Y is YA authors saying Break These Rules (book review) – speak up, stand out, be yourself!

book cover of Break These Rules:  35 YA Authors on Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself edited by Luke Reynolds published by Chicago Review Press“It’s better to be safe than sorry.”
“Always know where you’re going.”
“Dress appropriately.”


Here are 35 “life rules” to question, with the help of great YA authors from Lisa Schroeder (The Day Before – my review here) to Francisco X. Stork (The Last Summer of the Death Warriors – my review here) sharing their personal stories in essays calling us to Break These Rules.

If your favorite local library or independent bookstore doesn’t have Break These Rules  on the shelf, ask them to get it – advice from these 35 noted YA authors is priceless!


Book info: Break These Rules: 35 YA Authors on Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself / edited by Luke Reynolds. Chicago Review Press, 2013. [editor’s blog]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher, via Shelf Awareness.

My book talk: Trying to follow the many “life rules” stated by parents and society can get in the way of living, so 35 young adult authors share ways to Break These Rules  to let yourself speak up, stand out, and be yourself.

Sara Zarr says that “Never talk about religion” can keep us out of “the full range of cultural conversation about faith, which has shaped world history for millenia” (pg. 57), while Lisa Schroeder notes that family advice to “Follow the money, not your heart” for your profession reflects their worries about you taking chances.

Society may say “Pretend the dark stuff isn’t true” (Carol Lynch Williams), “Be normal” (Jen Neilsen), and “Always know where you’re going” (Brian Yansky), but bowing to the demands “Go to college after high school” (Chris Barton), “Don’t daydream” (Wendy Mass) or “Always sit in your assigned seat” (Lyn Miller-Lachman) can stifle your authentic self.

Thinking about which life rules to keep or to break is why this book was created. As editor Luke Reynolds puts it: “Here are 35 rules that you can start breaking right now in order to discover how different from everyone else you can be. And, you might just discover how good it feels to be exactly like you.”  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

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