The Rules Of Survival By Nancy Werlin

4.6/5-I never knew how interesting reading a story told like a letter could be until I read this book.


When, amazingly, Murdoch begins dating Matt’s mother, it seems as if life may become peaceful for the first time. Matt and his sisters have never before known a moment of peace in a household ruled by their unpredictable, vicious mother. And so, after Murdoch inevitably breaks up with her and the short period of family calm is over, Matt sees that he needs to take action. He refuses to let his family remain at risk. Can he call upon his hero, Murdoch? And if not, what might his desperation lead him to do?


(My Opinion)

There wasn’t a time when I thought this book was boring. It was fast paced and original. The chapters were very short and easy to read. A great book for reluctant readers.  The Rules Of Survival was written as if it were a letter that was in a book format. The book follows Matt, the life he’s forced to live with his abusive, insane mother. Even though he hates living with her, he has to protect his sister. This means that he’s willing to take the blame whenever his mother is in a furious mood. The characters in the book were beautifully written and the relationship between the three siblings is very strong and protective. Nancy Werlin truly did take her time and made sure that these characters were perfect and well thought out.

 The bad thing about fast paced books are that sometimes they are a bit too fast. The Rules Of Survival was like that. There were some parts in the book where I felt like Nancy Werlin was just skimming through it without really explaining what happened. I wished she hadn’t done that.

 Most books that are about abuse only show one side of the abuser. This book showed many sides of Nikki as a good mother and as the monster her children were scared of. I loved that I got to read the different sides she had as well as the way the children reacted to her constantly changing moods. The writing style for this book was amazing, I loved how she could write a scene in the book and make me feel like I was actually right there with the characters.  This is a great book for anyone in a situation just like Mat and his little sisters while still being short enough for reluctant readers to read.


Boot Camp By Todd Strasser

4.3/5 This book made me realize just how willing parents are to get the child they want.

In the middle of the night Garrett is taken from his home to Harmony Lake, a boot camp for troubled teens. Maybe some kids deserve to be sent there, but Garrett knows he doesn’t. Subjected to brutal physical and psychological abuse, he tries to fight back, but the battle is futile. He won’t be allowed to leave until he’s admitted his “mistakes” and conformed to Harmony Lake’s standards of behavior. And there’s no way to fake it. Beaten, humiliated, and stripped of his pride, Garrett’s spirit is slowly ebbing away. But when he hears about a plan to escape the camp, is he willing to try to escape? and if he is, is he ready for what he’ll get if it doesn’t work?

What I don’t like about this book is that Garrett was still kind to the people who kidnapped him. It didn’t surprise me, and yes, it was the right thing to do, but I would have liked it more if he didn’t care about what happened to them. I also didn’t like the reason behind him being sent off to the camp. It was done before by MANY authors and I am sick of it coming up in every book.

What I like about this book is how raw and mean, and realistic the camp is. I love everything about the camp, the chaperones, the staff, the kids, and the harsh rules the kids have to follow before they can go back into the world. I feel like this book is a real insight to what real boot camps for out of control kids are like. Thank god I’ve never been to one, but that’s how I feel. You can really tell in this story that Todd Strasser really did his homework before he wrote anything about the camp. If he comes out with another book like this, I will be sure to read it.