YA Book of the Week – The Usual Rules

Okay.  So I recently came across a book that I thought for sure I’ d have no interest in.  The Usual Rules by Joyce Maynard, published back in 2003.  Wasn’t really in the mood for something really heavy.  Wanted something fun.  The book dealt with 911.  I was about to put it back when a little voice inside me said, common.  Just try the first page.  You may even like it.


So I did.  Thank you little voice.  I really don’t thank you enough.  Sorry. 

I fell in love on the first page.  Not in a long time have I felt so connected with characters on paper.  And it’s been quite a while since a YA book has actually made me cry.  Okay.  Not cry.  Sob is more like it.  Sometimes that’s a good thing.

Although dealing with a very specific and difficult time in our history – 911, the feelings of loss depicted in Joyce Maynard’s book are timeless.  The characters are so well developed that I began to feel they were a part of my own family.  And when I was, regretably finished, I had a sense, not of doom, but of feeling inspired by what the power of relationships can do, not just when going through a tragedy like this, but in every day life.  In the simple things too.

This is the only book I’ve read by Joyce Maynard, but find myself itching to pick up her latest  – Labor Day, which came out July of this year.

Oh, and did I mention, The Usual Rules was voted one of the Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults of 2003?

Definately one to put on your list of books to read, maybe even at the top.


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