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Rules We're Meant to Break


Rule #1: Don't get attached.

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Swoon Index

  • Heat

    5 (8 ratings)

  • Tears

    4 (8 ratings)

  • Laughs

    5 (8 ratings)

  • Thrills

    5 (8 ratings)

Full Description

Amber lives by strict rules to survive her mother’s love life: Always keep your eyes on the horizon and never get close to anyone connected to Mom's boyfriends.

But after they move in with Kevin, the latest of her mom's “soulmates,” the rules become increasingly difficult to follow. Kevin’s daughter, Cammie, keeps acting like Amber’s friend, even though she’s definitely not. And Jordan—star basketball player, hottest boy in school, and Cammie's best friend—keeps showing up at the most inconvenient moments.

Amber has reasons for every one of her rules, and following them is the only way to protect her heart when her mom inevitably moves on. But as she spends more time with Kevin, his daughter, and especially Jordan, she starts to wonder if the rules might be worth breaking this time.


"I can't keep doing this, Han."

"Doing what?"

"Getting my hopes up. Letting myself believe that the next guy will be different. I was starting to really like Howard, you know?"

"I know," Hannah says quietly.

"And Tyler..."

She sighs. "I know."

We sit in silence for a while, long enough that the sky starts getting dark, and then suddenly I sit up straight.

"What?" Hannah asks.

"Maybe what I need," I say, looking over at her, "is to start preparing for the next guy right now."

She frowns at me. "What do you mean?"

"Well there's always a next guy, right?" Hannah gives me a look like she's not sure how to respond to that without sounding like a jerk, so I keep going. "And since I know that already, I should have known better than to get involved with Tyler, or even to start liking Howard in the first place."

"I don't know," Hannah says. "It wasn't all bad with them, right? There was some good stuff too."

I shake my head. "Yeah, but they're still gone, and today still sucked. If I make sure I don't get attached to anyone next time, it'll be better for me when things end. For everyone, really."

Hannah doesn't look totally convinced, but she doesn't disagree with me out loud, so I'm calling that a win. I get to my feet and set Buffy down gently, taking her leash in hand.

"Come on," I say to Hannah. "I want to do this now, before I forget."

"Do what now?" Hannah asks, her brow furrowing as she gets to her feet.

"Write down the rules for next time," I say.

"Rules? What did you have in mind?"


"Vibrant and funny and completely relatable. ... The perfect read for anyone wanting to be swept away." —Danielle Stinson, author of Before I Disappear

"Rules We’re Meant to Break is one of those young adult contemporaries that I truly resonated with... What an amazing debut! I cannot wait to see what Natalie Williamson writes next!" —The Write Kind of Love

"This book is the epitome of a perfect YA summer read! If you are a Sarah Dessen fan, you will love this book!" —Live, Read, and Prosper

"If you love dogs, basketball, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you are going to love Rules We’re Meant to Break!" —The Heart of a Book Blogger

"A cute little summer read. ... Comparable to Julie Buxbaum and Jenn Bennett." —The Shelf Life Chronicles

"It's such a lovely story of family, friendship, love and the pain of growing up." —Diary of a Wannabe Writer

“The last time I devoured a book like this—I can't even remember. … This is such an amazing book, and it left me the feeling of wanting more, all of it, no pieces left. It was so openhearted and raw that I fell in love with all the characters.” —Clarissa, Swoon Reader

"The kind of story that I would buy from a book store and read over and over again." —Emily Hollman, Swoon Reader