Hey Blogger Buds,
Those who have been following me for a long time know that I go away every August, to the middle of nowhere without internet. I've considered putting a sibling in charge of the blog, but the Blobfish (AKA: the sister) is super-busy. I try to schedule posts for you, even though I can't put together as many as usual. (I know my blogging has already been pretty...erratic...lately, but that's besides the point.)
I have 2 reviews going up next Tuesday and the one after. I hope to put up another review, though I'm super busy today and I'm leaving tomorrow. I do plan on putting together another few posts, to go up every Sunday (I can't do Sunday and Thursday), but I can't promise. (Seriously--CRAZY busy today.)
I will be back Tuesday, August 21 and I'll put up another post then, if I'm not completely exhausted.
I'm going to have brief internet access, hopefully, on Sunday, August 5th. If you would like to contact me about the blog, I can be reached at RivReads AT gmail DOT com. If you have a more personal, less-official message to send me (I'm going to regret sharing this, aren't I?), I can also be reached at RivReWrites AT gmail DOT com. Blog-related emails WILL NOT BE RESPONDED TO if sent to the second address*.
*Unless you're J K Rowling personally emailing me to offer up a signed ARC of The Casual Vacancy. In which case, maybe.
And, since it's Tuesday, I have a sort-of-mini review for you, as well, of The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin. (Recommended by the aforementioned Blobfish.)
For Matt and his sisters, life with their cruel, vicious mother is a day-to-day struggle for survival. But then Matt witnesses Murdoch coming to a child's rescue in a convenience store, and for the first time, he feels a glimmer of hope.
When, amazingly, Murdoch begins dating Matt's mother, life is suddenly almost good. But the relief lasts only a short time. When Murdoch inevitably breaks up with their mother, Matt knows he needs to take action. But can he call upon his hero? Or will he have to take measures into his own hands?
A heart-wrenching portrait of a family in crisis, this is Nancy Werlin's most compulsively readable novel yet.
The Rules of Survival was pretty intense, I guess, but I wasn't overwhelmed by it. I do love the style. It was written as a letter (similar to Stolen: A Letter to My Captor) to Matt's younger sister, who was just a child when the book took place. You also, weirdly, know how the book ends before it does. Matt keeps saying how his sister is reading this "after," and she knows XYZ happened. But you still don't know exactly how it's going to go down (I'm reverting to the 80s) until it does, and I was definitely thrown for a few loops. There are multiple climaxes, and they are intense.
One small problem I had was that there was a "big reveal" about Murdoch in the end, something I was able to guess early on. But there was more to it, at least, which I didn't expect.
The Rules of Survival gives you a lot of great insights. Matt's mother wasn't exactly abusive on a regular basis. But that almost makes it worse, because she was unstable. You get inside of Matt's head, and you can understand and sympathize with him, living in a constant state of absolute terror.
I liked the characters well enough, though it's not really my type of book. It was okay, and that's pretty much it. A bit forgettable for my fantasy-centered mind. (I find it harder to care about individual characters when the fate of entire worlds hangs in the balance. And yeah, I'm completely aware that this book is realistic, and, sadly, very commmonplace.)
Rating: 3 stars. It was okay.