Title: The Number One Rule For Girls
Author: Rachel McIntyre
Published: February 25th 2016
Publisher: Egmont UK
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Length: 309 pages
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Book Blurb (via 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…
An irresistable exploration of post break-up life featuring Rachel McIntyre’s trademark wit and observation.
You can read my review of Rachel’s first book, Me and Mr J, here.
I was really excited to read Rachel McIntyre’s newest book, especially so when I read the blurb. I love a light-hearted contemporary read that has everything: the classic break-up, the best girl friends that still fight, the ridiculously hot and perfect new guy. It had all the makings of a great read, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Daisy broke up with her boyfriend Matt when his family moved to Spain, but she’s finding it hard to get over him – especially when she thought they would end up being soulmates like her mum and dad were at their age. To help herself in moving on, Daisy left her old school (and all reminders of Matt) to start college. There, she meets the handsome Toby in her form class. He’s everything every girl would ever dream of (theoretically): tall, tanned, muscular, charming smile, just in general looks amazing. But when Daisy and Toby start dating, he doesn’t exactly live up to her expectations.
I loved this book. It was charming and a delight to read, but it also had a slightly dark undertone to it. Daisy and her two friends, Beth and Ayesha, have been friends since Year 7 and they live by the rules that bonded them together. I loved the friendship between the girls. It felt so real, almost like the relationship I had with my two best friends through high school. The way that they responded to each other whenever one of the others criticised their choice in men was brutally honest and helped to show that everyone can be blind when it comes to love.
And speaking of being blind, I wanted to smack Daisy in the face sometimes over he decisions with Toby. I mean, at one point, there was a clear GET OUT moment where she should have cut off contact and kept it that way, but she has a weak willpower and went willingly back into his arms. It frustrated me, but I could kind of understand it. Daisy feels like she’s being replaced and she doesn’t have anyone else to turn to apart from Toby.
Understanding that certain things are not okay in a relationship is important, and Daisy knew this. She was even wary about saying certain things around Ayesha, whose mother had been in an abusive relationship. That right there is a warning sign that things are not okay.
I liked how this novel explored the mental side of abusive relationships – the little digs about appearance, the comments about spending too much time with friends, being overly dramatic about speaking to someone – it highlights things that some people might just brush off. I think that it was very well written and made me want to hug Daisy tight and make everything better for her. She was such a spunky girl and her spark was being slowly dwindled.
Other things I liked about this book was Daisy’s parents and their relationship. Her parents were the most laid back I’ve ever seen in a book and instead of making Daisy some couldn’t-care-less wild child, she was still an average girl. Her parents’ having been in love since they were her age, and having Daisy when they were that age, and still being together was a nice change of pace to the parents who married/had a baby young and grew apart. Their business, the beautifully named ‘Something Borrowed’ (which, by the way, I totally wish was a real business!) was a great break from the relationship drama every time Daisy had to attend a wedding with her folks.
Seeing her reflect on the relationships around her – her parents, her friends, or the couples who are getting married – was really interesting as well. It helped to get inside Daisy’s head and show that she was still hurting over losing her happily ever after with Matt, especially when she had assumed they would be just like her mum and dad.
Overall, I think this is the perfect YA contemporary read for this season with spring just around the corner. It’s time to get twitterpatted over The Number One Rule For Girls.
About the Author
Rachel is from West Yorkshire and now lives in Cheshire. She has worked in the USA as well as Spain, where she taught English and wrote travel guides and features. Rachel’s passions are modern literary fiction and live music – she’s a fanatical gig and festival goer. She writes contemporary YA fiction with a highly original voice.
*picture from Twitter