The Rule of Thirds by Chantel Guertin

The Rule of ThirdsThe Rule of Thirds by Chantel Guertin
Series: Pippa Greene #1
Published by: ECW Press on October 1, 2013
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 196
Source: Purchased
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★★½

Sixteen-year-old Pippa Greene never goes anywhere without her camera. She and her best friend/supermodel-in-training Dace long ago mapped out their life plan: Pippa will be the noted fashion photographer, and Dace the cover girl. But ever since last spring, things have changed for Pippa—and her junior year at Spalding High proves to have its own set of challenges. Not only is Vantage Point, the statewide photography competition, in three short weeks, but her mandatory volunteering placement lands her at St. Christopher’s Hospital, a place Pippa never wanted to set foot in again. With humor and pluck, she navigates her new role as a candy striper (watch out for Code Yellows), her changing relationship with her best friend (goodbye, Honesty Pact), and—perhaps most stressful of all—her new love interests (yes, love interests plural). Will Pippa make it to Vantage Point without having a panic attack? Will either one of the guys prove less sketchy than her last boyfriend? Can she and Dace figure out a way to dream big and be best friends? One thing is certain: real life is a lot more complicated than a photograph.

There are things I liked about The Rule of Thirds and there are things I really didn’t like. Let’s start with the good!

I loved the photography aspect of this book; that’s actually why I read it in the first place! I love photography myself so it was awesome to read a book about a girl who also loves it. I do kind of wish that there was more time of actual photo taking. There were only two or three real photo shoot scenes, and I would have liked to see more of it! But the ones that were there were fun to read.

I adored Dylan (one of the love interests)! For a while I wasn’t sure if I liked him or not.. he was kind of a tough character to figure out. But as the story went on, I started to adore Dylan. He’s sweet, thoughtful, funny, and seems like a really nice guy! View Spoiler »

Except when she made a few poor decisions, I mostly did like Pippa. She’s dealing with the loss of her father and those scenes in particular were really emotional! It was a good addition to the book and I like how it helped fuel Pippa’s love and inspiration for photography. But Pippa also suffered panic attacks. She couldn’t stand to be around certain places that reminded her of her father.

As for the bad…

I hated everything that had to do with Ben (the second love interest). I hated how sketchy and creepy he was, and how Pippa didn’t push him away even after she realized that. He started coming on way too strong and was clearly not a good guy, and yet Pippa never told him to back off. That made me hate Ben even more, and it made me annoyed with Pippa for not being strong about it. He pushed her to skip class, he pushed her to have sex (or at least do more than kissing), and he had some seriously cheesy lines.

“It’s just… It’s all happening a bit fast. Maybe if we just talked a bit. Tell me more about you. Or… Buffalo. Or what your favorite TV show is.”
“I think if I kiss you some more, you’ll know a lot quicker if you like me or not than if I tell you about my favorite TV show.”

GAG! Pippa that is a good sign that you need to get the fuck away.

I hated how Pippa thought it was okay to date multiple people at once… probably a bad influence from her best friend Dace. Although I usually thought Dace was okay, I hated her stance on this.

When Dace returns, I tell her she’s right—maybe I’ll try to date both guys.

“I couldn’t settle on just one. I guess I like my bikinis like I like my boys. Two at a time.”

But I think most of all, I hated the ending. In terms of the competition, it was fine.. but View Spoiler »

So The Rule of Thirds did have some serious low points. Honestly the big killer for me was the ending, because I thought it was going to be a good one, and then it just… died. It felt so unresolved (in one sense) and I hated that. But despite that, I did enjoy reading The Rule of Thirds. It was quick and easy to get into, and I think it’s a good book to pick up if you love photography!

Note: After writing this review, I received a note from the author informing me that there will be a sequel and all the things I didn’t like about the ending will be resolved. I’m relieved to hear that, but I still think that ending the book how it did was a poor decision. Even if it was intended to be a cliffhanger, it read more like it got cut off before the real ending. I think I will pick up book #2 though!

The Verdict


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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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