13 Jul 2013

Book Review / Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin

There are two sides to every summer.

When seventeen-year-old Rory McShane steps off the bus in East Hampton, it's as if she's entered another universe, one populated by impossibly beautiful people wearing pressed khakis and driving expensive cars. She's signed on to be a summer errand girl for the Rules -- a wealthy family with an enormous beachfront mansion. Upon arrival, she's warned by other staff members to avoid socializing with the family, but Rory soon learns that may be easier said than done.

Stifled by her friends and her family's country club scene, seventeen-year-old Isabel Rule, the youngest of the family, embarks on a breathless romance with a guy whom her parents would never approve of. It's the summer for taking chances, and Isabel is bringing Rory along for the ride. But will Rory's own summer romance jeopardize her friendship with Isabel? And, after long-hidden family secrets surface, will the Rules' picture-perfect world ever be the same?

Published:    23rd May 2013
Publisher:  Atom
Goodreads :  Click here
Series:  N/A
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:   7 out of 10

What I loved about this book…

This was such a great summer read, despite the fact that our usual English summer meant that there were more grey days then summer days!  The feel of the story and the characters interaction made this just such a great summer read I wish I had kept this for a proper summer day!

For me, the main characters in this story were Isobel and Rory.  You have Isobel who is from a rich family and is very spoilt but having been caught out doing something bad the summer before and being sent to a school in California she has come back this summer with a slightly different perspective.  Then you have Rory who lives with a mother who is an alcoholic and very dependent on  her daughter – Rory having to take on the mother role for her own mother.  She gets the chance to go and work at Isobel’s family’s house over the summer and decides to take it.   Rory is very down to earth and has a lot of common sense.  I really enjoyed seeing these two characters come together at various points throughout the story and seeing how they progress.

What I was not fond of about this book…

As with most summer easy reads that I have come across, they mainly contain some element of romance.   With this story, there was an element of romance but there were at least three different potential love interests, things did get a bit confusing at times. 

One of the main aspects that drew me into this story was when I read it has long hidden secrets – I just cannot resist stories with long hidden secrets.  I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed that those long hidden secrets were not really revealed until near the end of the book and I was kind of expecting what I had found out by then anyway so for me it was not much of a big reveal.

In summary…

This is a really great summer read; a light story with a bit of romance and a bit of rivalry.  I did struggle a bit with the many potential love interests and also the hidden secrets that were not revealed until the end when I had already anticipated them anyway.

Despite the negative, I really did enjoy this story and would highly recommend it as a great beach read.

Video Review...

Best wishes

Debs J