Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: DIAL (September 7, 2006)
  • ISBN-10: 0803730012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803730014
  • List Price: $16.99
  • I finished this book on Mar. 29
Hmm, this is not the type of book I would normally choose to read. I usually try to stay away from dramas, or sad books or movies of any kind. Having said that, things here did not turn out as grim as they could have, so that's a plus.
This story is a letter from older brother Matt to his little sister Emmy detailing the events of their childhood that Emmy is too young to remember. They have one other sister, Callie, and they lived with their crazy, abusive mother, Nikki. Matt's story tells how horrible Nikki was and how they learned to stand up to her...and eventually escape. Even though I knew the whole time that they are gonna get away (Matt says it right in the beginning) I still spent the whole book concerned for them. I suppose that' s the point. I would like to point out that I called one of the major parts of the climax of the plot early on. (I feel that I maybe watch too much Law & Order: SVU that I was able to guess that with such accuracy.) In any event, I was pretty pleased with the way things turned out in the end. There was no overly unbelievable happy ending, but things worked out okay. There was even some nice moral questions and other interesting points raised in the denouement.
Like I said, I would usually shy away from books like this, because I tend to be overly worried about what happens. For this reason, I have never read A Boy Called "It", which I know is very popular with the teens. I just can't bring myself to do it: I know it will depress the hell out of me, and who is that fun for. Either way, I think this book would appeal to teens for the same reason. There is some pretty scary stuff that these kids go through. Even so, I'm not sorry I read it. The ending was good, I liked Matt's narration. I think the letter writing thing made for a cool set up. I'm not saying I'm going to run and seek out another bummer child abuse book, cause I'm not. But this one was worth reading, and nothing like the last book I read by Ms. Werlin.

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