Friday, January 7, 2011

review: The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin

release date: September 2006
publisher: Dial
pgs: 272
source: library
format: audiobook
reader: Daniel Passer

from goodreads:
For Matt and his sisters, life with their cruel, vicious mother is a day-to-day struggle for survival. But then Matt witnesses Murdoch coming to a child's rescue in a convenience store, and for the first time, he feels a glimmer of hope. When, amazingly, Murdoch begins dating Matt's mother, life is suddenly almost good. But the relief lasts only a short time. When Murdoch inevitably breaks up with their mother, Matt knows he needs to take action. But can he call upon his hero? Or will he have to take measures into his own hands? A heart-wrenching portrait of a family in crisis, this is Nancy Werlin's most compulsively readable novel yet.

I listened to this book while driving in my car. I didn't know anything about it, it was just the author's name that caught my eye while I was scanning the library shelves for something to listen to. There wasn't even a synopsis on the back.

It's probably a good thing I had no idea what the book was about or I probably would not have listened to it. And it was good. Horrifying and sad and suspenseful, but a really well written, well crafted, well read book.

It took me two weeks to get through the first two discs. I kept stopping it to take breaks. Matthew is writing a letter to his younger sister about the events from years before. Why was he writing a letter? Was he in jail? What did he end up doing to escape from Nikki? So between the actions of Nikki and the mystery of the letter, it was a little suspenseful for me. If it had been a book I was reading, I totally would've skipped to the end before finishing the middle. But around disc two or three Matt clues me in on the purpose of the letter and I was a lot better after that and finished it in a few days. Even sat in my car (and it has been cold!) to listen longer.

I loved the characters in this book. Matt and Cali and Murdoch--real, flawed characters. No heroes here, just good people trying the best they can.

Really liked this book. If you like audiobooks, you should listen to it. I thought Passer did an excellent job of reading.


Jessi E. (The Elliott Review) said...

I read this a few years ago and LOVED it. I like stuff that really wrenches your heart out and makes you think...

I Read Banned Books said...

I *almost* listened to this before Nancy came to TX last year. I just couldn't do it. I get so emotional with sad books like these. Just can't do it...glad someone can though.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

It was really interested to just get "hooked" by each chapter that you read!

REALLY good1 Recommend it and also

THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN.<-----my favorite book ever!!!!