The Rules of Survival

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This National Book Award Finalist is a thought-provoking exploration of emotional abuse, self-reliance and the nature of evil. A heart-wrenching portrait of family crisis, this is perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.
 
For Matt and his sisters, life with their cruel, physically abusive mother is a day-to-day struggle for survival. But then Matt witnesses a man named Murdoch coming to a child’s rescue in a convenience store; and for the first time, he feels a glimmer of hope. Then, amazingly, Murdoch begins dating Matt’s mother. Life is suddenly almost good. But the relief lasts only a short time. When Murdoch inevitable breaks up with their mother, Matt knows that he’ll need to take some action. Can he call upon Murdoch to be his hero? Or will Matt have to take measures into his own hands?
 
A gripping, powerful novel that will stay with you long after you’ve read it. Nancy Werlin, the New York Times Bestselling author of Impossible, shows why she is a master of her genre.
 
 
“[A] dark but hopeful tale, with pacing and suspense guaranteed to leave readers breathlessly turning the pages.”—Booklist (starred review)
 
“Beautifully framed as a letter from Matthew to his younger sister, the suspense is paced to keep Matthew’s survival and personal revelations chock-full of dramatic tension. Bring tissues.”—Kirkus (starred review)
 
“Grace and insight.”—School Library Journal (starred review)
 
National Book Award Finalist
LA Times Book Prize Finalist
ALA Best Books of the Year
ALA Quick Pick

 

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About the author

Nancy Werlin was born and raised in Peabody, Massachusetts, USA and now lives near Boston. She received her bachelor's degree in English from Yale.

Since then, she has worked as a technical writer and editor for several computer software and Internet companies, while also writing fiction.She is a National Book Award finalist.

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4.4
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Mar 13, 2008
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781101576267
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Young Adult Fiction / Family / Siblings
Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings
Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Physical & Emotional Abuse
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

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A gritty, powerful debut that evokes The Outsiders. You won't be able to look away.

High school senior Jason knows how to take a punch. Living with an abusive father will teach a kid that. But he’s also learned how to hit back, earning a reputation at school that ensures no one will mess with him. Even so, all Jason truly wants is to survive his father long enough to turn eighteen, take his younger sister, Janie, and run away.

Then one day, the leader of the in crowd at school, Michael, offers to pay Jason to hang out with him. Jason figures Michael simply wants to be seen with someone with a tough rep and that the money will add up fast, making Jason’s escape plan a reality. Plus, there’s Michael’s girl, Cyndra, who looks at Jason as if she sees something behind his false smile. As Jason gets drawn deeper into Michael’s game, the money keeps flowing, but the stakes grow ever more dangerous. Soon, even Jason’s fists and his ability to think on his feet aren’t enough to keep his head above water.

Still Waters is an intense, gritty thriller that pulls no punches—yet leaves you rooting for the tough guy. A powerful, dynamic debut.

Praise for Still Waters:

A Junior Library Guild Selection

"Parsons adeptly takes on the teenage male perspective in her gritty debut. Parsons creates deeply felt characters. Tight plotting combined with raw voice and emotion will propel readers through this thriller. Keep an eye on Parsons."—Booklist

"Debut author Parsons turns in an edgy thriller about a teenager whose propensity for violence gets him caught up in deadly matters. A dark, fast-paced, and violent crime drama about desperation and revenge that explores a complex moral dynamic. Jason’s flaws and rough edges help create a rounded, dimensional character, and his narrative is stark and compelling."—Publishers Weekly

"[A] provocative and suspenseful book . . . Still Waters features well-drawn characters, realistic dialogue, and ethical dilemmas that many readers have already faced or might have to face in the future. A great choice for reluctant readers, fans of books with male protagonists, and lovers of survivor stories."—School Library Journal

 


 

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