Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Alison Rules, by Catherine Clark

Alison has a lot of rules. These rules help here stay safe and protected so she doesn't have to think about things. And it doesn't matter how hard her best friend Lindsey or the new boy Patrick try to change things. But then a horrible chain of events rock her world and destroy the safe cacoon she has created.

For the first 174 pages, this story chugs along as a pretty unsubstantial novel and I wouldn't be surprised if some readers didn't give up on it before then. There's the usual predictable YA cliches of love triangle, pranks, conflict with teachers and parents, etc. But then the story turns very dark, very quickly, and basically becomes something else altogether. In this respect, it reminded me of Nicholas Sparks (and I noticed that a lot of people who like Sparks like this one). But in my mind, taking a mediocre story and turning up the volume on the violins at midpoint by an out-of-the-blue tragedy is a cheap way to rescue the story. Yes, you'll cry for the second half of the book, but I'd rather have a single coherant plot line (or at least have the tragedy be sufficiently foreshadowed -- see Looking for Alaska or Almost Home).

3 comments:

welcome to crazytown said...

I'm wanting to read this book... can't find it at my local B&N though - any idea what bookstores carry it?

Anyways, I really like your book reviews and my blog is similiar to yours in that I'm reviewing books. And now I'm going to other blogs trying to promote my blog. Which may or may not work.

In any case... www.akabookblog.blogspot.com

Paul said...

I'll be happy to link to your blog, if you like....

As for where to get the book: I use my local library a lot. It's free and they have a bigger budget for books than I will ever have! :)

Keep on reading!

Jessie said...

Hi there. I realize this review is quite old, but I just found it today. I picked up a used paperback copy of The Alison Rules and read it over the past few days.

My mom died when I was 16 and 3 1/2 years later I still have some trouble dealing with it. This book spoke to me like no other one has. I could so relate to Alison. The fight between her and her best friend (Laurie in the copy I have rather than Lindsey) was a jolt to my emotions. It is helping me to see how difficult I can be for others to be around.