“The Unwritten Rule” by Elizabeth Scott

The Unwritten RuleMy rating: 3 of 5 stars

One of the unwritten rules of friendship is you don’t fall in love with your best friend’s boyfriend?

But what if you’ve been in love with him for years now and it was your best friend who stole him from you? Or what if it was really you he was pursuing but you assumed he was chasing the friend because of an earlier date snafu?

What would you do?

That’s the dilemma that faces Sarah in Elizabeth Scott’s “The Unwritten Rule.” Sarah is a typical Scott heroine–the shy girl who likes to be invisible. But whereas other Scott protagonists have not necessarily had a lot of friends, Sarah’s been best friends with Brianna since the two were in kindergarten and Brianna rescued Sarah from an overbearing, bullying want-to-be best friend. Or did she?

On the surface, “The Unwritten Rule” may appear to be about the rivalry for a boy and unrequited love Sarah faces. But dig a bit deeper and the story really explores the nature of friendship and the question of whether Sarah and Brianna are really friends and the foundation for their long standing friendship. Brianna has her own issues from parents who ignore her except when battling over her in court to some insecurities. While the story is clearly on Sarah’s side in things, the novel doesn’t make Brianna out to be an out and out villain, but allows us to feel a bit of sympathy for her, even if the story is clearly rooting for Sarah and Ryan (the boyfriend) to get together.

As usual, Scott nails the authenticity of the situation with characters that are both realistic and interesting. And as with most of her books, the issues and questions explored here are more than just the simple premise of what would happen if you were in love with your best friend’s significant other.

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