THE RULES - Delaney Diamond
PRINT | EBOOK
REVIEWER: Susan Plummer | RATING: A
REVIEW: Delaney Diamond’s very exciting novel, The RULES, is a compelling narration of a couple trying to outrun their past.
Two people evading their traumatic pasts collide and become each other’s reason to try and create something meaningful. Terri Slade is starting over in a new town and the new rules for her life are to ‘never lose control’ and ‘never fall in love’. Gavin Johnson is riddled by survivor’s guilt because he had a huge fight with this father the night he died. Since then, Gavin spends his time chasing death-defying ventures he can either conquer or die trying. Their casual encounter leads to a connection they unexpectedly welcome. Gavin finally has someone who lessens his restlessness. Terrie is on the verge of getting everything she ever wanted but relationships thrive or die on discoveries and the secret she harbors could solidify or devastate their developing relationship. Terrie’s greatest fear materializes when her past reappears and the significant disagreements things pulling her and Gavin apart are instantly unimportant as they work together to survive. THE RULES is guaranteed to capture one’s attention from the very beginning.
Every element of THE RULES is fine-tuned to perfection. Character development is well thought-out and creatively executed. The plot is layered, cohesive and wholly engaging. Diamond starts by painting an abstract picture that becomes clearer as the story progresses. Eventually the “hah-hah” moment occurs when the characters and plot offer up a significant revelation. Gavin is seemingly fearless but his bravado is driven by guilt. At some points Gavin is so captivating, I forgot I was reading and wanted to meet the character. Terrie is overly cautious as a result of surviving a terrible relationship. Gavin best describes Terri’s personality as, "genuine and refreshingly candid." Overall, Diamond takes us into the minds of the characters and this contributes to making them more realistic and oftentimes sweetly irreverent.
Dialogue is representative of real life and felt very much like listening to conversations rather than reading a book. There is a natural rhythm to Terrie and Gavin’s communications; similar to best friends interacting but theirs is interspersed with passion. Diamond skillfully weaves words that invoke strong emotional reactions.
The Johnson Family series gets better with each novel. I loved that THE RULES is unpredictable and even when some action or event is anticipated; the unexpected timing of the revelation serves to make it a surprise. The characters are realistic and relatable and despite being rich and beautiful, they are not immune to every day issues. The Johnson Family series is outstanding storytelling and I most certainly will revisit this series again.
1st November 2015 | firstname.lastname@example.org