Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
Publication Date/Version: March 2010/Hardcover
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: 1 ARC Tours (Thanks!)

Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don't like you 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...

Long story short: Sarah likes Ryan, Ryan is with Brianna, Brianna is Sarah's best friend, Sarah and Ryan get stuck in the same car together, they make out. See the problem? Yeah, so does Sarah. The thing is, she wants to be with Ryan, and she's not sure if she minds stealing him from Brianna. Brianna isn't exactly a kind person anyways. But Sarah can't break the unwritten rule. Can she?

Elizabeth Scott is a legendary Young Adult writer whose bocks will transcend the generations and age groups, but The Unwritten Rule fell short of her other masterpieces. The idea was there, but the lack of likable characters made this story almost impossible to connect with. I had high hopes for this novel, but it didn't cut it.

Sarah was insecure, motherly, and cared way to much about making everyone happy. I was not able to connect with her at all, as I didn't relate to any of her characteristics. Ryan was just another teenage boy - maybe a bit more sweet than the average male specimen, but nothing extra special. Just another teen crush. Brianna, Sarah's best friend, was easy to hate. I wanted Sarah and Ryan together just to spite her. She was rude, inconsiderate, and put people down to make herself feel better. Sure she had a terrible home life, but that did not give her an excuse to treat people like dirt. I almost couldn't get through the book because of her incredibly disgusting personality.

With the lack of good characters, I was hoping for an exciting plot. The overall idea was interesting and could have been a very good exploration of teen problems, but because of Sarah's constant worrying about everything in the world, the plot didn't move fast enough. There were a few exciting moments, but Brianna always entered soon after, killing them for me.

I don't feel so bad ragging on The Unwritten Rule, as Elizabeth Scott is an established writer whom I deeply respect, but her latest novel didn't do it for me. I believe that other readers will have a hard time connecting with any of the characters, let alone enjoying the choppy story. I look forward to reading Susane Colasanti's Something Like Fate, a novel about the exact same situation, if not only in the hopes of finding a better portrayal of this complicated situation.

Overall: Choppy plot. Annoying characters. Not Scott's best.

My Advice: Skip it. It really wasn't worth the time.

Cover: This cover looks so dated to me. Maybe it's the colors. And honestly, who has carpet that color purple? Feet kind of gross me out anyways, so the fact that they're the focal point deters me.

*This was read as a part of the 100+ Reading Challenge


  1. Ah, sorry you didn't care for it. Hopefully Elizabeth won't disapoint with her next project.

  2. Have you read any of Elizabeth's other books? I'm curious whether or not your thoughts about The Unwritten Rule would extend to her other books. I've read 3 of her books, and find myself sadly unimpressed, and won't read her anymore.

    I like the cover though. It's a little weird, but the colors are sharp, and that's what makes it sound out for me. :)


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