Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass
"Aubrey and her best friends made a pact to play by the guys' rules when it comes to dating. They're hoping the rules will keep them from experiencing high school heartbreak—they don't realize that these rules could just as easily keep them from opening their hearts and minds. And when new boy Nathan Diggs moves to town, Aubrey starts to think that some rules are meant to be broken."- summary from Amazon
I really enjoyed this book. It was such a refreshing take on a contemporary book. There is a romance in it but it's just handled so realistically and so differently from a lot of other YA. I loved Aubrey and her friends' pact, though (and this was probably done on purpose) I would get annoyed sometimes with how they all dealt with things and they seemed condescending too when they saw other girls that weren't as "enlightened" as they were. But part of that mentality is a crucial part of Aubrey's emotional arc in the book.
Nathan and Aubrey's blossoming friendship-turned-relationship is an interesting journey and Bass takes her time with it, letting them grow closer and closer until it's inevitable that they wind up together. Then, she writes about the ensuing relationship, rather than ending it on that happy note, which has its ups and downs. It's a fantastically written portrait of a high school relationship and was very compelling to read.
Overall, Bass' debut is an interesting and engrossing look at relationships in high school, and I'm so excited to see what she releases next!
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.