Welcome to my stop of the None of the Regular Rules blog tour, hosted by the lovely, Giselle @ Xpresso Book Tours! Today, you be able to read my review and see why I thoroughly enjoyed this book and also enter the tour wide giveaway too!
None of the Regular Rules
by Erin Downing
Publication Date: November 20, 2012
Format: ebook* 260 pages
Get it: Amazon
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.
None of the Regular Rules by Erin Downing was one book I opened up, started to read, and before I knew it I was at the end wondering how in the world I got there. I lost all track of time when reading this book. It’s not enough to say that I loved, enjoyed, adored, and ravished this book with all of my being.
Main character Sophie, and one amazing one at that, was the quiet, kept to herself kind of girl. She wasn’t extraordinarily beautiful nor popular in any high standard, but was down to earth and an easy going type of person that you could not help but like. She was the type of character you could have met in real life and become friends with easily. I loved the way she carried herself, her little quips and quirks, and the quiet confidence and self-assurance she had but didn’t know she did. To me, Sophie was more than comfortable in her skin. She was scared of the future, but determined to do something, be someone, and not fade into the background. She was in no way perfect, flawed in every aspect, but real in every sense.
The idea of finding a bucket list and going through the notion of fulfilling everything on that list was a very interesting twist that drew me in from the beginning. Better yet, I loved that there was a story, something meaningful behind the list for Sophie. It wasn’t just a list to complete, but a sort of way to honor and remember Sophie’s beloved aunt. It was the opening that gave Sophie the courage to do things she has never done before and I reveled in her new found outlook in her life.
I really enjoyed the dynamic friendship between Sophie, Ella and Grace. They were like the the Gilmore Girls, only plus one with their clever, never ending banter. It was obvious how close and deep their friendship was. I love how they were open with one another, looked out for each other, and had the right mind to keep each other in check when one of them got out of hand. Their friendship was one I knew that could stand the test of time and distance even when things were looking up and mostly when things were looking down.
The romance in this book was very light, but in the best and most sweet and heart warming way. It was no where near the main focus of the story, but a lovely addition nonetheless. Johnny Rush was an adventure; loud and outgoing and loved by all. He was fun and did what he wanted, when he wanted without the care of what others thought. He was a cool guy that I was immediately taken with as much as Sophie, if not more. I thought he was great with Sophie and while I wished there were way more moments with them then there were, the ones given were just perfect.
Although the truth about the family secret surrounding Sophie’s aunt Suzy didn’t surprise or shock me, because I suspected, it really hurt Sophie and in turn, hurt me as well. I thought this twist really changed Sophie and continued to allow her to see her life in another light before she found the list and it allowed her to grow more. She was lost, but she found herself again and that was the important part. None of the Regular Rules was not only amusing and highly entertaining, it was really insightful. It makes you want to reevaluate the life you're living now the way Sophie does.
Overall, this book was an amazing coming of age kind of story that will truly please all. It was all about truth, finding yourself, true friendships, having fun, and finding your happiness. It had the take home message of letting go what is not good for you, taking chances when necessary, and not changing yourself for others.
*Thanks to Giselle and Erin Downing for sending a copy for review
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.
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