Scarlet spends most of her time worrying about other people. Some are her friends, others are practically strangers, and then there are the ones no one else even notices. Trying to fix their lives comes naturally to her. And pushing her own needs to the side is part of the deal.
So when her older sister comes home unexpectedly married and pregnant, Scarlet has a new person to worry about. But all of her good intentions are shattered when the unthinkable happens: she falls for her sister's husband. For the first time in a long time, Scarlet's not fixing a problem, she's at the center of one. And ignoring her feelings doesn't seem to be an option...
This beautifully crafted novel by National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti is about crossing that blurry line between helping other people and hurting ourselves - and how to step back over it. (from inside flap)
Deb Caletti is an awesome writer, and her newest book, The Six Rules of Maybe, doesn't disappoint in the least. I love reading her books because I always get totally and completely sucked into the story and the characters, and feel as though they are real people whose lives I am intruding upon.
I loved reading about Scarlet because she was a lot like me. She's kind-hearted and feels compelled to help everyone, even if that means that she ignores her own feelings and needs. She's the girl who would be the secret advice columnist in the school newspaper - everyone, including the popular crowd, come to her with their problems. Besides dispensing some words of wisdom, Scarlet always goes a step futher and actively tries to solve their problems. It's really nice of her, but sometimes Scarlet gets too involved in her subjects' lives that when not everything goes as planned she gets upset.
This same thing happens when her older sister Juliet returns home pregnant and married. But this time it's not so much helping her sister as making sure Juliet's making the "right" choices. When Scarlet suspects that Juliet is cheating on her husband, Hayden, Scarlet feels like its her place to step in and berate Juliet and try to stop her. Though, I would probably do the same thing with my sister, so I can't really blame Scarlet. But this causes problem because, as I said before, Scarlet feels as though she has the weight of the world on her shoulders.
On top of all this, Scarlet also falls in love with Hayden, which is kind of sad only because he's married and it's obvious that he's head over heels in love with Juliet, even though most of the time she acts pretty aloof towards him. I really felt Scarlet's pain because he's a really good guy: kind, terribly romantic, hopeful, and sweet. He would be a great guy for Scarlet besides the married part. And Scarlet and Hayden really did have a connection; it wasn't just her longing from afar. They become good friends, however, Hayden doesn't feel the same way about Scarlet that she does about him.
Despite this, throughout The Six Rules of Maybe, Scarlet learns some important lessons. Namely, that she can't control and fix everything, no matter how good her intentions are. She also learns to stand up for herself and doesn't allow her kind-heartedness to cause her to be a doormat to the world. There's even a happy ending in the love department, though I'll leave the details to the novel.
I love Deb Caletti and absolutely adored The Six Rules of Maybe. The book just felt so real, and I swear that there really is a Scarlet somewhere out there in the world. The book had so much detail, and just felt so realistic. I definitely recommend this and all of Caletti's other books - you won't be disappointed.
Rating: 9 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from library.
2010/Simon Pulse/336 pages.