Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: March 16, 2010
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don't like your best friend's boyfriend.
Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years. He's easy to talk to, supersmart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he's paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two tiny details: Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend.
Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants to do is hurt her best friend. But when she is thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens between them. It's wonderful...and awful. Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is nothing short of addiction, and she can't stop herself from wanting more.
Sarah is a quirky character, which I like. She likes to decorate shoes with various designs, and when she isn't feeling guilty over liking Ryan, she's pretty funny. She's nearly always feeling guilty about Ryan, though, so her personality doesn't shine through a lot of the time, especially since when she isn't feeling guilty, she's living in Brianna's shadow. Brianna is an attention whore if ever I saw one, and sometimes the way that she treats Sarah is abhorrent. She's got a lot of depth though, as a tragic character. Her jacked up parental relationships play a huge role in why she acts the way that she does. Sarah's parents, however, are pretty awesome. Ryan's characterization is similar to Sarah's in that we only get to see his personality shine in a few circumstances.
Most of the plot involves Sarah torturing herself over her feelings and trying to assuage Brianna's troubles, of which there are plenty. There are two points when the reader really gets to see the connection between Sarah and Ryan, and why they would like each other. One happens before Ryan and Brianna start dating, and the other is during a phone conversation. If not for the phone call, I might have had no idea why the two of them would feel a connection, but this one thing really helped to reinforce Sarah's guilty love for Ryan. It gave their relationship substance in the middle of all of the guilt. Still, I do wish the reader could get a little bit more of Sarah and Ryan together throughout the story. They're really cute.
The Unwritten Rule is a quick, light read. The characters are honest and flawed. The story is bittersweet.