The Natural History of Us by Rachel Harris #BookReview #Excerpt #Playlist #Giveaway @rachelharrisbks

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 introduces us to a couple of very adorable characters. Who we get to see grow from Freshmen to Senior year. It’s amazing how the plot takes us on this young love journey. Rachel Harris makes me applaud her because this book is a home run! (that’s a little book related baseball humor)

I couldn’t stop smiling. Everything is so cute in this book it kills me. Yes yes there is drama but my heart stayed happy with the cuteness. I loved all the young Peyton/Justin interactions and all the older Peyton/Justin interactions. Even though they are the same people you can see the maturity level change. It’s so great. So great.

Oddly enough I do know someone who had Peyton’s condition. (I feel like I say this everytime I write a review about an illness) I remember when he told me his story I was surprised. I had never heard of it before and can’t even imagine how terrifying it is. That is not what gave me the bond with Peyton. It’s her need to go to school after dealing with her illness. It actually made my eyes water a little. When I was diagnosed with my chronic disease in college. I was very sick, but I knew I was going to have it forever and I refused to take a semester off. I needed to go to school to feel somewhat normal. It’s very hard to explain but I felt like Rachel captured that feeling with Peyton perfectly. It’s the you control the disease and not let the disease control attitude Peyton has that makes me embrace her. She is such a strong and wonderful character. I think I have to say she is my favorite lead from Rachel’s YA.

Justin, my boy Justin. I developed quite the soft spot for him in The Fine Art of Pretending. I’m glad it was rewarded with a swoon worthy boy in The Natural History of Us. He’s so charming and even though he has that kind of arrogant swagger he makes up for it with the way that when invest his heart. He invest his whole heart, forever. He hasn’t had the easiest go of it but we see how his relationships in high school have really shaped him into the person he comes out to be at graduation.

Okay I have to say that I also like the Cade and Peyton relationship. Not because I want Peyton with Cade, of course I don’t. It’s that feeling of needing to stay with someone because they have helped you through a hard time. That even though you moved into the friendzone you feel like you owe them something and because you care about them you stay. It’s a very difficult rut to get out of and I’m glad it was brushed upon here.

Hooray for the homeschool shoutout. I’m so glad it was in the book.

This is such a great feel good, make you smile, contemporary YA. It really just gives you warm fuzzies. Who doesn’t like warm fuzzies. So just read it. Psst there is also a pretty awesome coach in the book.

Some reviews are harder to write because you don’t just have love for the book but because the author is an amazing person. I know that every component of this book Rachel really put thought into from making sure she understood the disease she was portraying to knowing about Rodeos. She kicked stuff around Flirt Squad to make sure and that is incredibly awesome. Sometimes you are on a street team and you don’t really feel a part of something. The Flirt Squad is an amazing group people and Rachel started that by being active in it. I loved that I have read her books from the beginning and have really seen her develop as an author. (I loved all of them of course). All the books that Rachel writes always have me smiling the whole way through and I have resting bitch face so this is an accomplishment!

“Hold out your hand.” At the expression on his face, I rolled my eyes. “Just do it.” Cautiously, as if I was going to put out a cobra or something, he uncurled his fingers and lifted his palm. I dropped a small silver coin in the center. “For luck.”
Wonder warred with confusion in his gorgeous brown eyes and my heart melted. 
“On this side there’s a horseshoe,” I said, my cheeks warming with a blush. “You know, the universal symbol for luck… and a small reminder of me.”
I bit my lip, hoping he didn’t think that was too corny—or that it revealed too much.
I flipped the coin over, exposing the other side, and my fingers slid across his rough skin. My breath caught. When I lifted my eyes, I found him watching me with so much intensity, so much heat, that an actual shiver rolled through me. Just like in my favorite books.  
Huh. So that was what smoldering looked like. Good to know.
I swallowed hard and noticed him do the same, and nothing could hold back my smile. Justin glanced down and laughed. “Kick some ass!” he read, skimming his fingernail over my initials.
“I figured…” I cleared my throat. “I thought you could hide it in your sock or something,” I said, unable to tell if he liked the gift or not. He just kept staring at it. “If it’s dumb, you don’t have to—”
He’d said it so quietly I almost wasn’t sure he’d spoken at all. But then he closed his hand around the coin and raised his head. Time ceased to exist as Justin’s eyes trailed across my face. I held my breath waiting and a sweet smile crossed his face.
“Damn.” He shook his head softly. “You’ve done it now.”
“What?” I asked, hoping whatever it was that it was a good thing. “What did I do?”  
Justin merely shook his head again and smiled. “Wait for me after the game.” Shifting his gaze to the old concession stand, he took a step back and said, “Over there, okay?”
When I nodded, excitement lodging in my throat, making it impossible to speak, he winked and then took off to join his teammates. As I watched his cute butt in those uniform pants run across the field, a giddy grin found my lips.  

I also decided to create a playlist of my own for the book.

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings, witty banter, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing.

An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!