The Unwritten Rule

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The Unwritten Rule – Elizabeth Scott

So, we’re still in the midst of the Six Week Challenge and I had rather hoped that doing this challenge would make me more selective about the books that I read, mostly because people (if there are any) would read these reviews and go, God, Leah’s got a good taste in books doesn’t she? Unfortunately, on seeing this, they are not going to think that. This is the second of Elizabeth Scott’s novels that I’ve read, and I have to be honest, it’s not the best. I actually really enjoyed reading Love You, Hate You, Miss You. I ended up reading it in about a day and really loved it, this was about the same length and took me about the same amount of time, but it wasn’t quite so enjoyable.

Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don’t like your best friend’s boyfriend.
Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years. He’s easy to talk to, supersmart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he’s paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two things: Ryan is Brianna’s boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah’s best friend.
Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants is to hurt her best friend. But when she’s thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens. It’s wonderful… and awful.
Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is nothing short of addiction, and she can’t stop herself from wanting more…

This had the best opening line ever.
Seriously: “I liked him first. But that doesn’t matter. I still like him. That doesn’t matter either.” I mean, we’ve all been there right? I read that first line and thought, yes, I am on to a winner here, this sounds brilliant. I really like Elizabeth Scott’s writing style, it is exactly how a teenage girl (or rather how I thought as a teenage girl) sounds, the characterisations were kind of perfect. That wasn’t my problem with this book. My problem was that this story has been done to death and there wasn’t anything particularly outstanding or different about this one. In fact, it reminded me of a slightly more juvenile version of Something Borrowed by Emily Griffiths.
It also bothered me a little that Sarah felt all the guilt in this, she wasn’t the one in a relationship, and yes, yes, ok, Brianna was her best friend and Sarah was well aware that Ryan was her boyfriend, but Ryan was the one in a relationship, he had a girlfriend and if he was having thoughts about getting off with his girlfriend’s best mate, then he probably should have finished with said girlfriend months ago, the fact that it took him two months to chose a girl irritated me, why on earth did anyone let him get away with that?
Sarah can’t help who she falls for, neither can Ryan, neither can Brianna, but Ryan kind of had the best part of the deal, he got to get it on with two girls while he leisurely made up his mind. I know the narration all came from Sarah, but I got the feeling that she felt that she was entirely to blame, no sweetie, you and your best mate clearly fell for a dick who liked to manipulate both of you. I could go on for ever about the gender inequality when it comes to this sort of thing, but I’ll spare you.
Having said that, Brianna wasn’t the nicest character I’ve ever come across, which made me wonder why Ryan and Sarah even bothered with her in the first place… My other major issue with this, apart from the fact that I have read far too many books with the same plot, is that all the characters were pretty one dimensional. Which is kind of upsetting because, like I say, I actually really love Elizabeth Scott’s writing.
I don’t think reading this will put me off reading any of her other books, it’s short and sweet and is great if you want a stop gap between longer things, but it’s not my favourite. Sorry.

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