None of the Regular Rules by Erin Downing
Publish Date: November 20, 2012
Source: Author for review – Thank you!
Sometimes, a few dares can change lives…
The weekend before the start of senior year, Sophie Erickson and her best friends, Ella and Grace, discover a handwritten list of dares tucked away in the glove compartment of Sophie’s beat-up old Toyota. But this isn’t just any list; it’s a dead girl’s bucket list.
Sophie’s beloved aunt Suzy died as a teenager in a fatal fall, leaving Sophie with an overly cautious family, a few fading photographs, and a bucket of bolts that barely passes for a car. But now, Sophie has Suzy’s list of the things she wanted to do in her last year of high school. Sophie can’t help but wonder: What would happen if she tried to fulfill Suzy’s last wishes, to live out the longed-for life of her aunt, her hero?
As Sophie and her friends attempt to knock off the things on Suzy’s list of dares, love blossoms in unexpected places and Sophie begins to feel that her life is finally coming together…when in fact, everything is slowly unraveling around her. When the truth about a long-held family secret threatens to shatter everything she believed to be true, Sophie is forced to question everything she knew about the life and people she believed in, and ultimately herself. -(from Goodreads)
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My Thoughts: None of the Regular Rules is a book about finding love, friendships, and coming-of-age – but not necessarily in that order.
This is a story of friendship.
Being so very different is probably the thing that has kept them so close. Ella is the artsy one, almost like a hippie, the one that is just on the fringes of the regular crowd at school. She wears the loud-colored tights under her clothes and pulls together outfits that other people might not necessarily piece together. Ella is happy and completely comfortable not knowing what she wants to do with her life just yet. Grace Cutler is on the student council. She also joins just about every other extracurricular activity she can possibly fit into her schedule. She’s an overachiever with high hopes of a big-time college after high school. Both of these girls get picked on regularly for their quirkiness.
Our main character Sophie Erickson hovers in a somewhat different place – she doesn’t really fit in any particular crowd. She has never had any trouble fitting in with anyone and gets along with pretty much everyone. She is content to just be. For all of their differences in terms of school, these three balance each other out really well outside of school, and they are the best of friends.
This is the story of a romance.
Sophie and Johnny start spending a little bit more and more time together and gradually Sophie’s friendship-crush becomes solid feelings. The problem is: Johnny has a girlfriend who is away at college and Sophie knows that she can’t let herself fall for this boy, this perfect and handsome boy. But oh she wants to! Then one day, Johnny leaves town suddenly, saying he got a job as a ski instructor in another state and he’d be home soon. Sophie is crushed that he would leave so suddenly. (Trust me, he has his reasons!) Things aren’t great at home and Sophie’s friends aren’t around anymore (more on that later) and she really, really could use Johnny hanging around next door. But he’s gone and she feels so very lost without him.
I initially judged Johnny as one of those super popular party boys – the ones that would probably be a jerk and a waste of Sophie’s time. I figured Sophie’s crush would be big and Johnny wouldn’t reciprocate or he’d break her heart or embarrass her. Boy, was I wrong. Johnny Rush is a GREAT guy.
I have to apologize to our main character Sophie Erickson, but TO ME Johnny Rush was the star of this show. (Could it be because he was named Johnny Rush? Because that name is the coolest name ever.)
Romance: No triangle. Slowly developing relationship.
None of the Regular Rules by Erin Downing
Erin Downing has written more than a dozen books for young adults, tweens, and kids. Her guilty pleasures include an unhealthy obsession with reality TV and cheesy romantic dramas (Revenge! Alias!), an addiction to Us Weekly magazine, and cupcakes.
Before turning to writing full time, Erin worked as a book editor, spent a few months as a cookie inventor, and also worked for Nickelodeon. Erin has lived in England, Sweden, and New York City, and now resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband and kids. More information about Erin and her books can be found at: www.erindowning.com.
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