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Rules We're Meant to Break: A Novel

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  153 ratings  ·  56 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
ebook, 304 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Swoon Reads
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  153 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Natalie Williamson
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Hi! I wrote this. =]
May 08, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed

rule breaking are my buzz words. because... i love... to shatter ALL THE RULES
Lost in Book Land
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)
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,
*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  ·  review of another edition
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!
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
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
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
Lelia Taylor
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
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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. Her
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
The Belle
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the stars. Detailed review to come.
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
Kayla (booksandbloomies)
Amber has many rules, but the top one is to never get close to anyone who is connected to one of her mom’s boyfriends. This isn’t something she usually has trouble with, but when her and her mom move in with Kevin, her mom’s boyfriend, everything changes. And things get even more complicated when Amber gets assigned to tutor Jordan, Kevin’s daughters best friend.

*Before I jump in, I want to thank the coordinators of Blogbound Convention and Swoon Reads for providing me with an ARC of this novel!
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 d
Katherine Paschal
**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
**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
Meg Miller
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
Cyndi Becker
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rules We're Meant to Break is a heartfelt coming of age story about the daughter of a single mother facing down the upheaval of "home" life by giving herself guidelines meant to keep her emotions in check. As the story opens, Amber does what any normal girl who just had her life upended by the breakup of her mothers latest boyfriend, which also means she loses the boy she's crushing on as he drops out of her life too. She adopts a dog and drafts up "new rules" for managing what she knows will in ...more
High school senior Amber has learned the hard way to protect herself from becoming too attached to anyone connected to her mother's love life. After all, something always causes the relationship to fall apart, and her mother moves on to someone else, leaving Amber to deal with the collateral damage, which sometimes involves her own chance at love and stability. To insure that she never lets down her guard, she drafts a set of rules. But those rules are very much in danger of being broken when sh ...more
Terina Atkins
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rules We’re Meant to Break by Natalie Williamson- Students will be able to relate to Amber. She lives with her single mom and has endured several boyfriends moving in, becoming “family”, and then moving out. She’s tired of getting her hopes up and her heart crushed, so she makes a list of rules. These rules are to keep everyone at a safe distance and to keep her from getting hurt, but then her mom meets a new guy. This time they move in with him. Amber decides not only is she sticking to the rul ...more
Sarah  (sarahandherbookshelves)
*Received ARC from publisher for review *

This was a super cute, quick and enjoyable read! If you enjoy YA contemporary or even just YA I think and recommend you pick this one up!!

Amber follows 9 (10 if you include the one included by her BFF Hannah) rules to the T. She made these rules to protect herself from her moms relationships and what happens at the end of them. She doesn't want to get to connected to anyone. But some things change in her senior year of high school when her mom and her mov
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
B.R. Myers
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For eighteen-year-old Amber the rules of survival are all about keeping an emotional distance from the string of boyfriends her mother brings into their lives. With her dog, Buffy, and her best friends, Hannah and Ryan as the only constant in her life, Amber is keeping her gaze focused on graduating and getting into her favourite college—one that will take her and Buffy far away. But when her mother finds stability with a nice guy Amber is surreptitiously brought into his upscale life, including ...more
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After Amber's mother breaks up with yet another boyfriend, she makes a list of rules to follow to protect her from being hurt and disappointed the next time her mother and her boyfriend break up and leaves them again, so when they move in to Kevin's house with his daughter Cammie who she goes to school with, along comes Jordan, Cammie's friend, and one of the hottest guys at school, and things start to go out of control for Amber.

Not only does she slowly break her rules, she starts to hang out
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An insightful and emotional read that had me in tears a fair few times. 

  My heart ached for Amber. From being a freshman in high school that felt the need to have 'rules' to protect being a girl in her senior year, afraid to break the rules and get attached.

This is well written and gives an inside view of the difficuties that can arise when families join. It highlights the emotional turmoil that can develop and how essential friends are. 

Rules we're meant to break is a beautiful,
Prerna Pickett
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this sweet, romantic debut by Natalie Williamson. Here are some of my favorite things about Rules We're Meant To Break :
*Amber: She's a teen. She's real. She's flawed. She's fighting her feelings when all you want is for her to finally admit them!
*Jordan: He's the sweetest. And he's cute. He plays basketball and is trying to sweep our MC off her feet. If only she would let him!
*Hannah: Loyal, kind, tells it like it is. She's there for her best friend but keeps it real.
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Natalie Williamson is an HR person by day and a writer by night and nap time. She referenced Harry Potter in her first ever full time job interview, which tells you almost all the things you need to know about her. Other important things to know include: she loves her husband, daughter, dogs, and cat; she has a serious dessert problem; and she frequently Wikipedias movies and TV shows to find out ...more