Book Review: The Number One Rule for Girls (Rachel McIntyre)
* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *
Publisher: Egmont UK
Release Date: February 25th 2016
Summary (from Goodreads):
Daisy knows a thing or two about love and romance. She’s surrounded by it – in fact, there’s no escape! Not only are her parents childhood sweethearts turned soulmates, they also run the very successful wedding agency ‘Something Borrowed’, helping couples to tie the knot in whatever frilly, quirky, tasteful, outrageous way they choose. So it’s no surprise that Daisy has a pretty clear vision of how her life with boyfriend Matt is going to pan out.
There’s one major flaw in this plan – Matt and Daisy have split up! Determined not to brood, Daisy sets out to re-invent her life and her dreams. And that’s when Toby enters the scene, who appears to be perfect, but is turning all the Rules upside down..
I fell in love with Rachel McIntyre’s Me & Mr J last year (seriously, it’s amazing, go read it if you haven’t yet) so I was really excited to read her new book. I read this in preparation for a guest post from Rachel for the YAShot 2016 blog tour, which I’m really excited for you all to read.
I didn’t really know what this was about when I went into it so I was surprised at the turn the book took. After breaking up with serious boyfriend Matt, Daisy starts a new college and is determined to reinvent herself. Until Toby shows up, with his gorgeous face and interest in her. But is he all he seems to be?
I think this review is kind of spoilery if you don’t know what the book is about. So fair warning y’all!
The development of Daisy and Toby’s relationship was really interesting to me. At first, Daisy loves his little quirks: he turns up at a wedding she’s working at and helps, he asks her to take selfies for him when she’s out and he always takes her down because he says she looks better that way. But then his insecurities begin to get in the way: he’s paranoid when she talks to other guys and doesn’t trust her with them, he gets angry suddenly but makes it up by being sweet later on. While Daisy talks about herself a lot to him he never opens up to her.
This is a controlling relationship that develops so subtly you’re not sure what’s happening until you step back and take stop and realise that all these little things aren’t sweet and caring: they’re paranoid and jealous and isolating you from your friends. I’ve read other books about similar relationships but this one captured it best for me: it’s not obvious what’s going on at first, it’s not one big clue but lots of little ones that all add up to something being very wrong. And that’s what it’s like in real life, and why it’s so easy to get sucked in and keep on forgiving and forgiving.
I really love McIntyre’s ability to write teenage characters. Just like Lara in Me & Mr J, Daisy’s voice is so realistic it feels like I’m hearing my 16 year old sister’s thoughts. There’s a ton of modern references and colloquialisms that my sisters use which make the voice authentic. And then there’s Daisy’s wit and sarcasm. She’s very dry, the snarkiest of snarks and she made me laugh out loud a lot. I loved her confidence and colourful outfits and it broke me when she started to lose that.
Daisy now goes to a different school to her friends and their relationships keep getting between them, but they all have each other’s backs when it comes to the crunch. Their ‘Rules for Girls’ were great and something we could all do with having in our lives! I also loved the variety of different weddings we see as Daisy works too: I’m not a big wedding person but ‘Something Borrowed’ sounded like the company I’d want doing mine if I was! It was a great way to see different relationships and have Daisy reflect on them: what works and what doesn’t and what she wants for herself.
This is a funny book on a serious subject, with a good dose of girl power friendships thrown in the mix too. It explores the mental side of abusive relationships, with subtle comments and actions that work towards breaking someone down and isolating them so they become dependent on the abuser. I’m glad Daisy’s friends were able to help her see what was really going on, and I hope anyone out there in a similar situation can see the way out too. This book will make you laugh but it’ll give you a lot to think about too.
Check back in a couple of days for my guest post with Rachel McIntyre for #YAShot2016