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"Sometimes opposites don't just attract - they catch fire and burn the city down"

Rule by Jay Crownover


To be brutally honest I expected very little from this book. Did I think it was going to be a book of substance? No. Did I think I would learn anything of great value. No, but I did.

Any author who is able to incorporate my three favourite things: boys, bands and tattoos into a book can have me as a loyal reader any day of the week. I may have been slightly superficial when I one clicked this book because of the blue eyed tattooed man on the front cover, but I’m happy to say that the book was anything but shallow. You could assume that Rule Archer is just like any other bad boy in fiction trying to lead the good girl down a dark path but you would look mighty foolish in doing so. What sets this book aside from any other book mildly similar is that there are many aspects to the plot that keep you engrossed from the get go.

Rule Archer appears to be your stereotypical bad boy with piercings, tattoos and an attitude to match. However it is what lies beneath his facade of intense ink that makes him a truly fascinating character. Shaw Landon happens to be everything Rule is not; Shaw is sweet, innocent, a keen people pleaser, pre med student who just happens to be wildly in love with Rule Archer. The history Rule and Shaw share undeniably ties them together; when Remy dies Rule lost his twin and Shaw her best friend.   I believe it was the loss of that fundamental character in both of their lives that brought them together, with the aid of physical attraction. Although their shared dialogue was simple I found it to be very explicitly telling.

I did want to dwell on the plot and the ins and outs of the chapters but I feel compelled to delve into the broader concepts the novel forced me to consider.

"Sometimes opposites don’t just attract – they catch fire and burn the city down"

Do opposites attract? Are humans merely an allegory for magnetic forces? What is human magnetism?

I initially found myself thinking one particular way but after having an opposing view thoroughly explained to me I'm left with even more questions. In terms of chemistry with other people I can understand how easy it could to be drawn to people who share similar beliefs, at the risk of becoming monotonous. However the view I initially held was that it's basic physics that opposites attract and likes repel. So if we're to imagine all beings as magnetic forces would it be right in saying we all want something different that is new and exciting? Then again we have those people who love the familiarity of similarity and as much as I would like to consider them anomalies, that would be wrong. Scientifically speaking perhaps our behaviour is unconsciously predetermined by science. But then is it right to compare love to science? If we are to believe opposites do attract are we also to believe that the qualities the opposing person has rubs off on the other? In the case of Rule and Shaw this is very much the case as Rule adopts Shaw's level headed demeanour and Shaw appears to become a not just a fan but a walking portfolio of Rule's tattoo art. Despite rubbing off on each other both literally [pardon the crude pun] and metaphorically they are still "two very different people on two very different paths" who managed to make it work. 

Putting aside typos which are important but miniscule in the greater scheme of things, this book left me with a myriad of unanswered questions, the most essential thing I got out of it was that in whatever you do, find a balance ...  [and maybe a cute inked tattoo artist with body piercing friends].

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