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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too
Sarah knows she shouldn't like Ryan. Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend. There's an unwritten rule in friendship - no crushes on your best friend's boy. But the attraction is there - and besides, Sarah liked him first. When Ryan and Sarah are thrown together one night, something happens. Sarah is torn apart by guilt and wanting to act on her...
Published on March 11, 2010 by TeensReadToo

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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Breaking the friendship code...
Before you read further, go buy Scott's novel Living Dead Girl -- now there's a novel that will appeal to YA readers everywhere.

I'm not sure why most of the reviewers think this book was so great. To me, it seemed such a cliche of bad friendship, high school, and the mean person getting her comeuppance. Frankly, I can only imagine that the positive reviews...
Published on May 8, 2010 by Denise Crawford


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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Breaking the friendship code..., May 8, 2010
This review is from: The Unwritten Rule (Hardcover)
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Before you read further, go buy Scott's novel Living Dead Girl -- now there's a novel that will appeal to YA readers everywhere.

I'm not sure why most of the reviewers think this book was so great. To me, it seemed such a cliche of bad friendship, high school, and the mean person getting her comeuppance. Frankly, I can only imagine that the positive reviews from the book are either from women who have "stolen" their best friend's boyfriend or from those who wish they could. The justification for Sarah and Ryan getting together seems to be that Brianna was the "bad friend" who put Sarah down. I am not buying into that whole cliche that Brianna got what she deserved. Sarah was not a good, honest friend to her. Sure Brianna had lots of issues -- and her parents were also portrayed as very one-dimensional as were all the characters in this novel -- but was she deserving of her boyfriend and her so called best friend going behind her back? What prevented them from being upfront and honest from the beginning? Immaturity. I had no respect for either.

There's a reason for this "unwritten rule" among girlfriends, and a code that exists because of the potential for ruining friendships and destroying long held trust between girls who've been together long before any boy came on the scene. I'm staunchly on the side of "if your best friend dated him, he's off limits forever" position.

In this novel, Scott makes Brianna so bad that it sort of ends up justifying Sarah's cheating on her friend and taking her boyfriend. And why, if Ryan did like Sarah so much, did he go out with Brianna in the first place AND why didn't he break up with her long before the 2 month anniversary. His total passivity and weakness make him a totally unappealing male character -- what? he can't help himself when enveloped into Brianna's life? Please. It's insulting to teenage boys everywhere -- they can't choose who they go out with and they go out with a girl when they like another?

I think the author took liberties with an old tired plot line -- and I was sorely disappointed in this totally predictable teen romance novel that rationalizes and excuses dishonest behavior. I think that the discriminating young adult novel reader will see through this thin device and the "happy ending" that has broken an "unwritten rule"...I would still advise girls to stay away from their best friend's boyfriend.

I won't be recommending this one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, March 11, 2010
This review is from: The Unwritten Rule (Hardcover)
Sarah knows she shouldn't like Ryan. Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend. There's an unwritten rule in friendship - no crushes on your best friend's boy. But the attraction is there - and besides, Sarah liked him first. When Ryan and Sarah are thrown together one night, something happens. Sarah is torn apart by guilt and wanting to act on her feelings.

Elizabeth Scott is an amazing author - she can write anything and I'm always amazed at her talent. I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this one, as I hate love triangles and stealing someone's boyfriend - no way! But Ms. Scott pulls it off in a wonderful way that made me feel for the characters.

As much as I liked Sarah and Ryan, Brianna was the stand-out character for me. I would like her and hate her at the same time. I would feel sorry for her but I'd also want to yell at her for being so mean. Ms. Scott walks a very fine line with Brianna and it works; she kept me guessing about her the entire time. Was she good or bad? Someone to like or not? And could we make excuses for her? I could have an entire book discussion on just Brianna alone!

