlds how amazing this book is, you have to go through it. This is a book about bravery, courage and creating your own spot in this world. It’s about choices and changes and pain. It’s about friendship and love and who you decide you want to be, and then be it.

We’re definitely having a 100% recommendation on our hands again. This book had me thinking about life, about my own choices and the person I am in daily life. I couldn’t be more happy Katie felt that Echo’s and Noah’s story wasn’t finished yet, because wow, I needed this, so bad.


— Up next: Never Never by Colleen Hoover <– Ohmygosh :3 (I’m terrified of that cliffhanger they’re talking about/ wish me luck) —


****************** WARNING: SPOILERS********************



Here comes the serious part…

I recognize myself in Echo and Noah, quite a lot. I always question everything I do. I’m always terrified that I’m doing everything wrong, that I’ll never be enough. Forget that, I’m worse than the two combined.  But just like them, I hate it. I hate feeling this way and I just can’t seem to stop it. That makes me feel even more pathetic, though. I also feel terrible actually admitting this on the internet and my finger is constantly hovering over the delete button here. Okay , this totally veered away from a book review, I’m sorry.

The thing is, reading they have the same (or same kind of) insecurities I have is consoling in a way. It’s what made me connect with them in Pushing The Limits over a year ago and it has the same power now. I really wanted to say a big giant thank you for that towards Katie McGarry, because by creating these characters, she helps people all over the world. Reading about insecurities helps putting them in perspective and makes me think about my own and wanting to work on them because it helps me see exactly how much they can ruin.

What I also truly loved was that, with their first time, for a moment there was focus on the realization that Echo made the right decision to wait until that exact moment. I haven’t seen that in any other book that I’ve read and for some reason it made the whole scene even more right. Then there was the sweetness that is called Noah Hutchins. I swear I melted to a puddle on the floor. So, SO amazingly sweet. And hot, because let’s not forget that. I mean, I *sighs dreamily*

What had me biting my nails – yes I know, very bad habit – was that they assumed so much that it almost broke them. It is another thing I recognize myself in and I’ve seen it in other books, too. It shows how insecurities can make the same scene and words look like the complete opposite. Writing style wise, I have huge respect for the complicity and way authors create this. The problem is, I see how it can ruin beautiful things. It’s one of many things these books show. I see it over and over again and yet I keep doing this, too.

And this is starting to look less like a review and more like a psychological conversation by the minute… Let’s all just ignore my rants that have not really all that much to do with the review and too much with my flaws…

There definitely were moments I wanted to strangle certain people, like Hunter and Mia. Her several times to be really honest. I wonder if that’s morbid… At least that’s how I felt while reading. Looking back, I guess Noah and Echo came out stronger because of them, but they’d already been through enough to be shot down like that.

What’s funny is that I never really thought about that as I was reading, but somewhere deep inside I knew that even though their future seemed to be blown to pieces at some point, I’ve already read Dare You To and Crash Into You, and Crash Into You is after that particular summer vacation and they were still together. I wish that I had realized that when I was sure my heart couldn’t deal with their fights anymore…

* I used the cover from Goodreads