Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: None of the Regular Rules by Erin Downing (and Giveaway)

From Goodreads: 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 Rating: 3 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: None of the Regular Rules by Erin Downing was a quick, easy read. Though the story was decent, it was one that unfortunately didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. Perhaps because of the short length, the characters were also a bit flat.

While I liked Sophie, she and her friends were just a tad self-absorbed. As a result, my favourite character in the novel was probably Johnny because of his easygoing attitude and the way he helped Sophie and her friends with their dares, eventually becoming a friend of Sophie’s.

I also appreciated that Downing didn’t force her characters to rush into a relationship. When Sophie realizes that her crush on Johnny might be reciprocated, she lets him know that she isn’t interested in being strung along or becoming the other girl. Instead, she gives him time and space to figure out who he wants to be with. It was really nice to see a YA protagonist deal with her love life in a mature manner.

None of the Regular Rules was released in November 2012. 

Comments About the Cover: Despite what the cover looks like, None of the Regular Rules is more of a coming-of-age story than a romantic novel. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the author for free via Xpresso Book Tours. 

None of the Regular Rules can be bought from: [Amazon]



  1. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy this one more, it has such a great premise. When characterisation isn't decent, I find it very hard to get through a book. Great review :)

  2. Too bad it was a bit short. It seems like things started to pick up and the book just ended. I hate when that happens. :(

  3. Johnny was my favorite character too. The story didn't quite go where I thought it would though.

  4. Sometimes, stories that are decent enough but that just don't leave a lasting impression make me sad, even more than the bad ones. The cover is totally one for romance, but I'm glad to know that's not all it is.
    Thank you for the review!

  5. I like the premise and I wish the cover was different. But sometimes I do need an easy read between the more heavy books that I read.

  6. I often feel conflicted about short books. I like that you can fly through them quickly, but more often than not I feel like aspects of the book are left lacking, like characters and plot. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one, Zahida - this is actually the first I've heard of it. I quite like what you had to say about the maturity of the MC!

  7. I really like that Sophie doesn't rush into a relationship with Johnny, that alone could make me overlook some of the other flaws in the story. Still, I'm a character girl, so the fact that, Sophie's maturity aside, they didn't leave a huge impression on you is a touch disappointing. Thanks for your thoughts Z!

  8. Even though this failed to leave a lasting impression, I think I might quite like it - at least as a quick read and to get something new. Plus it's brilliant to hear the romance isn't rushed, but mature and well-paced. Great review, Z!


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