Book Review: ‘Rules of Summer’ by Joanna Philbin

Book Cover: Rules of Summer by Joanna PhilbinThe Low Down: Rory needs to get away for the summer. Her mother sucks the life out of her, and she needs to get away as far as possible from her mom’s revolving door of boyfriends and break-ups. Rory jumps at the chance of working in the Hamptons with her aunt for the Rule family, even though it’s for no pay.

Rory soon learns that Isabel Rule is the family troublemaker. Sneaking boys in her room and failing her driving test (again) are just the latest chapters in a long line of screw ups. But once Rory is assigned to help Isabel pass her test, the two girls start to spend more time together than is comfortable. Can they find anything that they have in common?

And then Isabel’s brother, Connor, shows up. Sweet, gorgeous and down-to-earth, Connor draws in Rory with a gentle tug…but is he just being nice?

Isabel has always felt like an outsider in her own family, especially since the incident last summer. Her parents packed her up and sent her to school in California, and she hasn’t been home since. Things that she used to love – her best friends, Thayer and Dawson, hanging out at the country club and attention from all of the boys they see every summer – has become unfulfilling and boring. How could she ever think that was fun? And that girl who’s staying with them all summer…why does she always look like she’s passing judgment?

Underneath it all, there are some secrets that have been hidden for far too long…

So, Basically: I love summer beach stories. They take everyone out of the ordinary and make it seem like anything is possible. A summer romance always sounds good on paper. I must say that I much preferred Isabel’s story line; it had more bite and more depth. The tale of Rory was pretty flimsy and one-note. The inept-mom-who-doesn’t-want-to-grow-up character is a little tired. Rory felt like a stick figure while Isabel was a full-blown sculpture.

Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin was published June 4, 2013 by Poppy. Ink and Page picked this book up from the library, so no one had a choice about whether it was reviewed.

Rating: 3

Genre: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary Romance
Ages: 12 and up
You Might Want to Know: Some profanity

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