None of the Regular Rules – Erin Downing.
I was kindly gifted this to review by the author, it’s currently only available as an ebook, but if you’re from the UK like I am. It’s only £2.00 in the kindle store so it’s not a bad price as books go, I know the cover is a bit strange. It doesn’t really fit with the overall story either, but you know, this is an ebook so the cover isn’t important at all really.
Right, so, the book:
This is the story of Sophie as she is about to embark on her senior year and, like most people leaving school, she wants it to be special. However, she fears that it won’t be and that she’ll be unsatisfied with her final year of school if she can’t even work up the courage to go to her fit neighbour’s house party. But then, on a casual drive with her friends in her recently inherited car, she finds her late aunts bucket list and the three of them decide to complete each dare on the list so they can make their senior year truly memorable.
As the story progresses you see each of the characters have their own individual issues which conflicts with the list, like one of the dares is to jump off of a cliff into a stream and Sophie’s fear of heights has always prevented her from doing it.
In fact, all the characters are really interesting, I particularly thought Grace and Ella (the two friends) and their relationships with their families and the boys they’re crushing on really intriguing so it’s kind of frustrating that none of the characters had much depth. Grace was probably one of my favourite characters, just because I found her story and her life to be really fascinating even if not a lot of it was mentioned. Plus, if I mention Grace I get to play with this meme:
Just because she literally is doing all the things.
None of the Regular Rules has a brilliant premise, it’s a great idea but I found the writing style hard to get into at certain points. There are moments where stuff is explained with too much detail or is mentioned that has no real impact on the story and it diverts attention and breaks the flow. But, if you can work past that then the story itself is engaging. I find the whole idea to be quite inspirational, if, like Sophie, you’ve come to a mile stone in your life and you want to do something different and exciting then this is great, you get to see how they all cope deviating from their usual lives and I really enjoyed that aspect of the book.
I found the reveal about Suzy a little predictable, I personally saw it coming from the moment it was first bought up, but even so, it still packed a bit of an emotional punch. The ending was great too and I thought the Sophie and Johnny moments when they were getting to know each other and watching their relationship develop was really cute. It’s just the slightly bumbly prose that I had a few issue with but I’m fully prepared to accept that that was just me.
The absolute best moment had to be where Erin Downing did the thing. The thing where you mention the name of the work in the work. That happened. SHE DID THE THING! It doesn’t come across as being forced either, it happened and I was like:
AHAHAAA!! THE THING! WHERE YOU MENTION THE TITLE IN THE NARRATIVE!!!!!
All in all, it was an enjoyable journey through Sophie’s senior year and a great concept for a YA novel.