Nov 08, 07
Read in October, 2007
Catherine is a typical tweenager, middle class, with working parents, living in suburban America. The appearance of the slightly more sophisticated Kristi complicates her already complicated relationships with her parents, her brother, her body, boys and the world in general. What could be a preachy yawn is made compelling by Lord’s command of believable language and her ability to render emotions that are neither overwrought nor understated. Catherine’s voice and struggles are authentic and her character arc progresses naturally. There are no huge revelations or easy answers here, but an acceptance of life and development of character that are realistic and easy to identify with. Jason and David are fully realized characters, not stereotypes, in spite of their individual challenges. The good old “don’t listen to what others think, be yourself” theme is here, but works so seamlessly with the plot and characters that it is effective, rather than heavy handed. Rules works because the plot, setting and characters are so completely believable.