But I can't leave Sarah out (and not just because she shares my name)! Your heart aches with her as she is wracked with guilt over wanting her best friend's boyfriend and wanting to remain loyal to Brianna. The story is slowly unraveled, and bits and pieces about the past are unveiled and the reader, like Sarah, wants so badly for Sarah and Ryan to be together.

I also love the families that Ms. Scott writes - she has the best supporting characters. I loved that Sarah was close to her parents and she's okay staying at home with them. I've always had a close relationship with my family, even as a teen, and that is a rare thing to find in YA books. Sarah's relationship with her parents was believable and they were a family I would love to visit.

This is an emotional novel and one that will stick with you. It might sound like it'll be a fluffy chick lit romance, and while there is romance, it's certainly not fluff! If you've read anything by Elizabeth Scott, you know she writes great romances and this one is no exception. It's never an easy or light romance - it's heart-wrenching and heartbreaking and real.

THE UNWRITTEN RULE doesn't take the easy, all-will-be-perfect route to this story, which I think makes the book even more realistic. This one will have you thinking about your friendships and relationships long after you read the last page.

Reviewed by: Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Elizabeth Scott book yet!, March 14, 2010
This review is from: The Unwritten Rule (Hardcover)
I think it's impossible for someone not relate to something in The Unwritten Rule. Be it having a crush on your friend's (or best friend's) boyfriend or maybe being friends with someone that uses you as a stepping stool, they can't give you a compliment without sort of insulting you at the same time. There is a lot here and I know it sure gave me a lot to think about and all the while Scott is writing in her relatable and humorous voice.

I love how the book is super romantic but also very serious when it comes to friendship and family issues. It's really a very well rounded book. At first Sarah's best friend Brianna seems like the sweetest friend ever but little by little you realize she's doing things for herself that are uncomfortable and wrong for her friend and boyfriend but she's not doing it without reason. She has some serious family issues but the book makes you think about the fact that you can only help a person so much without getting wrapped up in their issues and messing up your own life.

And normally you'd think of a potential boyfriend stealer as someone horribly awful but Scott writes Sarah and her past with Ryan in such a way that you (at least I did) think they should be together and it's always meant to be that way. And same with Ryan, he didn't come off as the sleazy boyfriend, he was almost angelic and wanted to do what was right for his girlfriend but also himself.

I tore through The Unwritten Rule wanting to find out how this how love triangle was going to work itself out and let me tell you I loved the entire ride and outcome. Of the 3 Elizabeth Scott books I've read this is definitely my favorite!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not A Book I Would Recommed to Anybody (D+ Grade), January 14, 2011
This review is from: The Unwritten Rule (Hardcover)
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I think we've all been there in our teens where we had a major crush on a boy but don't know how to go about telling him, the fear that he'd never like us and we step aside for our friend who also has feelings for him.

Unfortunately, The Written Rule was a major disappointment for me. It had no real depth and the main characters annoyed me immensely. Carrie Jones has the blurb on the cover where she says this is brilliant, touching and true. I beg to differ. It's really none of the above.

Sara has an all-consuming crush on Ryan. So much so that he's all she can think about. Sara doesn't think she has a chance with Ryan because she feels she's nothing special. Sara fades into the background all because of her beautiful and vivacious best friend, Brianna. Sara is well liked by the majority of her classmates but she's more the type that is just "there". Sara comes from a well-rounded family, with a loving mother and father and loves wearing bright colorful sneakers to show off her lacking personality she feels she has. One day at a party, Ryan starts talking to her and they have a moment where he may kiss her. But then Brianna walks in and it's all over for Sara. Ryan goes off with Brianna and they next thing that happens is that Ryan and Brianna are a couple. But wherever they go, Sara is there and soon something horrible happens. Ryan drives Sara home one night and they end up kissing. Sara is ashamed that she has betrayed Brianna and doesn't know how to tell her. And then Ryan says he wants to be with Sara and will find a way to tell Brianna. Sara is torn because friends should come before boys, but she wants Ryan so much.

