Breaking My Rules


Most of the time, I like to follow the rules. I prefer order to chaos. It’s just my nature.

But every once in a great while I break my rules.

For the past year, I’ve had a reading rule, one book by an author and then I move on. Doesn’t matter if they’ve written a trilogy or a series. My reading goal is to expose myself to as many different writing styles as I can.

And I had no trouble following that rule. I liked it. It made sense. Up until I read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. It’s a trilogy. And I fell completely in love with her writing style. It’s fresh and sparse yet rich. I loved the story she created. Her characters feel more real than the people I know.

A few times when I shut the book to go to bed, it took me a few moments to realize who I was and where I was because I was so deep in Mara’s mind that I forgot about me. That hadn’t happened to me in years.

So I broke my rule. I’m reading the second book in the trilogy, The Evolution of Mara Dyer. And I plan to read the final book too.

I don’t regret this rule breaking. There are always occasions when an exception must be made.

Are you are rule follower or a rule breaker? Do you have any rules about what you’re reading?


This entry was posted in Personal, reading and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Breaking My Rules

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    I don’t really have rules when it comes to reading, but that is one rule I’d break too. I couldn’t imagine only reading one book of my favorite series (like Sue Grafton’s or JK Rowling’s/Robert Galbraith). So enjoy, you rule-breaker, enjoy!

    • It was going well until I got to A.G. Howard’s Splintered, which made me want to read the trilogy. I compromised and bought the rest for future reading. This book made it impossible to not finish the trilogy. I really love it!

  2. WOW sounds like a great author to explore. A trilogy is much more manageable than a huge long series. You just bent your rule a bit – besides you should also be reading for enjoyment, not just observing writing styles HA HA

    • She had a really cool unreliable narrator and her story is captivating. The writing just pulled me straight into her world. On a sentence level, this woman knows how to write. Very true. A trilogy is not too much of a stepping outside the bounds. It’s rare that I read purely for fun. I can’t shut my writer mind down. Even when I watch TV, I shush people because I don’t want to miss anything. I like seeing how the story plays out.

  3. I’m definitely a rule follower, but as you say, there are times when exceptions must be made. That’s quite a compliment to the book there that it made you break your rule! I don’t think I have rules relating to my reading.

  4. I like to know the rules so that I can determine the consequences of breaking them. I try to read everything written by authors that I like, but sometimes, if I hit a stinker, I will move on to another author.

    • Very good point. ๐Ÿ™‚ I used to do that, but I felt like I wasn’t exposing myself to enough new authors and writing styles. I’ve had that happen too where I just am not clicking with the author anymore.

  5. Mayumi-H says:

    That’s an interesting perspective on reading, Kourtney. I like that you’re reading only one book from each author at a time for the purpose of exposing yourself to lots of different styles…though, it must be tough not to be able to truly read “just for fun.” It sounds like this author has struck that chord in you again!

    I have no rules for my personal reading. I used to force myself to finish every book I started, just so I would have an opinion of an entire book, not only a few chapters, but I decided a few years ago that life is simply too short to waste time on pushing my way through a book when I’m not enjoying it. I’ve since really, truly had a lot of fun reading the books I’ve picked up. Glad to hear you have found an author that resonates with you, as well!

    • She’s really amazing. I admire how she writes. Sometimes I lose myself in a book, but it’s much rarer than it once was.

      I used to do that too. And I agree with you. Life is too short. Sometimes I’m not clicking with a character or a writing style or a story/ I think if it starts to feel like something I have to do, maybe I’m better off putting that aside and not reviewing it. I have so many books I’ve picked up the years with the intent to read them. I’d like to try to make a tiny dent in that pile this year. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. carlamcgill says:

    While I don’t have any rules for reading, I wish that I did. Somehow, I read chaotically, un-systematically, and randomly. I just finished reading M Train by Patti Smith, and I savored each page. I was sad to end it. Selecting a new book to read always feels risky. Where are they going to take me? Is it where I want to go? I would love to get immersed in a trilogy, so I may take a look at the one by Hodkin. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • I feel the same way. Part of why I like only reading one by an author is knowing that the sequels are waiting for me. So if I hit a book that doesn’t click with me, I don’t despair. Because I know there are more out there that I will love. It’s a fantastic first book. I’m loving the second book. I think she is an immensely talented writer. Happy to share my fav new reads. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. jmmcdowell says:

    I tend to be a rule follower, but not so much in my reading habits. If I really like one book by an author, I’m likely to keep reading others as long as I’m still interested. Sometimes that wanes after 2 or 3 additional stories. I think there’s something to be said for an author who realizes when a character may not have the legs for 5 or 10 or 20 books…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I didn’t used to be into rules about my reading. But I was feeling really overwhelmed by all the books out there. I tend to be loyal as long as the books are clicking with me. I agree with that. Though sometimes an author expects a few books and the character gets so popular that the publisher asks for more. I think it would be really hard to turn that down even if it meant scrambling to come up with plot for the next few books.

  8. You rebel, you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I say go for it. It isn’t often for me to find a book that totally mesmerizes me. So when it happens, take advantage!

    • LOL. Thanks. I’m pausing in the second book reading right now due to paper edits of Six Train’s sequel. But I’m hoping to get more reading done this weekend again. I know it’s so rare right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Rules are there to be broken Kourtney.. and this one sounds it needs breaking if these books are as good as you say they are. So go for it.. ๐Ÿ™‚ and enjoy!!

Any thoughts or reactions or favorite foods you want to share?