The Unwritten Rule is the first book I have read by Elizabeth Scott and I’m pleased to say that I really enjoyed it. We’ve all read books that feature the awesome best friend, the sidekick who doesn’t really get to be in the spotlight. Well, no more. The Unwritten Rule is the story of the best friend. Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years only now he has become her best friend’s boyfriend and she has to try and put away her feelings for the sake of her best friend. One night, Sarah and Ryan find themselves alone and something happens between them. It’s very bittersweet for Sarah as whilst she finally has her moment with Ryan, she’s also racked with guilt about Brianna. Not only that, but now she’s had a taste of what it’s like to be with Ryan, Sarah isn’t sure she can pretend he doesn’t mean anything to her anymore.
I have to say that at first, I made a judgement that cheating is cheating. Period. And that there is no excuse for breaking “the unwritten rule” of not crushing on your best friend’s boyfriend and certainly not trying to get with him. Let me tell you, after reading The Unwritten Rule, things aren’t so black and white. You’ll just have to read to find out what I mean as I don’t want to give the game away and spoil it for those who haven’t read the book yet.
This book is definitely a character driven novel as the initial plot is quite straightforward. It’s the characters that are more complex! I did enjoy seeing things from Sarah’s point of view though (as the main protagonist) and learning about her relationships with both Brianna and Ryan.
I found Brianna to be the most interesting character as she is complex and ultimately flawed. She is definitely not very likeable in the beginning as her bad behaviour demonstrates what an awful friend she is. She insists on Sarah being present when spending time with Ryan which makes Sarah feel like a third wheel. To make matters worse, she likes Ryan and so it’s even more uncomfortable to spend time with both of them together. 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 and potential reasons why she acts the way she does. She isn’t a bad person – it’s just her behaviour that is bad. As the book progresses, we come to understand her better although this does not excuse her behaviour. I consider Brianna to be a toxic friend and I’m sure we’ve all experienced our fair share of them, I know I have. It’s a difficult friendship to maintain as you want to be loyal, forgiving and a friend to them but ultimately they hurt you and the relationship becomes toxic.
What I loved about all of the characters was that they were utterly believable and that’s important.
I’m not going to tell you how it ends, you’ll just have to read it for yourself but like I said, it’s not black and white; there are many shades of grey to be considered. If you like flawed characters and complex relationships then this is the book for you. A quick and easy read as Elizabeth’s words flew off the pages. I was certainly drawn into the story.
The Unwritten Rule was released in March, 2010. Elizabeth Scott is the author of several novels such as Living Dead Girl, Perfect You, Bloom, Something Maybe, Stealing Heaven, Love You Hate You Miss You and her latest novel Grace which comes out in September, 2010 and is on my wish list! You can visit Elizabeth’s website by clicking here . She is also active on facebook and twitter.