The Unwritten Rule has a great premise but the exposition fails big time. Elizabeth tries her best to explain why Sara is to torn up about her and Ryan kissing. The big problem I had is with Ryan, this wishy-washy character, who with one word right from the start could have solved everything. Ryan is like a ghost, a pale one-dimensional, lacking in major personality figure who if he was man enough, wouldn't haven't allowed things go on this far with Brianna. We never get the full story on why he decides to be with Brianna even after she kisses him as her way to manipulate him into being her boyfriend. Sara isn't defined at all even with the book being from her point of view. She's just as one-dimensional as Ryan, where they only reason the reader should side with her is because of all the heartache she's going through, which I get, but seriously, Brianna's heart isn't really into Ryan. She claims him just because she wants to. And Brianna's reactions to the world around her confused me the majority of the time.

I really tried to sympathize with Sara since she has unrequited love for Ryan and doesn't want to hurt Brianna, her best friend and confidant, who is truly a heartless brat. But since Sara doesn't really have any redeemable qualities, except for her quirk with sneakers, which I felt was put in there to show how different and special she is, The Unwritten Rule is a reading fail.

Also, at one point Brianna uses the good old "F" word, which came out of nowhere, and I guess would be justified since her reaction makes sense, but the tone of this book is more PG if anything and caters more for the under thirteen year old crowd. Inserting that word and the insults Brianna is supposed to bring forth an emotional reaction from the reader. It doesn't and is almost insulting the reader's intelligence.

The Unwritten Rule is one book I wouldn't recommend to any teenager who wants to read a humorous and what should be an adorable outlook on secret love and the angst a teen goes through. The Unwritten Rule could have been so much more, but wasn't.

This is a major pass.

Katiebabs
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special here, May 17, 2010
This review is from: The Unwritten Rule (Hardcover)
The Unwritten Rule is my third Elizabeth Scott book and my least favorite out of the three (the other two are Living Dead Girl and Love You Hate You Miss You which deal with sexual abuse and death respectively).

The book can be summarized very briefly: Sarah and Brianna are best friends, Brianna is dating Ryan, Sarah likes Ryan, and Ryan wants to be with Sarah too. Will the girls' friendship survive the squabble over the guy?

The main problem with this book is that it is very simplistic, there are no layers to the story, basically nothing much happens in it. 95% of the book are Sarah's thoughts on the matter that go like this: "I like Ryan so much. I've liked him since 8th grade. But he is dating my best friend Brianna. She's been my best friend since the kindergarten. But Ryan likes me more than Brianna. But Brianna loves Ryan too. But their relationship isn't working. But Brianna's parents are so horrible, I can's take Ryan from her too. But I like Ryan so much..." And it goes on and on like this in circles forever, making this short 200 page long book very boring and repetitive.

Main characters are also very hard to get attached to. They are not interesting or compelling - Sarah is a goody motherly type of girl, Brianna is an outright mean girl, and Ryan is a doormat-ish stud. This assortment of cliche characters doesn't leave much room for moral dilemma, it is very easy to discount bad girl Brianna's feelings and forgive good girl Sarah's deceit.

IMO this subject has been portrayed infinitely better in E. Lockhart's Ruby Oliver books.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An open and excellent look at the heartache of love and friendship, March 16, 2010
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This review is from: The Unwritten Rule (Hardcover)
Sarah liked Ryan first, but that doesn't matter because he is now her best friend Brianna's boyfriend. And even though Sarah is well aware of the unwritten rule of friendship--you aren't supposed to like your best friend's boyfriend--it still hurts to see Ryan with Brianna. But then one night, at a party, things change for the three of them, and even as Sarah desperately attempts to be a good friend and do the right thing, she can't stop imagining what it would be like if Ryan were dating her.

