Sunday, November 05, 2006

Read This Book

Call me a bad librarian or whatever, but I've never before read Nancy Werlin. I was vaguely aware of the name, but I wouldn't have been able to list off any titles or anything. Right. So then comes The Rules of Survival. I'm not sure that I can accurately describe my reactions to this book. It was fabulous. I didn't know quite what to expect, but it wasn't what I got. I tend not to look too closely at reviews or book summaries - just enough to tell me if I am interested. Sometimes that can just be a good cover. I rather think that I might have expected something on high school bullying. Well, there certainly was bullying. Just not so much in school.

This is a story about abuse. It's not pretty. It's not happy. And it's not the father.

It's absolutely fantastic. I was mesmerized by Matthew. By his strength, his flaws and his unfailing hope. This family was real. Matthew. His sisters, Emmy and Callie. His tragic and dangerous mother. Aunt Bobbie. Murdoch seemed almost too good to be true, but maybe not. Each distinct and with their own reactions.

I'm not really one of those readers who traditionally enjoys the "teen in peril." Not even when I was younger. Something bad, then something worse and all that; it generally seems so implausible. This isn't one of those. Well, ok, the teen is in peril. But really, it's not. I swear. I'll be watching for Werlin's next title.


Anonymous said...

Cool! I have this on my own to read list, Cybils or not. Thanks for the review!

Rachel said...

I was relieved this wasn't some overblown "my mom chained me to the floor and made me eat dog food" type of book. Mom is manic, then depressed and angry, then genuinely caring, and sometimes all three at once! I'm sure this situation happens to more kids than I'd like to think about.