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The Rules of Half

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  111 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
If Will Fletcher's severe bipolar disorder isn't proof he shouldn't be a parent, his infant daughter's grave is. Once a happily married, successful veterinarian, he now lives with his sister and thrives as the small-town crazy of Half Moon Hollow. But when a fifteen-year-old orphan claims she's his daughter, Will is forced back into the role he fears most: fatherhood. Her ...more
Published June 6th 2017 by Sparkpress
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**ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review**


4.5 stars

"When everyone else looks at you and sees crazy, I see complex. When they see someone who's not worth a second of their time, I finally see someone who is actually worth every bit of mine. When they see a man who's damned, I see one who's yet to be redeemed."

Every once in a while I come across a book outside the romance genre that piques my interest. When I read the blurb of The Rules of Half, I just knew it would be emotiona
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgallery-books
3.5 stars
*I received this ARC from Spark Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Having a mental illness is an awful thing to carry throughout your life. It condemns you to a life where you have lost control of yourself, placing an enormous burden on your family, and becoming a pariah to society. Such was the case with Will Fletcher, his sister Janey, and eventually Will's teenage daughter, Regan, who finds her dad after witnessing the suicide of her mother thus left with having n
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an incredibly complex multilayered debut novel that explores several themes and streamlines them together so that they all emerge together.

-----Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply
for another person.

-----Tennessee Williams

Regan Whitmer is running away from an abusive stepfather from Chicago after her mother shoots herself in the head in front of Regan. Regan hitchhikes to the little town of Half Moon H
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my ARC copy for a fair and honest review.

What would you do if you had nothing to lose because you had already lost it by the age of 15? That's the case of Regan Whitmer, a teen girl that had been raised on the streets of Chicago by her mother, until her mother married a pastor by the name of Steven. This all takes place before the start of the book and we learn more and more about what Regan has faced as she thinks back to what sh
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Congratulations to Jenna Patrick on an absolutely stunning debut novel! I loved it. This novel portrays with depth and feeling the trials of Will trying to cope with bipolar disorder and the effect on both himself and his family. I raced through the book with both tears and laughter as the various family dramas played out. The story is well delivered and the characters well developed. Keep writing Jenna Patrick - I will look forward to more!

Many thanks to Jenna Patrick and SparkPress through Net
Lolly K Dandeneau
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
via my blog
“No one in this town wanted his help. No one liked being in the same room with him. They scattered like ants hiding from a thunderstorm when he came around, unless of course he did something crazy; then they brought the popcorn bucket.”

What is a man to do when he is cast as the local loony? If he has serious mental health issues and suffered a tragedy that would bring any loving parent to their knees, well he embraces what is expected of him. In
This is a really complex and interesting novel that really surprised me. I was drawn to it as one of the themes of the novel is mental health which is something I'm always drawn to. This novel centers around a man with bipolar disorder, his sister and his daughter. At the center of this novel is the impact of mental health issues on a person, his/her family, and the larger community. It's about being different and misunderstood. It's about finding the people you need in your life, the people who ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book is a compulsive read: it’s fun, charming, and full of suspenseful moments. I am saying this at the front of my review because I have some critiques, and I want to make sure that it's clear that Rules of Half is a really engaging read.

The first problematic issue is that of “mental illness” (I'm putting mental illness in quotes because I am not a fan of the expression). One of the main characters is a man diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and, while I am willing to believe, and in fa
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I rated this a 4 out of 5 stars

In Rules of Half, Regan Whitmoor, along with most of the other characters, is dealing with a lot of serious issues. Her mother committed suicide in front of her, leaving her with an abusive stepfather, who by the way, is a Pastor. (Have we hit on all the major taboos yet?) Regan runs away and finds her biological father, Will, a man who is bipolar, and dealing with his own divorce and the recent death of his infant daughter. (Yep, I think we MAY have hit all the so
Peta Benjamin
One of the best books I have read so far this year. For a Debut Author, I must say this book has it all. 15 year old Regan Whitmer has just lost her mother and is now left in the care of her Pastor Step-father. She knows she has a Father in Half Moon Hollow, she just has to find him and hope that he will want her when she confronts him.

What Regan doesn't know is that her 35 year old Father, Will Fletcher has been living a nightmare for the past 5 years. He has lost not only his beautiful young d
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, various
"Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review"
An interesting and refreshing approach to mental illness in fiction, through the character of a thirty-five year old man (Will Fletcher) with bipolar disorder (later reevaluated) and I really enjoyed reading this book.
The characters are rounded, the small-town setting creates a framework for the conflicts to emerge and various meaningful relationships develop.
I really liked the depiction of the hero and his connection with his sister
L.P. Logan
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
You know, I don't know if I am adequately prepared to review this book. It unabashedly dives into the daily struggles of those with mental illness, and rather than create martyrs, it instead delivers redemption.

It was beautiful.

And although there are points of the book I did not like, I find them not worth mentioning due to the fact of how well this story was delivered. It was brave, and I'm not sure that it could have been done any better.
Kristin Contino
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Both hopeful and heartbreaking, THE RULES OF HALF explores how one man's mental illness can impact an entire town, and how the bonds of family, however strained, can pull you through even the darkest of times.
Barbara Sissel
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A story rich in complex characters, Jenna Patrick’s debut novel, THE RULES OF HALF, is a darkly compelling and ultimately redemptive tale of loss and regret and the often-painful truths we must confront in order to heal.
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rarely do I feel like I feel right now after finishing a book. Rules of Half is definitely one of those books that upon reading the last words (that almost lift off the page poetically), you slowly close the book, hold it close to your chest, take a deep breath, and smile as if time has just stopped for everyone and everything just for that moment.

