Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Slope RulesThe Slope Rules by Melanie Hooyenga
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Slope Rules has a great start and does just as good a job with the finish. I received a copy in participation in the Seven Days of You blog tour. It is a great tour where there are different types of posts on different blogs. The Slop Rules is a deep dive into a teen’s life. Cally is a sophomore raised in Vermont who has a great set of friends, mostly guys and one best friend, Sophia. Cally is an athlete in a sport that tends to be filled with more males than females at her school, skiing. She has been on skis since she was 3 years old and is following in her mother’s footsteps. Part of the story deals in the loss of Cally’s mother to a car accident. It is a story that deals in losses of different types. Cally’s mother was a gifted skier who did daring flips on some of the toughest ski courses in Vermont and was the envy of all the skiers in the area. Her dad is a brew master that owns a brewery and is known for his custom brews. The story opens on Cally and her dad on vacation in Colorado where Cally is in her element on the slopes, until she takes one chance too many and injures herself. What started out as something that had the potential to ruin her vacation turns good when she meets Blake. Blake is a great looking, sweet and excellent snowboarder. They fall for each other even though they know it is a short-lived relationship because they live on opposite ends of the country.
Things change drastically in Cally and her dad’s lives when they relocate to Colorado and Cally immediately makes a friend who is also a classmate right after moving into their new home. This initial friendship draws her into a circle of friends that would not be her normal choice, the most popular group in school. But, these things go as they always do when you are the new kid and the mean girls pop out to show the new girl who is running things. It is so interesting to see that even when schools are different because they might be in a different area where people spend time doing things that locals do, like skiing, or swimming or horseback riding, there is always a group of girls that feel the need to run things and stand out as the best of everything. These kids usually feed off making others miserable.
One of the best things about this book, and particularly about Cally, is her individualism. She has a desire to make friends and does so easily, however, she is her own person and is willing to stand up and put people in their places when it is needed. As an avid reader, there are some things I have trouble reading and bullying is one of them. It makes you wonder what the lead mean girl’s parents are like. Can a person just turn into someone that likes walking on others and making them suffer on their own? How does someone turn into that? How does someone get away with being that way for as long as they do when there are so many victims of their attitude and behavior and usually only one or two bullies? One of the things about this story that was a bit different is the mean girl was more into bullying or manipulating her own friends and making them suffer as opposed to strangers or younger and weaker students. In either case, it is always a very hard thing to read about. The Slope Rules does a great job with telling each of the character’s stories and drawing the reader in so that they were invested in the outcome for Cally and Blake.
Favorite quotes:
“None of this means anything if you’re not having fun.”
“I can feel Mom. She’s here, pushing me to go faster, to be better, to win this thing.”
“I’ll be the one down there screaming my heart out.”
“It feels like home.”

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