None of the Regular Rules by Erin Downing
Publication 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.
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.
This book was a cute and fun read! I liked the concept of three friends trying to shake up their lives by completing a list of dares left behind by Sophie’s deceased Aunt Suzy. There was a certain level of predictability to the plot, but it was still a sweet story.
Sophie, Grace and Ella are three best friends who are beginning their senior year of high school. They each have their own distinct personalities, but have been friends since grade school. The girls were relatable and I loved reading about the ups and downs of their friendship. The girls are fumbling in different aspects of their lives and it was sweet how they relied on each other to get through the tough times.
I loved Sophie, she’s a girl you can cheer for. She’s quiet and unassuming and has spent high school being the silent observer. Whenever she completed one of her aunt’s dares, I felt like she was growing so much as a character.
I think the friendship was the driving force of the novel. The cover threw me off a little bit since it made me guess that the romance was more of the focal point. In actuality, Sophie and Johnny’s relationship came off as a fling. I thought they were cute together, but I kept thinking that it was probably not going to last.
By halfway through the novel, it starts to tackle more serious issues, which added depth to the story. Without giving anything away, revelations cause Sophie to question everything in her life. I liked how the author depicted her changing emotions and how she overcame her darker thoughts with the help of her friends. I especially liked the ending and thought it was a cute way to conclude Sophie’s journey.
This is an enjoyable YA novel about love and friendship. I look forward to reading more from the author!
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for a copy of this novel for review!