Monday, November 15, 2010

[Review] The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti

Title: The Six Rules of Maybe
Author: Deb Caletti
Publication: March, 16th 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Review Copy: HB, bought
Pages: 320
Series: Standalone
My Rating:

Scarlett Hughes is overly involved in the lives of everyone around her, and exceptionally interested in the habits of her neighbors. But Scarlett is thrust solidly into her own life when her sister, Juliet, returns home from school—pregnant and surprisingly married to a sweet, handsome man whom she seems to have no interest in, but who is hopelessly in love with her. Forced to take a look inward for the first time, Scarlett discovers the necessity of dreams, as well as the necessity of facing reality and speaking the truth.

My thoughts: 

What can I even say about The Six Rules of Maybe? It was a thought-provoking read; it has been a while since a book has really made me think about life, and what comes with being a “nice person”. I didn’t know what I was expecting going in, but whatever expectations I held, in actuality, it was better. I do have to chuck in a big disclaimer for this book, though: people who are not fans of contemporary YA, or adult “chick-lit” will probably be thoroughly bored with this book. I, on the other hand, maintained a level of intrigue and emotional attachment throughout the novel.

The plot . . . well, there isn’t so much of a plot as there is an idea, with many little things revolving around it. The big picture: main character’s, Scarlett’s, sister comes home both married and pregnant. Eventually, Scarlett becomes attached to her new husband, and is thrown into this incessant need to rescue him from her sister. Then there are side-plots, each slow in their own right, but beautifully executed in the most poignant of ways. There’s even one involving a dog, which also had significance to the novel as a whole.

I liked the character building in The Six Rules of Maybe, something I believe Deb has a real knack for. As this is my first book of hers, I can say I’m pleased with how much I actually grew to care about these fictional characters. While I do have a qualm about Scarlett as a character—she seems way too mature for her age, my age. She reads psychology books and helps people above her own wants and needs. I don’t know anyone who is that selfless, that kind; a martyr. Her passages of thought were eloquent and contained some of the nicest prose I’ve read in YA literature to date, but it just didn’t come across as plausible to me, in that someone of seventeen-years of age would have just sat down and that is what they’d be thinking. It doesn’t happen.

Hayden (her sister’s husband), on the other hand, was such a sweet and nice man, much in the same way that Scarlett is a sweet and nice girl. He’s so romantic that is was heartbreaking to see Scarlett pine for him, someone who knew going in that no way was this relationship ever a realistic or a righteous one.

I wish there would have been more of a relationship with Scarlett and Jesse, “Shy”, but I like their interactions. It was meaningful and profound and had significance to the plot. Jesse is probably, in my mind as I have constructed him as, a guy I’d really like to meet. He’s awkward and uncertain and a bit na├»ve, but innocent and really so, so sweet.

All in all, The Six Rules of Maybe is a lovely novel that I would recommend to lovers of contemporary YA, namely of the Sarah Dessen variety. The end. :P

     At first, I had tried the usual ways of being a nice person to someone who needed a nice person in their life--I had smiled at her in the halls at school and tried to make conversation when I saw her at home. But Fiona Saint George always averted her eyes, the way you do when you look straight in the sun. Her art was a message, a letter made from a single picture, and the most important thing about a message was for it to be heard. You reach out, and someone reaches back; you give, and someone gives in return--it was one of the Fair and Right principles of the universe.
     So I knelt down to the painting. This is beautiful, I wrote on the square of sidewalk nearest the drawing. You are incredibly talented. I signed my note: A friend who believes in you.

(p. 62)

Live in Australia?
Fishpond | Readings | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson | Borders | The Nile

Live elsewhere?
Amazon | The Book Depository

I am in no way affiliated with the above sites, nor with Caletti or the publisher. I do not receive any money for reviewing.

Other Books by Deb Caletti:

Official Site

Learn more about The Six Rules of Maybe and read more reviews at Goodreads!
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