Rules of Half, a journey of life navigation from several protagonists (of whom I loved each and every one), is one that I can recommend to just about
Rob Twinem
Mar 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Life and love in small town America Young Regan Whitmer has set off on a journey to find her birth father Will Fletcher now living in the quaint small town of Half Moon Hollow. Here she will encounter a close-knit and suspicious community having to tolerate a somewhat schizophrenic Will who appears to have lost his mind following the death of his first daughter Emma.
This is a book which looks at relationships within a small town and in particular their approach to mental health and how they ado
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a readable story of mental illness, loss, grieving and small town politics. While certain aspects stretched credibility and some of the entanglements were a trifle overdone, it was enjoyable.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
And you thought your relationship with your parents was complicated! Meet Regan, who leaves her stepfather's strict household after the death of her mother in search of the father she has never known. She finds Will Fletcher, her biological father who never knew of her existence and has no interest in getting to know her.. Will suffers from bi-polar disorder and wallows in his disease rather than trying to control it. It's hardly the homecoming Regan had hoped for. Though Will rejects her, Regan ...more
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arc
Will Fletcher - or the crazy man as he's know about town. People say he killed his daughter. She was found in the back seat of the car on a hot day. You know the story, you've seen it on the news. Maybe not Will, but someone like him. Ellie - his kryptonite - the mother of his child. Who has been away for years.

Will struggles daily to deal with the loss of his daughter, even though it happened years ago. He's on meds. He visits her grave daily and talks to her. Add in that his father was schizop
Mrs Mommy Booknerd
This book was amazing. I was so moved by the sharp storytelling, richly created characters and heartbreaking, but hopeful, story. I was drawn into the way Patrick beautifully created a story of mental illness, family, tragedy and heartbreak into a story that was so perfectly fleshed out that you could not help but get lost within the pages. Patrick was able to build that this into a setting that was equally captivating. A brilliant and impressive debut novel.
Jen (Thismomreads)
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
**Thank you to Spark Press through Netgalley for early access to this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book was so emotional! I cried more than once while reading and could not put it down. Jenna Patrick has written a superb debut novel. The Rules of Half tells the story of Will Fletcher, known as the "town crazy" to the citizens of Half Moon Hollow. Once a successful veterinarian and happily married father, the death of his infant daughter brings his bipolar disorder to the surface.
Mar 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Thank You Net Galley for the free ARC.

What attracted me to this novel is that it deals with bipolar disease. However, either I am little aware of the amount of disability this can cause or this is an exceptional character. Will was a veterinarian, so obviously he survived 10 years of college and grad school, now he cleans out cages and is in constant trouble with the police because he starts fights and is in general a nuisance in town. His disease borders on psychosis.

He finds out that he is a
Cyndi Moskal
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you Net Galley for the chance to read this book.

I really loved this story! It grabbed my attention right at the start. I only wished I hadn't started it during such a busy week because I wanted to be able to just sit and read it through to the end.

The characters were so realistic. They were complex enough to be intriguing but simple enough to be believable.
Angela Williams
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book in one go, and honestly couldn't put it down. I found the author tackled the topics and issues of mental illness well, and enjoyed how the story unfolded to tell the entire story of Will and Reagan.
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Rules of Half by Jenna Patrick. After Regan Fletcher's mother commits suicide, she runs away from her stepfather's home to find her biological father. Will Fletcher, once a successful veterinarian, now suffers from bipolar disorder. Confronted with the daughter he never knew about, to say that Will is reluctant to assume fatherhood is an understatement. Fortunately, his sister Janey is more willing to undertake the responsibility, but Regan doesn't find the stable, loving home she dreamed of ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-reads
Interesting story about a not too normal family, like most of them. It was a good read.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
I understand that this is a novel, but the dialogue in this book is just not realistic and often cliche. High schoolers don’t talk like this. Friends don’t talk like this. Lovers don’t talk like this. I made this realization about a third of the way through and remained distracted and frustrated by it until the end.
Lara Ryan
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, netgalley
I received an advanced readers copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I had read the reviews before diving into this book. I wasn't sure what to expect about a story about a daughter coming back to her long-lost father, a father whom she thought she would have a normal father/daughter relationship with but was instead met with the uneasy fact that his life was ruled by his mental illness.

Although this is a story centered around mental illness, it's also a story about love and famil
Zan Marie Steadham
How hard it is to live where everyone knows you're crazy and treats you as the town pariah? Will Fletcher knows. And the women who love him fight to protect and care for him. Fabulous Read!
Ms. Nguyen
May 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was able to read this book through Net Galley!

Insipid, unrealistic, cringeworthy. This book attempts to fit four viewpoints into one in a hurried novel that rivals Nicholas Sparks in terms of cheesiness. I think that everything with Will's disorder was also overblown. This is not the first novel to tackle a mental health disorder, but it's one that does it in an irresponsible way. There were no likable characters in this book... except maybe Lindsay? But her declarations of love made me roll
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Raised in a large, extended family in northern Ohio, Jenna Patrick moved to North Carolina in 1998 to attend college. She fell in love with the weather and laid back way of the south and never moved back. After ten years of devoting her brain to science and math as an engineer, Jenna returned to her true passion – writing fiction. She and her husband reside on Lake Norman with their two daughters ...more
More about Jenna Patrick

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