Friday, October 2, 2009

Great Books by Nancy Werlin

The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
Publisher: Dial, 2006
Pages: 259
Source: Library
Matthew is a seventeen year old trying to take care of all of the things that most teens take care of. The problem is his mother is out of control. She is mentally and physically abusive. He and hsi sister Callie protect their youngest sister Emmy from their mother's insane tirades. They have become good a surviving these abuses. Their father is out of the picture. He knows how their mother is but won't help because he is afraid. Their aunt lives beneath them and turns a blind eye. Those that they thought would help them don't.

When their mother starts dating Murdoch they dare to hope things will be better. Things are better for a while until she becomes jealous of the attention he is showing the kids. Murdoch makes the decision to break it off with her. Things get worse for the kids. Matthew must find the strength to survive and protect his sisters.
I loved this story. Unfortunately we see it all too often. Werlin is not afraid to speak to kids about the tough topics. Her characters are very believable and the situations are very real. I hated Nikki and yet at the same time wondered if her insanity could ever be helped. A part of me pitied her. I would most definately recommend this book to all of my students and fellow teachers. You never know when the book might be placed in the hands sof the person who needs it most.

Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 384
ISBN: 0142414913
Source: Library
Lucy's biggest worry is that her mother will show up with her crazy talk. That is until at age 17 she attends the prom and is raped by her date. She realizes that it is not her date, but someone possessing him. In addition to this tragedy her date realizes what he has done and kills himself. Eventhough she has been given the drug to keep her from getting pregnant, she end up pregnant anyway. All of this is part of a curse that has plagued the women of her family for years. A curse from an evil fairy prince who has showed up in her life as a co-worker helping her foster mother. When they realize the truth they all join forces to try to break the curse. Lucy marries her neighbor and childhood friend Zach. He has loved her for years and she realizes that she truly loves him. Maybe their love will be the missing key that will help them break the curse once and for all. This was another winner from author Nancy Werlin.


  1. I read this book with my daughter, who was about 14 at the time. I agree - we see these situations much too often, and I appreciate the fact that Werlin is brave enough to tackle such painful issues. And even though Nikki's character seemed "over the top" in some ways, the story felt chillingly real to me.

  2. I read the story, too. It was ok, but way to realistic and kind of scared me. I am only 12.

  3. this is a great book, but i think its meant mostly for teenagers and adults