ARC Review: The Rules by Tracy Darnton

the rules

The Rules

by Tracy Darnton

YA Thriller

Goodreads | Amazon| Book Depository

Amber’s an expert when it comes to staying hidden – she’s been trained her whole life for it. But what happens when the person you’re hiding from taught you everything you know?

When a letter from her dad arrives, Amber knows she’s got to move – and fast. He’s managed to find her and she knows he’ll stop at nothing to draw her back into the extreme survivalist way of life he believes in.

All of a sudden the Rules she’s spent so long trying to escape are the ones keeping her safe. But for how long?

Praise for THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES: ‘Thought-provoking and crisply written’ – Guardian
Perfect for fans of Karen McManus, E. Lockhart and Holly Jackson.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

This book can be best described like a short gasp of breath. It was so cleverly and intricately written that it had me hooked from the first page. I remember Amber and her story from I’ll Be Home For Christmas so it was lovely to be able to read more about her story. It was a refreshing read and not something I was used to!

Amber’s dad lives the life of an extreme survivalist and lives a life that Amber just about managed to escape, so when he returns to the UK looking for his daughter, she will do anything it takes not to return to that tough, relentless world she’s worked so hard to flee from. I loved the way this story was constructed from the start to finish, and Darnton evidently put in a lot of work in planning this…right up to the breathtaking finale.

The style was written really well and the book itself felt like it had a grip on me that I just couldn’t shake it off. However, there was just something that really stopped me from connecting emotionally to the characters. Now that could’ve been the book’s intention, as from the very beginning we are told not to trust anyone, but I felt as though this approach made me care less for Amber and any of the other characters, which sort of took me out of the book.

But other than that, it was a really fun thriller that kept you guessing until the very end with brilliant stakes and an unshakeable atmosphere.


Review: I’ll Be Home For Christmas


Publisher: Stripes Publishing
Release Date: 22nd September 2016
Genre: YA, Short Stories
Pages: 384

The UK’s top Young Adult authors join together in this collection of new stories and poems on the theme of home. Contributors include: Tom Becker, Holly Bourne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Melvin Burgess, Katy Cannon , Cat Clarke, Juno Dawson, Julie Mayhew, Non Pratt, Marcus Sedgwick, Lisa Williamson and Benjamin Zephaniah. GBP1 from the sale of every book will be donated to Crisis, the national homelessness charity. 

I think it’s quite obvious from the books that I’ve read that I was really excited to get this book. I feel like I’ve been saying I’m excited for this book repeatedly in my last few blogs, but I can’t help it, I just am really excited about lots of books, lmao…
Anyways… the main authors I was looking forward to reading in this were HOLLY BOURNE (AKA MY QUEEN), LISA WILLIAMSON and my recently discovered new favourite NON PRATT!
It’s hard to talk about this book without going into too much detail about each and every individual story. If I had to pick my top three it would honestly be Lisa Williamson’s, Non Pratt’s and Juno Dawson’s!
I know, I know, Holly’s name isn’t in my top three and I feel like I’m saying the biggest sin right now but her story just didn’t do it for me. I found it (not dissimilar from a few others, might I add) to be a bit boring. I think my problem with it is that maybe I wanted more because I didn’t really feel like it told a story with a beginning, middle and end. Anyways, I’m going to STOP myself right now from slating Holly Bourne because she is a cinnamon roll and does not deserve it.
Overall, I was a bit disappointed with the stories because most of them I found to be too short but I think that his kind of anthology is a great way to discover never-before-read UKYA authors! Like for example, I’ve read nothing by Cat Clarke before but now I’m more than ever eager to get my hands on The Lost & the Found!!
Yeah…so, it was a small tiny bit disappointing but some of the stories hit home for me (Juno) so I’m glad that I read it.
Also, it put me in a real Christmassy mood so only 11 months to go!!!

I’m gonna give this 3 stars out of 5, although my Goodreads differs :/