Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Personal copy
Sarah and Brianna have always been friends, and it's always gone like this: guys talk to Sarah in order to get closer to Brianna. So even though Sarah met Ryan first, she's not surprised that he ends up with Brianna (even though Sarah has a massive crush on him). The three of them hang out, and Sarah and Ryan's friendship grows until one night an innocent exchange between them leads to a moment that makes Sarah realize that Ryan might be interested in her after all. But if there's one unwritten rule, it's this: you don't mess around with a friend's boyfriend. So Sarah tries to resist temptation. But with the three of them thrown together more and more, tension builds between Sarah and Ryan, and when they find themselves alone together at one point, they realize they just can't fight how they feel anymore.... summary from goodreads.com
The Unwritten Rule: Don't like your best friend's boyfriend. This was my first Elizabeth Scott novel and I have exactly 3 words; I loved it!
At first glance, The Unwritten Rule looks like your typical YA high school romance: girl falls for boy, boy is taken by girl's best friend, something happens between the girl and boy, boy falls for girl. I know what you’re thinking- been there, read that! While it may be a worn-out story, Scott somehow manages to work her magic and turn it into a gripping, emotional novel that caught me from the first page and didn't let go until I finished.
The main character Sara is very simplistic. I'm not going to lie, she didn't have a ton of personality, but she was sweet, nice and a good friend. I mostly sympathized with her because of Brianna. I too once had a crappy friend that I’d known forever and I just didn’t know how to let go. While I obviously rooted for Sara, Brianna was not a totally unsympathetic character. She is definitely not very likeable in the beginning as her bad behavior demonstrates what an awful friend she is. Brianna comes across as arrogant, selfish and cruel by putting her friend down at practically every opportunity. But then we get a glimpse into her family life… we then understand why she acts the way she does. I’m not saying this justifies her actions (when she tells Sara, “You’re nothing without me” I seriously said, “Oh, hell no!”) but I will admit that I felt pity towards her after seeing the way she’s treated by her parents. Girls like that are always on the lookout for attention since they don’t get any from their parents back home.
My only complaint about the story is Ryan. Don’t get me wrong, he was absolutely charming and I totally loveable, but I just wish he would have developed a backbone and spoke his true feelings. He seemed more of a “doormat” boyfriend, he did what Brianna said and not what he wanted. It drove me crazy! I don't know how with so few pages Scott manages to make such three-dimensional characters and plot lines that are simple in theory but complex like in real life. It’s brilliant! And although the ending is not a happily ever after, (it would have been unrealistic if it was) I will definitely be re-reading The Unwritten Rule in the near future.