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The Trail Rules
Junior year’s looking up for sixteen-year old Mike. Her new BFF isn’t a sadistic control freak, her boyfriend adores her, and she’s learning to bike in the mountains without decapitating herself on a tree. But she needs to decide if she’s going to continue to be a follower or step out of the shadows and find her own trail. The Trail Rules, by Melanie Hooyenga, is perfect for fans of outdoor adventure, swoony kisses, and figuring out who you really are.
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.00 out of 10


Plot: Mike’s story is solidly plotted and well paced, and it shows that a change of heart is only the beginning step in understanding who you are.

Prose: The writing has an immediacy and works to bring readers inside of Mike’s head. And while there are some melodrama moments, they never overwhelm the narrative, instead, they keep the emotions raw and honest.

Originality: While contemporary teen coming-of-age stories are nothing new, combining a female lead with an adventure sport helps this book stand out from the crowd.

Character Development: The characters here ring true, especially Mike, whose evolution and growing self-awareness propel the story forward. The secondary characters experience little growth but hint at complexities in their own lives.

Date Submitted: April 15, 2018