Skip to main content

The Unwritten Rule

Review

The Unwritten Rule

There are many rules of friendship, most of which are unwritten or unsaid. Rule number one of unwritten rules? Never, ever go after your best friend’s boyfriend.

In Elizabeth Scott’s latest young adult novel, THE UNWRITTEN RULE, Sarah is torn apart. She has had a crush on her best friend Brianna’s boyfriend, Ryan, for years. The thing with Brianna, though, is that she’s the girl who guys always go for, and Sarah is the one who boys overlook. The night that Ryan strikes up a conversation with Sarah is the same night that Brianna decides to go after him. And when Brianna goes after a boy, other girls don’t matter. Ever since that night, Brianna and Ryan have been in dating bliss. Or so Sarah thought.

But lately things are off. Brianna keeps inviting Sarah to tag along on nearly every date between her and Ryan. Spending even more time with her unhealthy crush is not helping Sarah’s state of mind one bit. Everything explodes and changes at a party. Ryan and Brianna aren’t getting along, and Brianna puts Sarah in the middle yet again. She suggests that Ryan drive Sarah (who wants to leave) home and then come back for her. She says, “Ask him why he won’t hang out with me…he doesn’t even care that I’m dancing with other guys who I used to go out with, and at first the no-jealousy thing was cool, but now it’s…I don’t know. Also, tell him to get his hair cut.”

So Ryan drives Sarah home and something happens. Wracked with guilt, she thinks, “…This is what it’s like to want someone you can’t have. To want someone you shouldn’t even be looking at.”

Similar to Scott’s previous novel, LOVE YOU HATE YOU MISS YOU, her newest effort explores the complexities of friendship between two girls. Sarah’s emotions are painted in a gut-wrenching, realistic fashion. While the love triangle is a major theme in the book, another is the foundation of the friendship between Sarah and Brianna. The supporting character of Brianna has many levels, and we either hate her or feel sorry for her.

THE UNWRITTEN RULE hits the bullseye on what it means to have a crush on someone who is off limits. True to her other books --- which include BLOOM, LIVING DEAD GIRL and STEALING HEAVEN --- Scott nails the voice and emotion of her teenage protagonists in a story told with a sparse amount of words, but with a whole lot of heart.

Reviewed by Kristi Olson on March 16, 2010

The Unwritten Rule
by Elizabeth Scott

  • Publication Date: May 24, 2011
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • ISBN-10: 1416978925
  • ISBN-13: 9781416978923