All Hannah wanted was a summer break from being “perfect Hannah Cohen” and a chance to forget about the devastating family secret that could ruin her seemingly perfect life. So when she takes off for her eccentric aunt’s house in the mountains of North Carolina and everyone makes one big (wrong) assumption about her past, Hannah figures that it’s easier to live a lie than have to face the truth.
She never expected to make any real friends, like the hilarious and spontaneous Kate and Ashton, who drag her to late night bonfires and ice cream marathons. And she especially never counted on meeting Jude Westmore, the brooding bad boy next door with gray eyes and permanent oil smudges on his fingers, or that he would ever take an interest in her.
Between moonlit movie nights in the bed of Jude’s truck and nearly romantic Ferris Wheel rides, Hannah’s old life seems father away then ever, but can she keep her secret, or is the truth worth the risk of losing everything, including Jude?
The Secrets Between You and Me is a companion novel to The Boyfriend Thief and the second book in Shana Norris’s Stolen Kiss series.
The Rules of You and Me
1. Be honest. Don’t complicate things.
2. Do what scares you the most.
3. Always do the thing that could get you arrested.
4. Don’t be afraid of reality.
Hannah Cohen has always been about rules. Her parents’ rules. All her life she’s lived by them. For the summer though, she has only one rule to follow (given to her by her therapi- err, life coach): to push herself outside her limits and try everything. That’s exactly what she plans to do as she visits her aunt in Asheville. And then she meets Jude Westmore. Maybe rules weren’t so bad after all, as long as they were the right rules for you.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this book. I had read Shana Norris’s The Boyfriend Thief (Btw, I advise you to read it before delving into The Rules of You and Me. You’ll like Hannah so much better here if you saw how she was before.) and it was a nice quick read but it wasn’t the type of book that made me reflect and realize things about life. The Rules of You and me, however, did that.
Hannah Cohen- top of her class, popular, rich and priveleged, obedient daughter but scared of heights, has no real friends, confused about her future and not happy. Yep, that’s Hannah for you. In The Boyfriend Thief and at the early chapters of The Rules of You and me, Hannah comes off as obnoxious and snobby. As the story unravels though, you get to see different parts of her and you start to understand why Hannah acts the way she does. Also, as the story develops, you like her better because you’ll be able to relate to her feelings and emotions. There were times I got annoyed with her, like when she lied, when she pulled away from Jude, when she kept blaming her Aunt Lydia, but still, I rooted for her. Hannah has a lot to deal with in this book, like discovering her true self and also fixing her family problems. Shana Norris put some really heavy issues here: alcoholism, pills, death, pressure. You’d think with those heavy topics, surely the story would be too angsty. But no it wasn’t. I think it was the way the story and the characters were expertly written, enough to awaken some feelings but not too much to make you go on emotional overdrive.
Aside from Hannah, most of the characters were really good. I liked Jude- he was kind enough to help a stranger, determined enough to persist that Hannah get on top of Chimney rock, sweet and charming enough to make you swoon. And he has his own insecurities and issues so yeah, his imperfection made him realistic enough too. I really liked how Jude and Hannah first developed a friendship before they turned into something more. After Jude, there’s Aunt Lydia who’s great (that wishbone necklace gift was awesome), then there’s Kate and Ashton who develops a real friendship with Hannah while she was in Asheville. I was really happy for Hannah that she had found true friends. I also liked Ashton and Carter together! It was cute and funny how Ashton was too afraid to admit how much she liked Carter. There’s also Avery and Zac, from The Boyfriend Thief, who appear here too. It was nice to see them again.
The Rules of You and Me was a really good read. It’s a very quotable and memorable book and it will surely be a satisfaction to YA lovers out there.