The Unwritten Rule is one of Elizabeth Scott's most simple yet achingly realistic books. Though the issue at the heart of the book, liking your best friend's boyfriend, isn't exactly special or unique, Scott works her magic, making this book about so much more than messy love, but about friendship, how far loyalty extends, and familial relationships and their own set of complexities. Though for the most part The Unwritten Rule has the feel of a light, romantic book with its occasional predictability, Scott packs in plenty of emotion, and the reader can't help but feel more conflicted and empathetic with Sarah as she is drawn farther into Brianna's drama and a few things about herself and that friendship, true friendship, goes both ways. As always, Scott's magnetism will enthrall many, and her style is simple and convincing. This book is an open and excellent look at the drama and heartache involved in love and friendship.

Cover Comments: I always like how cute and bright Elizabeth's covers are, and this one is no exception! I do wonder though, if feet are becoming a bit of a trend in her covers...this is the fourth book by her with feet on the cover. Otherwise, very nice, simple, clean. I like it a lot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Exploration of Friendship, July 19, 2010
This review is from: The Unwritten Rule (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
One of the unwritten rules of friendship is you don't fall in love with your best friend's boyfriend?

But what if you've been in love with him for years now and it was your best friend who stole him from you? Or what if it was really you he was pursuing but you assumed he was chasing the friend because of an earlier date snafu?

What would you do?

That's the dilemma that faces Sarah in Elizabeth Scott's "The Unwritten Rule." Sarah is a typical Scott heroine--the shy girl who likes to be invisible. But whereas other Scott protagonists have not necessarily had a lot of friends, Sarah's been best friends with Brianna since the two were in kindergarten and Brianna rescued Sarah from an overbearing, bullying want-to-be best friend. Or did she?

On the surface, "The Unwritten Rule" may appear to be about the rivalry for a boy and unrequited love Sarah faces. But dig a bit deeper and the story really explores the nature of friendship and the question of whether Sarah and Brianna are really friends and the foundation for their long standing friendship. Brianna has her own issues from parents who ignore her except when battling over her in court to some insecurities. While the story is clearly on Sarah's side in things, the novel doesn't make Brianna out to be an out and out villain, but allows us to feel a bit of sympathy for her, even if the story is clearly rooting for Sarah and Ryan (the boyfriend) to get together.

As usual, Scott nails the authenticity of the situation with characters that are both realistic and interesting. And as with most of her books, the issues and questions explored here are more than just the simple premise of what would happen if you were in love with your best friend's significant other.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reading Angel, June 28, 2010
This review is from: The Unwritten Rule (Hardcover)
This book is the story of a girl who fell in love with her best friend's boyfriend, but it's also about so much more than that. It the story of best friends, and this truly unhealthy relationship they have. I did enjoy the premise of the story, and the writers voice but that's about it. Sarah has liked Ryan for years, but never says anything. When Ryan and her BFF Brianna are suddenly together, Sarah can't get Ryan out of head, or her heart. Brianna is really into Ryan, this is her first relationship that she's ever had last more than a week or two, and Sarah doesn't want to hurt her. Should she follow her heart?

As for the characters, I loved Sarah's Mom and Dad, they were a lot of fun, and just great loving parents. Brianna's Mom was horrid! She was hateful and did nothing but think of herself and drive her daughter down. I never did connect with the MC's. Sarah was so insecure and naive, she thought Brianna was being a great friend even when she was cutting her down. Brianna was just as horrid as her mother, just not as obviously so. She was always making snide remarks about how Sarah wasn't good enough, how much better she was than her, how she'd never find a boyfriend (maybe she should find a freshman who doesn't know any better...). I literally could not stand her, if I had known her in real life I would have knocked her out for treating people like that. After never being loved by her parents, she is one of those girls who want attention from guys, thinking that will take the place of the love she craves, but she always dumps them before she would chance herself getting attached and possibly hurt. I didn't connect with Ryan either, supposedly he always wanted Sarah, not Brianna, and yet it takes him 2 months to decide that he should let Brianna go?

