Title: The Unwritten Rule
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: March 16, 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: 1 ARC Tour
Rating: 4 out of 5
Sarah’s best friend Brianna has been dating Ryan for almost two months, and she’s really happy – after all, she’s never been with one guy for that long, and she’s just crazy about Ryan. Sarah would be thrilled for Brianna, except for one small detail: Sarah has been in love with Ryan for years, and Brianna has no idea.
As Sarah watches Brianna and Ryan grow closer, it becomes harder and harder for her to be around them. But she also can’t say anything to Brianna – after all, isn’t it an unwritten rule that you never have a crush on your best friend’s boyfriend? As Sarah falls into despair, unable to see how to resolve her situation without someone getting hurt, she learns important lessons about herself and her relationship with Brianna.
Elizabeth Scott is one of my favorite writers in the YA genre. Though her books are marketed at teens, they always contain some sort of truth that can speak to anyone of any age. The Unwritten Rule is no exception; as Scott’s main character takes a hard look at herself, she’s forced to make some uncomfortable realizations about her friendship with Brianna.
Sarah was an amazingly written character who is very easy to sympathize with. Scott wrote her well; though she’s a teenager, women of all ages can identify with her issues. After all, even adults have to contend with having a beautiful best friend who overshadows you.
Brianna was a lot more difficult to deal with, because she is so manipulative in the book. It’s clear that her family life has left her with some major insecurities that she takes out on Sarah. I felt so bad for Sarah while reading The Unwritten Rule because it’s clear that, while Brianna might be a good friend at times, she doesn’t treat Sarah as an equal. Brianna uses Sarah in order to make herself feel better, and Sarah feels so bad for Brianna with regards to her less than stellar home life that she doesn’t see the manipulation there. It’s so frustrating, yet Elizabeth Scott writes it so well.
The Unwritten Rule is a wonderful book that will leave the reader wondering about the nature of friendship and what it means to hurt another person. Yes, Sarah is breaking an unwritten rule of female friendship by having a crush on her best friend’s boyfriend. But what does it mean, and how much does it matter, in the context of Brianna’s treatment of Sarah? It’s a very interesting question that could only come from a book as well-written as The Unwritten Rule. I highly recommend this book for adults and teenagers alike.