December 06, 2006

Breaking All the Rules - to Find New Ones

This book is a 2006 Cybil Award Nominee for YA Fiction.

There are rules in life, Grace knows, but honestly, she can't see the point of most of them. Especially because they're the rules of her father, a class-A hypocrite disguised as a devout Christian. Graces is tired of the flow of "thou shalt nots" that have been pouring over her head since she was small. She's eighteen now. Surely there's more to life than turning out like her Mom -- a drab little sparrow whom Grace adores, but who seems to have forgotten how to smile -- and how to stand up to Dad.

Gorgeous Michael is from a different world, and knows poetry and wines. He doesn't have to ponder things like right and wrong so deeply like Grace does -- he just does things, and lives. The simplicity of that lack of theology -- not to mention the seductiveness of Michael's handsome-older-professor vibe seems like the brass ring Grace has been waiting to grab. She gets involved with Michael, and at first it seems like he's the answer to everything. And then, when Grace is able to see a little further, she realizes she may have some of the answers to her own life, herself.

There is no guidebook to the perfect life. Nobody wakes you up the morning of your 18th birthday and whispers instructions in your ear. Grace finds the people who guide her through the making of a good life to be unexpected and startling, but in the end, her true friends have what it takes to show her How It's Done.

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