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Rules We're Meant to Break

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  685 ratings  ·  111 reviews
Honest and full of heart, this clever contemporary romance debut deftly combines utterly relatable family drama with all the sweetness and uncertainy that comes with falling in love.

Rule #1: Don't get attached.

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 a
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Swoon Reads
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  685 ratings  ·  111 reviews

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Natalie Williamson
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Hi! I wrote this. =]
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
May 08, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
Shelves: contemporary
[5/24/2020] - Ahhh, all that angtsy teenager-y energy is calmer now lol


rule breaking are my buzz words. because... i love... to shatter ALL THE RULES

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Nov 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I´ve read a lot of books with annoying main characters, I don´t know why writers insist on making the girl protagonist annoying so often?
There was character development but not enough of it, some cute scenes but not enough of them too be completely honest.
Lost in Book Land
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Happy Tuesday (A.K.A. New Book Day)!

I have been waiting to post this review because I wanted to put it up closer to when the book came out. Then my own personal life got busy and now here it is! I did receive an ARC of this book a while back from Swoon Reads so thank you so much for the chance to read this a little early in exchange for my honest opinion. Without further ado let’s jump in!


Amber has strict rules for herself to live by. These rules will help her survive life until sh
Samantha (WLABB)
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, ya, romance, contemporary
After yet another of her mother's failed relationships, Amber established a set of rules to protect herself. However, after living by these rules for several years, she began to realize that they were keeping her from enjoying a multitude of wonderful things.

• Pro: I am going to start with the most important thing. This book featured a fantastic dog, Buffy, and the dog lives!!!!

• Pro: Amber worked in a pet store, and part of her job was training dogs. I had a magnificent time at puppy lessons,
T.H. Hernandez
This is such a cute young adult romance. Everything from the settings to the characters sucked me in. Amber lives with her single mother, her father having left them when she was just five. Her mom bounces from one relationship to another, and after a particularly difficult breakup for Amber, she vows never to get close to anyone her mom dates again. This becomes challenging when they move into her mom’s then boyfriend’s place early in Amber’s senior year of high school. To make matter’s worse, ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
*Thanks so much Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for an eARC of this through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

3.25 / 5 stars
Rules We’re Meant to Break follows a girl who abides by a set of rules so that she can survive her mother’s romances. Amber is used to things not working out with her mother’s boyfriends. Amber’s mom is quick to fall in love but when things start to get serious and Amber grows attached, things get messy. Amber decides that she will hold her heart close by no
Katy Upperman
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
RULES WE’RE MEANT TO BREAK is everything I love about contemporary YA. Its main character, Amber, is so easy to root for, its romance is totally swoony, and it’s full of family, friendship, and college-application conflict that rings very true. Plus, Buffy the dog is ADORABLE. One more plus — Natalie Williamson’s prose reads as effortless; it was such a treat to get lost in this story. Big recommend!
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley2019
This is not a romance-centered YA (but of course there is enough romance to satisfy us fans).

Amber has learned the hard way to survive the succession of boyfriends her mother gets: she had to create a list of rules not to get attached ever again either to the boyfriends nor to the kids that come along or anyone else. That's until she finds out her current crush is the childhood friend of the newest partner's daughter. To make things worse, she needs to tutor him, and boundaries seem to stretch t
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an advance copy.

I really liked this book, it was a nice contemporary romance novel and quick read. I found myself getting so invested with the characters that I finished this a couple of hours. While there were a few things I had issues with most can be chalked up to this being Natalie Williamson's debut novel.

Amber has a list of rules to follow when her mother is in relationships, rules that will keep her from being hurt and getting hurt as she has too
Jordan (The Heart of a Book Blogger)
This review and more can be found at The Heart of a Book Blogger.

Rules We’re Meant to Break has been on my radar since it was announced so I was so excited to have a chance to read this cute contemporary debut early!

Amber has a set of strict rules she lives by in order to survive her mother’s many boyfriends throughout the years. However, it starts to become more difficult to stick to these rules when they move in with Kevin, her mother’s current boyfriend, and his daughter, Cammie. Especially w
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
I only continued reading this book to see when Amber would blow up on her mother for her selfish behavior in relationships. Who acts like that? Just move with her boyfriends without really talking or seeing how that is affecting your child??? (Ok, I get some people act like that, but we needed way more resolution for it. because it was the main reason Amber acted the way she did with others, and we don't even have conversations to actually adress how she got affected).

The romance was cute, I gue
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well this was all kinds of cute! I absolutely loved the family dynamic of the story and Amber’s friends were great too. I could definitely understand Amber being closed off because of all her mother’s failed relationships, but I liked her character growth as the story progressed. I also loved that she was a dog person and her dog was so cute! The romance was super sweet. I absolutely adored him and they were so cute together.
Jun 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Ive read " rules we're meant to break " it was nice i enjoyed it but i wanted more romance but the family part was good ,, i gave it 3.5 out of 5 ...more
Lelia Taylor
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: full-reviews
3.5 stars

The very first thing that struck me in this story is how much I REALLY didn’t like Amber’s mom. If you’re looking for a first class narcissist who cares only about her own needs and has no regard for her daughter’s feelings, this woman is it. She also can’t maintain a relationship with any guy and should have a warning label plastered on her forehead. I just can’t imagine having a mother uproot her child time after time because she wants to shack up with one more guy. Apparently, lettin
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this book is all fluff. there are no intricate problems nor profound solutions, nothing super deep or complicated. it was just enough and exactly what i needed. it’s all about nice people living their cute little lives and, yes, maybe having some problems, but then everything is fine and they work it out and it’s great. it was such a pick-me-up that made me love every development and feel all fuzzy and warm inside.
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs
Rules We're Meant to Break had potential but lots of things annoyed me which dropped my satisfaction in the story. Amber was unhealthily obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and KU (which at first I thought stood for Kentucky University and then realized it was Kansas).

