The Six Rules of Maybe

Deb Caletti, Author . S&S/Simon Pulse $16.99 (321p) ISBN 978-1-4169-7969-2

When 17-year-old Scarlett's older sister, Juliet, moves back home pregnant, she brings with her a romantic new husband “she'd never before even mentioned .” While Scarlett's feelings for Hayden grow—she secretly reads the love notes he writes to Juliet and sneaks out to join him for late-night chats—he remains devoted to her pretty sister, who in turn seems fixated on her loser high school boyfriend. Caletti's (The Secret Life of Prince Charming ) main characters are well drawn and complex, especially mature Scarlett, who, to her own detriment, is constantly looking after everyone else in her life. Readers may find some of Scarlett's neighbors over the top, such as an elderly couple whose belief in Internet scams leads them to Africa. Scarlett's devotion to them also seems extreme, but it clarifies both why “being needed sometimes made me feel good” and why she feels connected to kind Hayden. In the end, readers will be willing to overlook some of the more outlandish characters to focus on the moving story involving Scarlett and her family. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/22/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Genre: Children's
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