Unspoken Rules

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Member Reviews

I received an eARC of this book on NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.
I have mixed feelings for this book. The overall concept is fabulous, and I even love most of the characters, but somehow it still fell short for me. Perhaps something in the plot building, or perhaps the style of writing? Either way, this was an okay read. If you need to kill a few hours and aren’t looking for a book you’d get invested it, this is a solid easy read.
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Unfortunately this book wasn't for me and I did not finish it. Thank you for the opportunity :)
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Thank you for the chance to review this book, however, unfortunately, I was unable to read and review this title before it was archived.
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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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I read this entirely in one day... it was very interesting for me personally because I work with some people who are right in the exact community that this book is about... I work with girls who believe that their purpose is to settle down and have babies and look after the house, and the husband will earn all the money and give them an allowance, and maybe they'll work part-time to get out of the house a little but only if they're not needed at home... and I don't really understand them and still don't after reading this, haha! It annoyed me how restrictive it all is, how Natalie doesn't even think she can have a future with Chris because he's just a regular...

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A great coming of age story! Out of my comfort zone in genre but I still enjoyed this more than I thought I would!
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Thank you NetGalley for providing me with this ARC of Unspoken Rules in exchange for this honest review.

I really didn't like Natalie. I felt she underestimated, and too quickly judged, those who were actually the most valuable and honest people in her world: Chris and Kate.

While I understood her hesitation in the relationship she began forging with Chris, I felt he invested more. Natalie, for all her beliefs and focus on values, was the one person who acted with the LEAST amount of integrity in the simplest of situations.

Yes, fear is a powerful thing--particularly of much of it stems from disappointing your community--but Natalie forever seemed to operate on the wrong side of...

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A goos read, but felt the ending was rushed. Was quite disappointed.
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This is one of the books that carry cultural differences and the plot is taking to experience the juggle between strict parents trying to represent what their culture stands for and 'normal life' outside the family house. I enjoyed this book because it built the atmosphere so well, all the characters were playing according to their element and, you know, together it presents -these cultural differences what Western world know.

Unspoken rules slowly and slowly added more and more drama to the plot, I imagined to explode it all at once, but it did not, which was great. A little predictable but not for everything!

Natalie is a regular teenager with Syrian background, but she and...

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Posting on my blog on 8/18/17
Natalie is a seventeen-year-old Syrian Australian living in the suburbs of Melbourne with her parents and older sister. They go to the Christian Orthodox church which is strict, and the expectations of her parents who are still used to the customs of Syria, Natalie is very limited in what she can do. While her best friend understands it, she also gets annoyed with it at times, when Natalie can't even have a sleepover, or judges her for things that she doesn't think are bad.
Then we have Natalie's older sister, who follows all the customs and just wants to get married already before she is an 'old maid' (she's in her early...

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I really enjoyed reading this book! I read this book in one sitting because I could not put the book down, I highly recommend reading this book!
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This will be one of the most talked about books of the fall of 2017!
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*Thanks to NetGalley and Rhiza Press for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.* 'Unspoken Rules' tells the story of young Natalie and her Syrian Christian Orthodox family as they live out their lives in suburban Melbourne. The novel reads very much like a 'Looking for Alibrandi' for the 21st century. Natalie battles the same issues that Josie Alibrandi did - not being allowed to go to parties, feeling completely different to her classmates and having a heavy weight of cultural expectations on her shoulders. Natalie is a likeable protagonist and teen readers will connect with her everyday struggles to get her homework done, maintain relationships with...

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