What is “You Keep Breaking Us” by Carrie Aarons about?
We were the ultimate example of that couple who can’t live with each other, but can’t seem to function without each other.
The minute I met Callum Strass at fifteen, I was a goner. We were the golden couple of our high school. The king and queen of prom, the sweethearts voted most likely to get married and have babies, and the absolute idiots who decided to attend the same college.
Because that’s when it all fell apart. The naïve, puppy love versions of ourselves couldn’t see the obvious cracks we’d had back in our hometown. But they sure revealed themselves when we started living in an off-campus house together with four of our other friends.
Within a semester, blow-out fights, jealousy, every-other-week breakups, and my abandonment issues had him bowing out. Not just on me, but on the house, too. Until our senior year, when his parents refuse to keep paying rent on two places.
So he moves back in, and I’m forced to live with my ex. The one who has ruined all other men for me. The one I still cry myself to sleep at night thinking about. The one who confesses, during a run-in in a dark hallway, that he hates how much he still loves me.
And when he starts dating again, he might as well plunge a knife straight through my heart. Despite our breakup, I’m on the verge of losing him for real this time, and possibly forever. The only option is to seek help for my deep-seated trauma, the thing that Callum always encouraged me to see someone about. The thing that eventually pushed him away.
Put two of the most driven, headstrong, and passionate people in any relationship and it’s bound to combust. We’ve always had that twin flame kind of love.
So, together we might burn. But we also might heal.
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
This is the third book in a series, and while it can technically be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading the first two books in the series to get a better understanding of the friendship and character dynamics. Plus, the events of those books are mentioned a few times in this one, so it’s better to not start with this one.
I’ll be honest, I was skeptical going into this one. For the first two books in the Prospect Street series, we’ve all seen the tumultuousity (yes, I know that’s not a word, but it feels right) that is Bevan and Callum, and how toxic they are to each other. After the first few chapters, I was seriously questioning whether or not Bevan would redeem herself – she’s ridiculously toxic to Callum, and continually blames him for abandoning her when it seems like she’s been nothing but mean to him and has done all that she can to push him away until he breaks up with her so that she can say that she was right about him all along.
Throughout the book though, we get to see how some of Callum’s behaviors were adding to the issues and tensions plaguing their relationship. The biggest issue (or one of them) that the two of them had in their relationship was their lack of healthy communication. They were constantly blaming each other and saying things they didn’t really mean, so while they were technically communicating, they weren’t doing so in a way that was going to help them solve their problems and move forward, but rather keep going into their downward spiral.
Bevan never actually resolves any of the issues that she has with her parents, which I was kind of hoping we’d get to see. Maybe there’s a flash forward chapter that we’ll get sometime in the future of her annihilating her father in a courtroom, but we’ll see. The lack of closure with her parents is more realistic than not.
The whole deal with Callum and Gretchen felt like a loose end that never really gets tied up. He basically ghosts her twice, and with all his claims of trying to be less selfish, not being up front with her when she had done nothing wrong wasn’t cool, and made me lose respect for him. He could’ve just texted her or said something to her at the bar they ran into each other at, but he didn’t. I also thought that we might see a confrontation between her and Bevan at the business event, but that happened off screen. I also would’ve loved to see how Bevan and Callum’s family interact, since we’re told how well they all get along.
With all that being said, the two of them won me over in the end. As the start of this review suggests, I was vehemently against the two of them being together at the beginning; second chance romances are always a toss up, since there is some big past issue that has to be redeemed throughout the book while having a new set of issues on top of that, but by the end I could see how they were a good match, even though the journey to get there was not without its challenges. I’m surprised that the two of them didn’t end up going to couples therapy, especially since Bevan had finally realized how helpful individual therapy was for her.
It was nice to get to see the couples and characters from the previous two books, as they’re (obviously) still the main support characters in this one. The bit where their whole friend group goes to visit the psychic felt a little out of place. I thought that maybe some of the other characters would learn something too, like Scott (since I’m assuming there’s one more book in the series and it centers on him), but the only glimpse into his future we get is in the epilogue, where it tells us where he ended up location-wise. He’s been sort of a mystery the whole series, and so I’m looking forward to hopefully learning more about him soon.
Overall, I thought this was a good addition to the series, and I’m looking forward to (hopefully) reading Scott’s story in the future. This book spans the entirety of the group’s senior year, so if Scott does get his own book, I’m curious as to what that timeline would be.
As with all new adult romances, I recommend it for mature audiences due to some of the sexual content. Huge thanks to Carrie for letting me read an early ebook copy! The book is available now.
Check out my interview with Carrie about “The Tenth Girl,” and read my other reviews of her young and new adult books:
“Tagging Up” (Callahan Family #5) – ARC
“You Keep Breaking Us” (Prospect Street #3) – ARC
“Foes & Cons” ♪
“Tagging Up” (Callahan Family #5) ♪