When Amber is 14 she sees a German Shepherd puppy left at a pet store's doorstep so she brings it home without her mother's knowledge or approval (which is very disrespectful and inconsiderate since she's a child) and dubs the
Candyce Kirk
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rules We're Meant to Break is everything you want to find in a contemporary. It's cute, there's some romance, great friends, animals, a fandom and some sweet family moments.

Amber's childhood has been influenced by all of her mother's decisions when it came to her love life. There have been many boyfriends, her mother thinking she finally found the one and a lot of heartache. Everytime Amber starts to get settled with her life and the new people in it, her mother decides the guy she's with just
Samantha Hastings
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amber’s learned from past experience not to get attached to her mom’s boyfriends or their relatives—they’re not going to be around forever. She even has a set of rules to remind her not to get attached. Her senior year is starting and they’re moving into her mom’s newest boyfriend’s house, Kevin. While walking her dog, Amber runs into Jordan, a cute basketball player. The only problem is that he’s besties with Cammie, Kevin’s daughter, which makes him “against the rules.”

What I loved ❤️❤️❤️:
1. H
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, romance
This was a pretty good book about a girl who’d had an unstable upbringing with her mum, although her mum actually sounded nice, just a bit flakey with guys. She understandably puts emotional barriers up, but struggles to keep them up when she and her mum move in with a new guy and his daughter.
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All the stars. Detailed review to come.
michelle (magical reads)
Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
3.25 stars

Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it
An adorable story with love, dogs, and basketball.
3.5 stars
Well done for a debut novel. In fact I really liked that there are no "mean girls" or other rude and nasty characters. It was a refreshing change.
Amber's dad left when she was 5. Since them her mom has dated quite a few guys and Amber has gotten attached to them to various degrees, especially the ones that thy have lived with. When one particular attachment left her heat-broken, Amber made a list of rules to follow in order to protect herself and her heart from getting hurt like that ag
Sep 29, 2022 rated it really liked it
It's only a 4 because I'm not wild about the cussing, but the rest was really good! This book was recommended to me by a friend, even though she hadn't even finished it! When she told me that I had to read it even though she hadn't even finished it, I automatically jumped to the conclusion that she hadn't read the ending so she didn't really know if the book was good. I started to read it even though I assumed it was going to be terrible. I got to the second cuss word and was going to stop readi ...more
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours, Netgalley & Swoon Reads for providing me with an e-ARC of Rules We're Meant to Break in exchange for an honest review!

I actually read this book fairly quick & probably could have done it in one-sitting, if I didn’t depend on naps so much. Rules We’re Meant to Break really dives into character & relationship development & that’s something I always look for in a book. I love watching how a character changes from beginning to end & Amber really does grow, in both re
Katherine Paschal
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemp-romance, teen
**4.5 Stars**
Review can be found at

Amber made Rules for herself years ago after experiencing another heart break due to her mom's dating record. Amber has made the choice to not get close to anyone since they will soon be out of her life, even the new guy they just moved in with...and his daughter...or her cute best friend. Amber has to just get through her senior year of high school and then she and her dog Buffy will be free- but sometimes you just can't h
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it
My daughter saw this book at the library and chose it for me because it had a pink heart on the cover. I indulged her and borrowed it, yes she’s only 2 1/2 years old…haha, how could I say no? And yes her favorite color is PINK. 💞 I figured I needed a YA contemporary book since I’ve been reading a LOT of dark fantasy books lately. But I do love this cover.

Rules We’re Meant to Break has a slow and sweet romance but the romance is not the only focus of the story. Amber and her mother’s relationship
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs:**

Rules We're Meant to Break is young adult contemporary romance by Natalie Williamson. This might sound kind of weird, but I was immediately drawn into this book because of it's cover. It is not a traditionally beautiful young adult cover, but it made me think that I would relate to the main character, Amber. I loved how neat and orderly everything was. That plus the reference to rules, and I knew this was going to be
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Amber's mom has had a series of semi-permanent boyfriends, and they have tried the blended family thing too many times for her to count but something always goes wrong. Amber has learned not to get attached to the guys or anyone else connected to them, because they always end up leaving. To protect herself from further disappointment, she wrote a list of rules keep her heart safe. That way, if her mom's newest relationship crashes and burns (and let's face it, they all crash and burn), Amber wil ...more
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Natalie Williamson is a YA and romance writer who has been in love with love stories since she was a kid. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, children, dogs, and cats, she has a serious dessert problem, and she frequently Wikipedias movies and TV shows to find out if they have happy endings. RULES WE'RE MEANT TO BREAK is her debut novel. ...more

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