Monday, February 25, 2013

Review: None of the Regular Rules by Erin Downing

 Title: None of the Regular Rules
Author: Erin Downing
Source: Received through blog tour in exchange for an honest review


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.


None of the Regular Rules is a coming of age story about Sophie, who is getting ready to start her senior year of high school. Sophie and her friends find something in the glove box of her car – a car that used to belong to her deceased aunt Suzy. It seems to be a bucket list of things that Suzy wanted to accomplish. Sophie decides to tackle each of the things on the list, with the help of her friends, to fulfill her aunt's last wishes.

This really is a great young adult contemporary story. Sophie feels that her life is boring and that she isn't going anywhere in life. She thinks that doing the crazy things on the list might add some excitement, and make her feel closer to her aunt. Things go well at first. She takes chances that she would never have done otherwise. The list starts taking over her life though, and Sophie and her friends start to grow apart. I liked her friends for the most part, but sometimes they got on my nerves. However, they had important issues that they were dealing with too.

The love interest in this story is Sophie's neighbor, Johnny. They slowly become friends and he helps Sophie with some of the things on her list. He is such a sweet and likable guy, but unfortunately he has a girlfriend. Sophie really starts to fall for him, but refuses to let their relationship go past friendship – even though his relationship with his long-distance girlfriend is “complicated”.

This isn't exactly a lighthearted story – there are a lot of emotions involved. The book reminds you that everyone is dealing with something, and life isn't always happy-go-lucky all of the time. The premise of the story is really unique and interesting. This is a very plot-driven book, though I would have liked more romance involved. That's just me though – I say that about a lot of books. I'm a romance fanatic. I highly recommend this book to young adults, as well as not-quite-so-young adults like me!

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