Breda's Reviews > Rules of the Road

Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer
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Jan 12, 11

Read on January 12, 2011

Having loved HOPE WAS HERE, I was very excited to read this book. I was very disappointed when I realized that the two books were basically the same, both in superficialities and in the greater themes: absent parent, finding oneself through retail, the struggle for honesty and goodness in a world that tries to undermine them. The similarities ran so deep that I felt as though Bauer was writing from a template, even down to the headline-style summations. Reading one of these books is a must for teenage girls: the characters are strong, realistic, interesting, likable, and admirable in their personal (and public) struggles, and the fight for right is inspiring without being sickly. Plus, Bauer's honest style sounds like real teenagers shined up, and her insights will ring true with every teenage girl. However, I'd recommend not reading both, as the similarities can undermine the emotional impact. Me, I'd choose HOPE WAS HERE over this one: it's the more polished, more meaningful version, and there's a little more substance to it (especially as it's easier to find politics world-changing than shoe sales). Plus, the pacing is a little better, making the characters and their interactions easier to relate to. But that might just be the biased opinion of a disappointed fan.
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