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Rules for 50/50 Chances


Rules for 50/50 Chances

“If you had a crystal ball, like in a fairy tale --- or a magic mirror or whatever --- would you want to know how you were going to die?”

In RULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES, 17-year-old Rose Levenson has to decide whether she should take a test that will tell her if she is susceptible to Huntington’s disease, a genetic degenerative disorder that her mother is suffering from. Although Rose wants to be a professional dancer, seeing her mother not be able to live her dreams and need constant care is making Rose question all of her future plans, even finding love. However, when she meets Caleb at a genetic disease awareness walk, he makes her question whether she still wants to keep her possible disease to herself, or allow Caleb to love her.

Rose is not only headstrong, but she’s independent, smart and a role model for many girls who will read the book.

With themes like love, family and college, RULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES is a perfect debut novel from Kate McGovern. Rose is a widely relatable character for many teenagers applying to college and making many tough decisions. Rose is not only headstrong, but she’s independent, smart and a role model for many girls who will read the book. Rose’s mother was one of my favorite characters. I could never imagine what it must be like for someone to slowly lose control of the only thing that is truly theirs --- their own mind. Although her outbursts (sometimes) made me angry, I empathized with her struggle and secretly hoped that she’d make a magical recovery at the end of the novel.

I initially picked the book because the cover was intriguing and didn’t expect to relate to it as personally as I did. I come from a household with two disabled parents and I constantly wonder if the same will happen to me in the future. Taking care of them is a daily challenge and with college applications rolling out, I’m going to have to make some tough decisions regarding their care in the future. I found solace in Rose’s story, and her decisions make me feel comfortable with my tough choices ahead. There were points in the book where I cried for Rose and didn’t care that she was fictional. Rose is just like a lot of young girls stuck between loyalty to their families and fear for their futures. I wish that McGovern would write a sequel 20 years in the future and tell us how everything worked itself out.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a cheesy romance, family struggles and cliffhangers! The novel has one of the biggest cliffhangers I’ve ever read, which almost made me regret picking it up in the first place (but I don’t, I love this book so much). This story of family and love is overarching and will easily become everyone’s new favorite book. 

Reviewed by Dally M., Teen Board member on January 4, 2016

Rules for 50/50 Chances
by Kate McGovern

  • Publication Date: November 24, 2015
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
  • ISBN-10: 0374301581
  • ISBN-13: 9780374301583