Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
Published: March 16, 2010 by Simon Pulse
(224 pages, hardcover)
Summary: He's looking at me like--well, like he wants to look at me. 
--
Like he likes what he sees, and he's smiling and his eyes are so blue, even in the faint flow of the porch light they shine, and I nod dumbly, blindly, and then grope for the door handle, telling myself to look away and yet not able to do it. 
--
"Sara," he says, softly, almost hesitantly, and my heart slam-bangs, beating hard, and this is what it's like to want someone you can't have. To want someone you shouldn't even be looking at.
--
My thoughts: I really don't know what it is with Elizabeth Scott books; something about them just draws me in, makes me want to live in their worlds forever. The Unwritten Rule was no exception to this, of course. I completely feel in love with the characters, writing, and plot.
--
At first glance, The Unwritten Rule looks like your typical YA romance: girl falls for boy, boy falls for girl, neither of them realize it, girl's best friend falls for boy, snags boy, and eventually something happens between the girl and boy, causing all sorts of angst and shudder-inducing cliches followed by a moment where you just know they're totally meant for each other. Been told a million times before, right? Well, it may be a worn-out story, but Scott somehow manages to work her magic and make it into a gripping, emotional novel that caught me from the first page and didn't let go until I'd finished it a couple of hours later.
--
Sara was likeable. I'm not going to lie, she didn't have a ton of personality, and I didn't feel like she was my spirit animal or anything. She was sweet and nice and, quite obviously and helplessly, in love with her best friend's boyfriend. I sympathized with her, not so much for the falling in love part, because, while I can appreciate misplaced affection just as much as the next reader, but because of the having-a-best-friend-who-kind-of-completely-sucks. Brianna, Sara's best friend, isn't a mean girl. Well, not really. Okay, so she's a total jerk, but Sara has been her best friend for forever (meaning since kindergarten) and when you've been friends for that long of a time it's impossible to even consider not being friends anymore. And this is what I loved about the book: it was more than just a boy-meets-girls-and-accidentally-falls-for-the-wrong-one, it was about a complex friendship that I really related to.
--
I'm going to try hard not to gush at this point. Ryan, to be plain, is amazing. Ryan, who is torn between being with the girl he's falling for and the girl he somehow ended up with; Ryan who was sensitive and sweet and impossible to not like and feel bad for. He was my favorite character, to be honest, because while I could easily relate to Sara, Ryan cared about Sara, and even Brianna so much. One of the things I really loved was the way Scott executed the plot: she didn't make the characters seem like jerks because they weren't falling into the roles Brianna had carved for them. And while I wish Ryan had a bit more of a backbone, he was still a great guy and character.
--
The writing was predictably realistic and heart-wrenching. I don't know how with so few pages Scott manages to make such three-dimensional, personal characters and plot lines that are simple in theory but complex like in real life, but she does it in The Unwritten Rule flawlessly. It was poignant and I loved how not all of the characters went by untouched by the effects of the novel. It wasn't the happily-ever-after you might expect, or the horrible falling-out you could expect, but it was simple and honest and (kind of sort of spoiler-ish) happy. I loved the book, and while it wasn't my absolute favorite of hers, I'd definitely re-read it and recommend it to any reader in a heartbeat.
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Covering the Cover: I like it. Simple and cute.
Characters: 5/5
Plot: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.9 stars

5 comments:

Trish (Just a YA Girl) said...

Confession- I have not read Elizabeth Scott. What the heck is wrong with me?! Your review made me want to read one of her books, bad. The way you connect with her writing sounds similar to how I connect with Jennifer Echols. It doesn't make sense. The story line has been done before. Blah. blah. blah. but you get sucked in every time.

Great review! Seriously. The "she's not like my spirit animal or anything" was too funny for words. :)

♥ Trish Just a YA Girl

Loraine said...

I just read the book, I enjoyed reading your review, here's mine: http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-unwritten-rule-by-elizabeth-scott.html

Have a nice day! :)

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