‘The Edge Rules’ by Melanie Hooyenga will draw you in and keep you riveted as you wonder how main character Brianna will find a way to re-shape her life rather than reclaim the one she would rather leave behind. A former bully, she has been ousted from her group of friends and made to feel just like the kids she always made fun of, making her question what the point was of ever being so cruel and calculating about how to maintain her power.
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.
You can find ‘The Edge Rules’ by Melanie Hooyenga here.
*Review originally posted at YABooksCentral.com*