Being a bully isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sixteen-year old Brianna had everything she wanted: money to ski all over the world, underlings to do her bidding, and parents who gave her every freedom—as long as she played by their rules. But when she’s busted shoplifting and assigned to the Chain Gang, she ditches her shallow ways and realizes being herself is easier than manipulating people. Forced to partner with kids she’d never dream of befriending, including Xavier, a boy who makes her pulse go into hyperdrive, Brianna vows to be a better person. Breaking Old Brianna’s habits isn’t easy, but her infatuation with Xavier—someone her parents would never approve of—motivates her to keep trying. Even when he convinces her to trade her swanky skis for a beat-up snowboard. Brianna lets go of her need to control everything and finally starts to feel free—until her past threatens to jeopardize her first real chance at love. She discovers balancing on the edge is as challenging in life as it is in snowboarding, and when a new friend is in trouble, Brianna must decide between the superficial things that used to be her world and putting her friend’s safety before herself.
The Edge RulesFeatured
Readers learn much about Brianna throughout the story, including how her past definitively shaped who she became from eighth grade until the beginning of her junior year. Set shortly after junior year begins, Brianna's life is now completely upended, not just because of her loss of popularity and friends, but because of her father's upheaval of their family. When he leaves, everything seems to go south quickly. Adding to this is the fact that she was caught shoplifting and now needs to spend time with a group of kids she never thought she'd ever associate with as they do community service together.
Brianna's exposure to people not in her regular group of friends and acquaintances and her eventual understanding that her actions definitely do have consequences, for her as well as others, makes her want to be a better person. Getting in the way of this is a very good-looking boy, Xavier. While she wants to be with him, her worry about the shame she'll feel and the horrible person he'll see when she reveals the truth of her past threatens to unravel her fully. Yet she knows, as she has grown, that telling the truth is the only way to move forward. The question remains whether she'll be brave enough to do so, and what will happen when and if she does.
A well-reasoned look into the mind of a former bully and mean girl, 'The Edge Rules' tells Brianna's past and present in a way that will surely shape her future. Her relationship with her parents and her former friends, as well as with new people such as Xavier and Drea, from community service, instill in her a sense of calm that she's never felt and which she desperately wants to maintain. Her life, while having been seemingly easy, is now uncertain, and her struggles are real - not just the upset of a rich girl for whom things have gone wrong.
The 'Rules' series is one of two series (the other being the 'Flicker Effect' series) that readers should rush to read. Hooyenga's adeptness at storytelling and drawing readers in is beautiful and will literally keep readers drawn into her books into the night.
Bri has always been queen B... until now. Kicked out of the group she'd started and shunned by everyone at school, she finds herself in trouble. But maybe the trouble came at just the right time.
Xavier was only protecting his sister, but he ends up picking up trash along the road anyway. He wasn't expecting to meet someone, let alone a girl whose connection to his friends was less than endearing. Will he be able to forgive her for who she was before? Possibly. Will she be able to forgive herself? That's a harder question.
What I loved:
Everything. There's something so sweet and honest about the way Melanie Hooyenga writes these characters. They aren't perfect. In fact, their flaws are pretty huge, but they work through their issues and start to put themselves back together. It has a message that forgiveness is possible if you acknowledge the need to be forgiven. If you regret the things you've done. And that forgiving ourselves is much harder than anything external.
What I didn't like:
There really isn't anything not to like about this one.
A great books for all romance lovers with a message of hope that all young people can benefit from.