THE ALISON RULES by Catherine Clark

THE ALISON RULES

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Alison Rules are never specifically codified as such, but they are all based on one organizing premise: to keep Alison from moving beyond her mother’s death from cancer the previous summer. Alison has chucked her old boyfriend (a jerk anyway), given up using her locker, and now resists her attraction to Patrick, a new arrival in the small mill town where she lives. Complicating matters at school is the fact that her best friend Laurie is clearly nuts about Patrick, and at home is her father’s naked but ineffectual desire to heal the family. If this sounds like a plot that’s been told, oh, about a thousand times before, it has; but in Clark’s hands, this old chestnut gets burnished to a shine, Alison’s first-person narration never letting the reader—or Alison—get too close to the source of her pain. Secondary characters are finely drawn, especially Patrick and Alison’s athletic younger brother. If the ending (another tragic death) is rather too over-the-top, it nevertheless offers both Alison and the reader catharsis. Several cuts above the standard teen-weepie. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-055980-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2004




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