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Rules of Summer

Rules of Summer is a YA contemporary novel by the author of The Daughters series, Joanna Philbin.

Seventeen-year-old Rory McShane doesn’t want to spend all summer watching her mom moon over her newest boyfriend, who’s young enough to be Rory’s slightly older brother. So, when her aunt invites her to join her in the Hamptons, to be an errand girl for the wealthy family she works for as a live-in, Rory agrees.

Stepping off the train, though, is like stepping into another universe. Everywhere she looks are expensive cars, huge houses, impeccably clean streets, and beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes. And the Rules, the said wealthy family she’s staying with, seem very nice… yet she’s warned by other staff to avoid becoming too social with them.

On the other side of things, Isabel Rule, the youngest and most impetuous Rule child, is back in the Hamptons after having spent the school year in California. Now, the superficial conversations of her old friends irritate her and she is more aware than ever of how she does not fit in with her family.

Deciding to take Rory under her wing, the two girls begin to form an unlikely friendship.

But secrets, romance, and their worlds-apart lives might tear them apart…

The Daughters series was fun, genuine, and truly likable as we forayed into a world of privilege.

Rules of Summer has all those same elements, but is just a notch higher in maturity and seriousness.

What did I think? I thought it was excellent!!!

Both Rory and Isabel had authentic, relatable home and family issues despite being on the opposite spectrum in other ways. It’s always nice to see an author make two girls different in more ways than circumstances and looks – happily, they are individuals with different personalities and approaches to the world around them.

And, of course, can we have a good contemporary YA without hot guys galore? There was definitely some romance brewing here! Surprisingly, I didn’t always know where the relationships were headed, which was obviously refreshing.

Rules of Summer is addictive – it has deeper, reflective moments and a strong, particular sense of SUMMER.

This book is romantically suspenseful and a very absorbing, dramatic, entertaining read!

I look forward to returning to the complicated Rules soon as the series continues!

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