Thursday, June 27, 2013
"Rules of Summer" by Joanna Philbin
From Goodreads: "There are two sides to every summer.
When seventeen-year-old Rory McShane steps off the bus in East Hampton, it's as if she's entered another universe, one populated by impossibly beautiful people wearing pressed khakis and driving expensive cars. She's signed on to be a summer errand girl for the Rules -- a wealthy family with an enormous beachfront mansion. Upon arrival, she's warned by other staff members to avoid socializing with the family, but Rory soon learns that may be easier said than done.
Stifled by her friends and her family's country club scene, seventeen-year-old Isabel Rule, the youngest of the family, embarks on a breathless romance with a guy whom her parents would never approve of. It's the summer for taking chances, and Isabel is bringing Rory along for the ride. But will Rory's own summer romance jeopardize her friendship with Isabel? And, after long-hidden family secrets surface, will the Rules' picture-perfect world ever be the same?"
Truth: I have a thing for books which take place in the Hamptons. Don't ask me why, I don't know. I just love 'em and consume them at a rate that is more than likely unhealthy. Therefore, when I stumbled across this book I knew that I had to read it. However, while this book started out exactly as I had hoped that it would, I slowly started to find my love for it wane more and more.
The biggest complaint I have about this book is that after having finished it I don't understand what its purpose was...? I couldn't help but feel that there was very little, to any, plot. And I found the synopsis of the book to be quite misleading- I was lead to believe that the "secrets" were entirely life-changing, perhaps not unlike those of "Pretty Little Liars", however, I personally found the secrets to be very tame, having guessed them all within the first hundred or so pages of the book.
Furthermore, I found the ending especially the last chapter or two, to be very rushed- characters did complete one-eighties within pages, completely contradicting the characters that they had been crafted to be. Additionally, we have insta-love. To the ninth degree. Only with a couple of interactions (all of which there were only a few words exchanged) characters are obsessing over one another.
That being said, I did appreciate that there was actual character growth in this book. While I had expected to hate Isabel, her being a stereotypical "privileged Hamptons girl", I couldn't help but grow to love her- loving the fact that she was able to look outside of the box that she had been confined to her entire life, seeing that there is so much more to life than manicured lawns, perfect parties, and drool-worthy clothing (and her attempts to bring her friends to the light).
All in all, I feel like there was a lot of build-up in this book, however the ending was unable to deliver. Overall I thought that it was "okay", but not enough that I will pick it up again. That being said, I do think that this is perfect for those looking for a quick, somewhat light-hearted beach read. Furthermore, despite my complaints I am curious to check out Joanna's other books (especially after learning that she is Regis Philbin's daughter).
I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.