Jay Crownover: RULE

Rule by Jay Crownover
Marked Men #1
Harper Collins 2014
339 pages
4/5 stars

Rule is the first New Adult book I have read, and man, I’ve got to say I like it! It has a much fresher feel than the Young Adult books I have read, and it seems this might be more my genre.

Let’s start with the narration. It’s first person point of view, altering between the hero Rule and the heroine Shaw. Now, I’m not a fan of the first person narration. However, it completely failed to annoy me in this book. Crownover’s voice is so natural, so relaxed, so fresh, that I didn’t even care it was in first person. Truly a pleasant change!

When it comes to characters, I’m not entirely sure I like or buy them. Rule has a million one night stands and is in general an Alpha, verging on Alphole (you guys have The Smart Bitches and their book to thank for this term). I don’t like this kind of hero, but I’m willing to forgive him, because he actually comes to analyse his behaviour. He goes through quite a lot of personal development in the novel, which is pleasing. Shaw does personal growing in a slightly different direction – she learns she doesn’t have to please everyone and is well within her rights to run her own life. Whether I think that is advisable to quite this extent for a couple of 19/20 and 22/23 respectively is another matter. At times they also act or think in a way that makes me perceive them as older or younger – Shaw generally older apart from her make-over rebellion, and Rule younger.

The plot is slightly juvenile, but let that not keep you from giving this book a shot! There’s quite a lot of sex, to the point where I find it too much and pretty pointless, and the horrible entitled ex-boyfriend is of course a cliché, but the latter is someone Crownover absolutely uses well: he is not used as a cure-all, which needs to come from the characters themselves and not from an outside source.

I’ve also got to say I really like the way the world of these characters is built. As this is the first book in a series, you can guess there are many characters the reader needs to already like in this book because they will be starring later. As I’m sure you also know, this can be tricky and very annoying – sometimes you see too much of characters whose arc is not going to be fulfilled in the novel in question, and what’s more annoying than that? Crownover manages to introduce the characters in a way that feels natural and leaves open lots of doors, and one budding relationship is hinted at but neither over discussed or made too solid to leave the reader disappointed it didn’t get an ending in this book.

I realise this review probably comes off as a little harsh despite the 4/5 rating I give the book. Don’t let that fool you. This is a good book, and I read it happily although without being addicted. I enjoyed it and imagine I will be picking up more of the series. It’s only problem is that it is a first novel, and it shows in how easy it is to pick the main faults in it, but it’s a strong start nonetheless.

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