Review: Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin

Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin
Series: Rules of Summer (# 1)
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher:  Hachette Book Group
Pages:  339
Source: book provided by the publisher for review

When seventeen-year-old Rory McShane steps off the train in East Hampton, it’s as if she’s entered another universe, one populated by impossibly beautiful people wearing pressed khakis and driving expensive cars. She’s signed on to be a summer errand girl for the Rules — a wealthy family with an enormous beachfront mansion. Upon arrival, she’s warned by other staff members to avoid socializing with the family, but Rory soon learns that may be easier said than done.

Stifled by her friends and her family’s country club scene, seventeen-year-old Isabel Rule, the youngest of the family, embarks on a breathless romance with a guy whom her parents would never approve of. It’s the summer for taking chances, and Isabel is bringing Rory along for the ride.

But will Rory’s own summer romance jeopardize her friendship with Isabel? And, after long-hidden family secrets surface, will the Rules’ picture-perfect world ever be the same?


Review:  If you are looking for an easy read…something to make you forget all that money spent over the holidays or on vacation Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin will do that for you.  It is something to grab for the beach, on the plane or just staying in from the cold.

I found the two main characters Rory and Isabel fun.  They weren’t overly intense yet they were your typical teenagers.  At first testing each other and in a sense letting each other know how they felt in no uncertain terms.  Rory who is working for the summer for the family and Isabel who lets you know at first she is the one that has the money.  Deep down while reading you feel these two will come to an understanding and find a friendship of sorts.  They really each have a little of what the other wants.  It really is a typical story of the two classes of people (rich versus poor) finding a common ground and becoming friends.

Boys always a constant in teenage girl’s lives and these two are no different.  Of course once again the two were not surprising in their choice of boys either.  In most cases (not all) the rich girl chooses the boy with little or no money (challenge) and the poor girl seems to want what she doesn’t have the ones with money.  Insert Isabel’s brother Connor.  Rory was flattered by the attention.  He was like her gentle, down to earth and most of all earth shattering handsome.  It was fun to watch the two girls evolve over the summer but the ending was a little hurried and left unanswered questions within this reviewers mind.

Both main characters were likable and easy to comprehend; although I did find Isabel to be a little more complex than Rory.  The growth in the overall story between Rory and Isabel helped in making them come alive.  The descriptions of the Hamptons and the breakdown of the areas made it easy to visualize where everything was.  That always helps with the background of the story.

Over all if you are looking for a fun story that does have a little bit of a life lesson in it; that doesn’t take a whole lot of thinking on the readers part Ms. Philbin’s Rules of Summer is just the read you may be looking for.  Predictable…yes.  But a very light read.  After all it is a good change of pace from all the paranormal activity flooding the market now.

So grab your beach towel…too early for that then a nice comfy chair by the fire and dig in.  You will enjoy.