Unspoken Rules

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Natalie is a Syrian Orthodox Christian, the child of immigrants to Australia, currently in her final year of high school. Her older sister wants nothing more than to marry a Baba-approved man from the Syrian expat community, but Natalie is falling for a guy from school. An Australian. And she wants to become a journalist and travel the world, not get married and start her own family.

She has many of the same struggles as normal seventeen-year-old girls, but she also has the struggle of straddling two worlds—the conservative patriarchal culture of her Syrian family and community which is full of unspoken rules, and the more liberal Australian culture of her school. And things are difficult...

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I just wasn't very interested. I left and came back to it many times but just couldn't bring myself to finish it. I hope others like it, because the premise was really nice, but it just wasn't it for me.
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"She wasn't like the other kids at school. She didn't have the same freedoms. She had to live the life decided for her. Tread the same terrain trodden on by her mother, her grandmother, no doubt her sister and countless other girls and women from her community. Her road was set - long straight, even, the scenery black and white."

Unspoken Rules is about a Syrian girl, Natalie, living in Australia desperately trying to balance life at home within the Syrian Christian Orthodox community and her secular life at school.

The Story-What I liked about this story was that it instilled quite a bit of culture around Natalie's choices. It's a lot more than just strict...

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What really draw me to requesting this book was the mention of Orthodox Christianity. As someone who was raised as an Orthodox Christian, I was really looking forward to see how it was portrayed, which is why I had set some sort of expectations for this book plot-wise, and said expectations weren’t met.It’s a nice read, if you’re looking for a quick YA, this book is for you. The writing is decent, the characters are developed too. The coming of age portion is covered in an interesting manner, whether you love it or hate, it is up to you.But I didn’t connect to this read as much as I expected to.
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Natalie lives in two different worlds, both governed by the unspoken rules of her Christian Orthodox background. While her sister has embraced the future laid out by their culture, Natalie wants to fit in with her friends from school. Her first love drives a wedge even further between her and her family. A coming of age story, with unique, complex multi-layered relationships, Unspoken Rules is a realistic look at family, culture and identity.  


Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
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Natalie is a Christian Orthodox Syrian Australian teenager and throughout Unspoken Rules, we follow her as she tries to break free of the ideals for females in the community that she was raised in. We see her meet a nice Aussie boy, Chris, and the struggles that she has about the things she feels when she is around him versus what she thinks she should be doing as a good daughter and sister. That is the main crux of the novel but is far from all that happens; there is abuse, a suicide attempt, realistic depiction of characters with disabilities (I wont say who one of these characters are but you are able to guess pretty early on in the book) and it is all topped off with general cattiness...

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Natalie is living two lives. One, with her traditional Christian Orthodox community, and one with the boy she loves. You'll follow Natalie's life as she goes through emotional upheaval and tries to figure out which person she really is. 

I wasn't really sure what to expect with this book since I don't know a lot about Christian Orthodoxy, but it was an interesting glimpse into their lifestyles. I will admit, however, that the level of upheaval and her reconciliation both seemed really unrealistic.
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