RULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES
by Kate McGovern
Release Date: November 24, 2015
About the Book
Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: does she want to know how she’s going to die?
Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that tells her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother. With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult—including her dream career in ballet and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool and gets an audition for a dance scholarship across the country, Rose begins to question her carefully laid rules.
To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE.
About the Author
Kate McGovern has taught theatre and language arts to middle schoolers in Boston, New York, and London. A graduate of Yale and Oxford, she currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was born and raised. Rules for 50/50 Chances is her first novel.
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When we finally emerge from the last store of the day, the sky has darkened considerably, a thunderstorm clearly en route.
“This weather’s been crazy,” Lena remarks, glancing up at the sky. “Last week was pristine, then the hurricane, and now whatever this is.” An empty plastic bag drifts by, skipping along the cobblestoned street in a gust of wind.
We duck into a coffee shop as the first drops of rain start to fall, and sit in the window, sharing an M&M cookie the size of my face. “I’ll guess we’ll be here for a little while,” Lena says. Outside, a woman holding a newspaper uselessly over her head runs by, then turns back and comes darting into the coffee shop.
“We can stay here forever as far as I’m concerned,” I say into my scalding tea.
I can feel Lena’s eyes on me, observing. “What’s with you?” she says.
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t play dumb. You’re acting weird. Like something is going on. Was the walk okay?”
Lena and I know each other’s families about as well as anyone can know anyone else they’re not personally related to. Between her dad’s illness, her mom’s second marriage last year, and my mom’s diagnosis, we’ve seen each other through a lot of highs and lows. Mostly lows, actually.
I chew on my bottom lip, debating mentioning Caleb to her. But she’ll just get overexcited, and there’s no point. “The walk was fine. I found out something noteworthy.”
“And that would be?”
I shift my focus to the dark street outside. The rain has already slowed to a light drizzle. Finally, I look back at her.
“I thought I couldn’t take the HD test until I’m like thirty or something. That’s not true. I can take it whenever I want, once I turn eighteen.”
“What do you mean ‘the test’? For the disease?”
“For the gene. It’ll tell me if I’ll get the disease eventually.”
I watch Lena process this information, rolling it over in her mind as she chews a piece of cookie. She stares at me for a moment. “Do you want to know?”
As if I can answer that so easily. “Obviously, I don’t know,” I say.
I’m not sure I’ll ever really know if I want to know. It sort of depends on the answer, doesn’t it? I mean, obviously, if I don’t carry the gene, it would be nice to know that now. But if I do…I don’t know. In the interim, every time I drop a pencil, or mess up a turn in rehearsal, or trip over my own feet—which is more or less all the time—I wonder if it’s Huntington’s. This is ridiculous, I know, because even if I am carrying the mutation, it’s super-rare for symptoms to show up before your thirties or even later. But still. That’s the thing about the uncertainty. It puts the possibility of this disease in everything.
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During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: What genetic disorder does Caleb’s mother and two sisters have?