Kathryn “Kat” is bursting with excitement and anticipation to begin high school. She is hoping, as most girls do, for acceptance, popularity, and, most of all, a boyfriend. But the sudden death of her father changes everything. Her family begins to unravel. Her mother becomes absent, and she finds herself in trouble and sent away.
Devotedly, Steve, her oldest brother, rescues her and takes on the responsibility of raising her and her brothers. They keep a watchful and protective eye over her as she begins her long awaited high school years. High school brings her everything she wanted—acceptance, popularity, and a boyfriend—as she struggles to pick up the pieces of her past.
The Garden City Rules by Michelle Courtney is a contemporary YA piece that readers won’t be forgetting any time soon. The plot immediately draws readers into its emotional rollercoaster ride. Sad, tragic, and beautifully written. There was so much inside this book. I was easily able to identity with not just the main character but all of the characters. Their story took me in deeper. I felt their pain, their frustrations and the tensions were real. Growing up while trying to do what’s right for one’s siblings is hard. Without parents in the picture, it’s left to the older or oldest sibling to carry the burden. Life is hard enough without losing people one loves. But as the story progressed, it went from sad to peaceful. The understanding and love was powerful. Watching the characters grow, was interesting. Definitely, a page turner. Michelle Courtney not only wrote about loss and grief, it also about struggling with popularity, acceptance, and dating. Responsibility was another important theme. This book was super easy to read. The plot went by faster than I thought. The Garden City Rules is one read that I highly recommend to readers worldwide.