None of the Regular Rules
by Erin Downing
Publishing date: November 20th 2012
Genre: YA Romance/Coming-of-Age
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.
My Review:When I started to read this book, I expected it to be a sweet, funny story about a girl who finds her aunt's bucket list. But it was so much more. It is a story about growing up, about friendship and finding themselves on the way.
When Sophie and her friends find her aunt Suzy's bucket list hidden in the car, they decide to complete it in their senior year. They wanted to shake up their last year in High School, but for Sophie it also meant that she'd feel closer to her aunt who died when she was still a child.
I loved the plot and that the main focus was on completing the list, with a small romance subplot. In many novels I have a feeling that romance is the main plot and some stuff are just thrown in to make it a little bit more interesting, so None of the Regular Rules was really refreshing. The tasks on the list felt close to normal teenagers. They weren't some crazy things, but normal things like going to a party or jumping of the cliff into the sea.
The characters were well developed, likable and I found them very reletable. I liked the fact that Sophie and her friends, Ella and Grace, are all completly different but still were best friends. Of course, there were ups and downs like in every friendship, but they managed to overcome all of their disagreements.
Romance was sweet and it didn't feel rushed. Johnny Rush, Sophie's neighbour and the love interest in None of the Regular Rules was just a normal guy, your typical boy-next-door. I enjoyed how their friendship slowly progressed into something more and didn't escalate until the very end.
Overall, I really liked None of the Regular Rules and would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes coming-of-age books. I look forward to reading Erin's books in the future and I hope I enjoy them as much as I enjoyed this one.
About the Author:
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.