Saturday, August 9, 2014

Review: The Rule of Thirds by Chantel Guertin

The Rule of Thirds by Chantel Guertin
Series: Pippa Greene #1
Published: October 13th, 2013
Publisher: ECW Press
196 pages (ebook)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: Bought
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

Sixteen-year-old Pippa Greene never goes anywhere without her camera. She and her best friend/supermodel-in-training Dace long ago mapped out their life plan: Pippa will be the noted fashion photographer, and Dace the cover girl. But ever since last spring, things have changed for Pippa — and her junior year at Spalding High proves to have its own set of challenges. Not only is Vantage Point, the statewide photography competition, in three short weeks, but her mandatory volunteer placement lands her at St. Christopher’s Hospital, a place Pippa never wanted to set foot in again. With humour and pluck, she navigates her new role as a candy striper (watch out for Code Yellows), her changing relationship with her best friend (goodbye Honesty Pact), and — perhaps most stressful of all — her new love interests (yes, love interests plural).

Will Pippa make it to Vantage Point without having a panic attack? Will either one of the guys prove less sketchy than her last boyfriend? Can she and Dace figure out a way to dream big and be best friends? One thing is certain: real life is a lot more complicated than a photograph.
Pippa Greene is a 16-year-old photography lover. Photography was something special she shared with her father, and he passed his passion for it on to her. The Rule of Thirds is laid out like a countdown of the weeks leading up to Vantage Point, a photography contest with a cash prize, but more importantly, a spot at a photography camp at the college Pippa’s dad went to in New York City.

I loved Pippa’s passion for photography. Her camera was like an extension of herself. As someone who’s always been interested in photography (and always had a secret dream of being a photographer), I connected easily to Pippa. I really liked her, and thought she was a realistic sixteen-year-old - a bit self-involved at times, unsure, up for adventure. She was easy to relate to, and I sympathized with her problems.

I read The Rule of Thirds in a day. That may not seem like a huge feat since the book is only about 200 pages, but I’m an incredibly slow reader, so it actually says a lot about the book. I was drawn into Pippa’s life and was curious what was going to happen and how everything would get resolved. There was a lot of stuff packed into this short book - family and friend issues, romance, grief. It was mostly a light read, with funny moments peppered throughout, but it was also unexpectedly emotional. I don’t want to get into spoiler territory, but having lived through something similar to what Pippa went through before the story started, there were moments where my heart broke for Pippa.

As for the romance and the love interests, I loved one and thought the other was totally sleazy. I’m not normally a huge fan of love triangles, but this one was done well. It was a believable portrayal of teen romance, and the fact that one boy made me swoon hard…well I can’t complain. ;-)

I really liked the theme of ‘light in the darkness’ throughout the book. With everything that happened to Pippa, it would have been easy for her to get sucked into a dark hole of sadness, and while she had her moments, she was strong and resilient, and I admired her for that. 

One major aspect of the book was left unresolved, and that didn’t sit well with me, since it was something really serious. I’m hoping it’ll be dealt with in the second book, but it left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.

Overall, The Rule of Thirds was very enjoyable. Quick and funny, with surprising emotional depth, and a heroine that’s easy to root for, The Rule of Thirds is a must-read for fans of contemporary YA. I’m looking forward to seeing what Pippa gets up to next in Depth of Field.

Have you read The Rule of Thirds? What did you think? If you haven't read it, is it on your TBR list? Are you interested in photography?

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