I also felt like Sarah was always rambling on and on and on about how much she liked Ryan. It was a lot of her whining and tagging along with Brianna and Ryan and not a lot really going on in the relationships. Overall, this book just kinda feel flat for me. I had really high hopes for it and I think it had really good premise, but I really just needed at least one character that I could connect with and root for, and it just didn't happen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Unwritten Lesson, June 11, 2010
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Jennifer L. Rinehart (United States of America) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Unwritten Rule (Hardcover)
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If he doesn't like you enough not to date your shallow, manipulative, drama queen friend, then you should move on to someone else.

Sarah liked Ryan first. Ryan liked Sarah back and due to a strange and clearly unforgivable lapse in judgment on the part of Brianna (Sarah's best friend) and Sarah (for forgiving Brianna of being a man stealing cow) Ryan and Sarah's relationship is put on permanent hold. Fast forward to the present and Brianna and Ryan are now a couple.

Right about here is where I found it hard to sympathize with Sarah. I mean, sure, fine, you like your evil best friends arm candy, so what, get over it. If he wanted to be with you, why is he with Brianna? Over and over, Ryan, who's clearly calling the shots in this love triangle, no matter if Brianna is wandering around, trying to destroy everyone and everything in her quest for 'damage girl of the year,' stays with Brianna. He is Brianna's boyfriend.

Why? I'll tell you why. Ryan can't make up his mind. Sure, Brianna has a lot of crap going on and Sarah and Ryan say they want to help her, 'she's so needy, she couldn't bear further heartache,' but what they can dish out in the name of friendship and caring isn't really what Brianna needs and besides, why should everyone sacrifice their happiness for one person (especially one who is kinda mean to the people she calls friends?).

Frankly, I found Ryan to be the most mushy (and I don't mean that in a nice way) character in the book. He just wont make a decision. He lets others take the fall for him and most annoying of all, he is bossed around by Brianna like a diva with a puppy dog.

I think Sarah could do better than Ryan and I kinda hoped she'd figure that out by the end of the book.

But, you know what, this book review has been more about my views on relationships than on the book itself. I think that people who want to be together are. Love will find a way.

So, back to the review. All in all this was a steady and believable story. The characters were real and the storyline so familiar I could have inserted the names of my High School buddies and had just about the same story (different ending though).

So, if you like a dramatic and emotional read from the perspective of a girl in love with her best friend's boyfriend, this is the book for you. IF you like a different take on a similar theme, check out Laura Moriarty's book, The Center of Everything.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure Imagination Reviews, April 17, 2010
This review is from: The Unwritten Rule (Hardcover)
I think most of us have been in this situation. At least a little. Maybe you have a little crush on your best friend's boyfriend. Maybe you liked him first but you were too nice to say it. I know that it happened to me when I was younger. I never acted on it but my feelings were never quite as strong as Sarah's. That made it so easy to relate to Sarah and to really connect with this story.

All the characters were wonderfully written! Sarah was so me! She was a little too quite. She lets Brianna talk to her like she's a dog. Okay, so that's not so me. It was a couple of years ago. I had one of those friends...You know what I'm talking about. One of those toxic friends. They say horrible things to you but in a way you can't get mad. Backhanded compliments. That's Brianna! I hated her from 10 pages in. I know it's good writing when I say "What a Bitch!" out loud while reading. As much as I hated Brianna, I loved Ryan! He was swoon worthy and I understood exactly why Sarah was risking her friendship for him. In other words, I really connected to Sarah, I hated Brianna and I loved Ryan!

This is the second book I have read by Scott and it definitely won't be the last. She is one of the YA Greats in my opinion. This book was a fun fast read but kept me interested from the first page. I couldn't wait to see how everything worked out for Sarah. So you should definitely pick this book up and find out next month!
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The Unwritten Rule
The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott (Hardcover - March 16, 2010)
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