Her Game, His Rules

Piper
Shelly
ISBN Number: 
978-1937329631
Genre: 
Young Adult

Jona is perfectly aware that she shouldn’t have done it. After all, stealing a sweater (with her record) is not the best decision she made. Still, she couldn’t have dreamed that her punishment would be so severe. Spending time with the mother who abandoned her? No way. But, she doesn’t have a choice.  What she does have is a plan. It’s a simple plan, really – run away as soon as possible. But as she gets to know her aunt and uncle and starts to fall for Julian – the mysterious guy who “helps” her mother, she can’t help but wish for things to stay just as they are. Unfortunately, even she is aware that they can’t. Julian is keeping secrets, the kind that change lives irreversibly.
Ms. Shelly has done an excellent job portraying a girl who has grown up in the “system”, without love and carrying a painful past. Jona is a good narrator - she is opinionated, stubborn but vulnerable as well.  Seeing her slowly open up to her relatives and Julian is rewarding, especially when Julian is on the scene – their banter and conversations simply sparkle with chemistry. The behavior of the characters was mostly consistent but for a change in Jona’s view of her mother that was sudden and forced – it simply didn’t fit in the way it should. Nor did the acceptance of her Mother’s fate. The paranormal plot is interesting, but could’ve been developed more. Nevertheless, it’s a nicely written story that will satisfy a reader looking for a young adult novel with a solid relationship development at its core.

Ana Smith