The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: March 16, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Liking your best friend's boyfriend is definitely a no-no, but it doesn't stop Sarah from liking Ryan, her best friend's, Brianna, boyfriend. Sarah has liked Ryan for a while, but Brianna got him first--just like how she gets any guy she likes.
Ever since eighth grade and a botched attempt to go to the school dance together, Sarah has crushed on Ryan. Years later at a party in high school, the two seemingly have another chance to get together, but Brianna snags Ryan first. Confident and pretty, Brianna attracts guys like flies to honey. She hasn't failed to hook a guy she likes, and Ryan seems to be no exception.
It hurts Sarah to see the two together, and she is torn apart every time the two kiss, but as Brianna's best friend, she knows she can't do anything about it. Although she's dragged to every other date Brianna and Ryan go on, Sarah avoids being alone with Ryan at all costs--she does not think she can avoid temptation otherwise. But her passion for Ryan burns so brightly it may consume her if she doesn't do anything about it soon...
Warning! There may be a few spoilers in the next part of my review!
I really have no idea how Sarah puts up with Brianna! Brianna may have grown up in a troubled household, but she hardly treats the one person who cares about her, Sarah, with much kindness! Sarah is always there for her, but Brianna only uses and abuses their friendship, often dropping snide remarks that put Sarah down.
Although the emotional build-up was quite strong, I felt that it wasn't quite enough when Ryan and Sarah kiss for the first time. It seems a bit soon, and does not earn much sympathy for Sarah. Some may question whether or not she is such a good friend. Although you get more of the back story later, I felt it may have been a bit better if we knew more of Ryan and Sarah's background before their first kiss.
After a while, The Unwritten Rule seemed rather repetitive; Sarah likes Ryan and obsesses over him, Ryan seems to like her back, but he's with Brianna, repeat. Nonetheless, the emotions were very vivid and believable and I don't doubt that many can relate to liking someone who already has a boyfriend/girlfriend, or at least wanting something they can't have! While there are many points readers can relate to--that one popular girl that gets everything (and every guy!) she wants, the forbidden fruit, and knowing the kind of person who's every compliment is also an insult--after a while, the story drag started to drag.
Lastly, I was hoping that Ryan's character would grow a bit stronger by the end. I was hoping that after seeing who Brianna really is, he would be a bit more firm when he had to defend Sarah. However, his statement seemed a bit feeble and he did not really rise to the occasion. I was hoping both Ryan and Sarah would learn more from their experiences and grow, but they did not seem to change that much from how they originally were in the beginning. I understand that Ryan is a bit of a shy guy, but I was hoping he'd become a bit more sure of himself by the end.
I'm still a big fan of Elizabeth Scott's books, but I don't think The Unwritten Rule is my favorite book by her. Maybe my expectations were too high since I loved the last two books I read by her: Perfect You and Something, Maybe!