The Unwritten Rule

Boy was I grumpy last night and this book is to blame….. I will explain but let me give you the set up first.

You know what the unwritten rule between girls is right?  You do not, I mean do not, steal your best friend’s boyfriend (yes connections to recent read – 6 Rules of Maybe).  You don’t crush on him, and you most certainly do not KISS him when he is still with your best friend, and maybe not even after.  Now we can debate this rule – and I suppose it has been, but it is the unwritten rule, at least of this title.

Sarah has a crush on Ryan, she has since the 8th grade, but no one really knows that, not even her best friend, Brianna.  Which might be why when Ryan turns up totally hot at the end of the summer Brianna turns her full wattage on him and now they are dating.  And since a) Sarah never said anything its not like Brianna broke that unwritten rule and b) since Sarah assumes no boy would like her over Brianna she just accepts this fact.  But it isn’t that easy, because there is something there – between Sarah and Ryan, and Ryan and Brianna may not be working out.

So grumpitude….. here is the thing about the story.  Brianna is both casually mean and totally fragile.  She has pretty much destroyed Sarah’s self esteem over the years, although Sarah’s personality allowed that to happen.  And it wasn’t on purpose.  The situation with Brianna’s parents (bitter divorce, working all the time, and casually and not so casually mean themselves) has left her self esteem pretty f’ed up too.  Sarah has the loving family that Brianna has slowly become a part of, but Brianna has all the attention.  The constant “brush your hair” or “we can find you a freshman to date” are what I mean by ‘casually mean’.  So you hate Brianna just a bit, but you also feel sorry for her.  And while the inevitablity of the ending is obvious to the reader, it is going to hit Brianna like a freight train, and because ultimately she is fragile you feel a little sorry for her.

I had this friend.  She could make you feel like the coolest, most important person in the world one minute, and like nothing the next.  She had unwritten rules she wasn’t afraid to break, but Lord, you didn’t want to be the one to break them.  And the thing is for a vast lot of people I don’t have an identity separate from that relationship, and frankly we haven’t talked in 20 years but I am still guilty/angry/sad/insecure about all of that.  So reading this book just dredged a whole lot of crap up – hence, grumpitude.

I am not sure what this book is – romance? well sort of.  friendship? yes that too.  Finding yourself? yep.  Families in all their glory and horror?  Oh yeah.  I’ve been reading mean girls lately (here for example) so it was interesting to read a mean girl who wasn’t intentional, at least at first.

I really like Elizabeth Scott, and in some way this reminded me of The Boyfriend List in similar theme.  The casual meanness, the girl relationship, etc. but boy was I grumpy.

Others thoughts:

The Bookologist liked it.

So did Insanity of Writerhood

An interview:

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How to be Bad

I love e. lockhart’s books, so I was wondering how I’d feel about a collaboration (with sarah mlynowski and lauren myracle.)  How to be Bad got off to a bit of a rocky start but about halfway in I realized I was not looking forward to the inevitable big blow out that would lead to reconciliation and happy endings because I liked all the girls.

Jesse, Vicks, and Mel all have their secrets, they hide them for different reasons but they just keep spilling over into their relationships with one another.  And really when you are on a road trip in a Opel and there are cute boys, parties, gators, hurricanes, Epcot, and baby ducks it is easy to argue, and hard to keep secrets.

I am not sure who my favorite girl was, Vicks I think.  Jesse could get a little righteous and Mel a little insecure – then again what kind of ball of mess was Vicks?

All in all a good read and a good start. 321 pages read.  2 and half hours.  Still sunny, excellent way to spend a morning.

Frankie Love

Reader just stopped in to tell me she loves Frankie Landau-Banks too.  And she was feeling very gruntled with the book.

Dear E. Lockhart part II

You rock!

Frankie Landau Banks is seriously my favorite character in forever!  She is like Roo with an edge (Frankie would have loved Roo’s cupcakes).  She is funny, and smart, and so very obviously loves language.  I mean 3 pages on the grammar of neglected positives, and imaginary neglected postives and false neglected positive???  Genius.

Frankie wanted to be a force.

And my wasn’t she?  And you, e. lockhart, did not cop out at the end.  I so love that about your stories.

She wasn’t a person who need to be liked so much as she was a person who liked to be notorious.

Damn!  This was a fun read!  I just really really adore Frankie.

( and by the way not Matthew  much!  but what was up with freakin’ Porter?  I thought he was a total weenie at the end!  What an interesting moral judgment he makes – which I don’t want to get too spoiler-y although I seem to have already crossed some line, but who cares if you are reading this and you haven’t yet read this book – READ IT!)