Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blog Tour Review: None of the Regular Rules by Erin Downing

None of the Regular Rules by Erin Downing
Series: Standalone
Published: November 20th, 2012
Publisher: Self-published
180 pages (ebook)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: From the author as part of the blog tour
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Smashwords || Amazon || Kobo}

Sometimes, a few dares can change lives…

The weekend before the start of senior year, Sophie Erickson and her best friends, Ella and Grace, discover a handwritten list of dares tucked away in the glove compartment of Sophie’s beat-up old Toyota. But this isn’t just any list; it’s a dead girl's bucket list.

Sophie's beloved aunt Suzy died as a teenager in a fatal fall, leaving Sophie with an overly cautious family, a few fading photographs, and a bucket of bolts that barely passes for a car. But now, Sophie has Suzy’s list of the things she wanted to do in her last year of high school. Sophie can't help but wonder: What would happen if she tried to fulfill Suzy’s last wishes, to live out the longed-for life of her aunt, her hero?

As Sophie and her friends attempt to knock off the things on Suzy's list of dares, love blossoms in unexpected places and Sophie begins to feel that her life is finally coming together...when in fact, everything is slowly unraveling around her. When the truth about a long-held family secret threatens to shatter everything she believed to be true, Sophie is forced to question everything she knew about the life and people she believed in, and ultimately herself.


When I first read the synopsis for None of the Regular Rules, it appealed to me on a lot of levels. I’m really into the idea of life/milestone/bucket/dare lists – whatever you want to call them - and the idea of challenging yourself to do things that may be out of your comfort zone. So when I saw this book was about a teenage girl who tries to fulfill the dares her aunt didn’t accomplish before her death, my interest was immediately piqued.

I really liked the main character, Sophie. She learned so much about herself and life in general throughout the course of the book. There were times I wanted to shake her, but I was also proud of her progression, and I enjoyed watching her grow and learn. She not only learned a lot about herself, but also about her best friends, Grace and Ella, and what it means to need and be needed. In a lot of ways the story was as much about Grace and Ella as it was about Sophie.

I love stories about friendship, and that’s what this was. Sophie, Ella, and Grace were as different as you could get, but they shared that bond that comes with being lifelong best friends and not only knowing but accepting each others differences. They had their ups and downs, but they loved each other enough that they could get through anything. I liked that they all had very different personalities and interests - I didn't particularly like Grace or Ella, but I appreciated the roles they played in Sophie's life and in her growth. 

Even though I’m a romance junkie, I liked that the romance wasn’t the main focus of the book. I enjoyed the interactions between Sophie and Johnny, and I liked that he drew her out, helped her get over some of her fears, and learn that life isn't always black and white. He had a great personality, and he was a lot different from most of the guys you see in YA. Plus he was pretty sexy! ;-) 

None of the Regular Rules was a coming-of-age story about self-discovery, friendship, and creating your own rules and your own path. It left me with a smile on my face and a satisfied feeling.

Erin Downing has written more than a dozen books for young adults, tweens, and kids. Her guilty pleasures include an unhealthy obsession with reality TV and cheesy romantic dramas (Revenge! Alias!), an addiction to Us Weekly magazine, and cupcakes.

Before turning to writing full time, Erin worked as a book editor, spent a few months as a cookie inventor, and also worked for Nickelodeon. Erin has lived in England, Sweden, and New York City, and now resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband and kids. More information about Erin and her books can be found at:

Find Erin Online:

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Be sure to check out the other stops on the None of the Regular Rules blog tour!

Have you read None of the Regular Rules? What did you think? 
Do you have a bucket list? What kinds of things are on it? I have several - you can see my main bucket list on Pinterest if you like!

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