Rules for Hearts

Battle Hall Davies is sure of some things: She's going to Reed this fall; she loves girls; and her older brother, Nick, outshines her. He ran away four and a half years ago; now he's tracked her down, and she's spending the summer at Forest House, where he lives in Portland. It is a summer of surprises. Battle is swept into Forest House's community Shakespeare production, their all-night card games, and the arms of her new housemate, Meryl. As the weeks pass, Battle realizes that Nick isn't who she thought he was - and she isn't who she thought she was, either.

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By Mike · ★★☆☆☆ · March 26, 2014
I can't say I'm surprised that I didn't like this. It was an unnecessary sequel to Empress of the World, a book that I was a little shaky about already. I had enjoyed it enough to give it a four-star rating, don't get me wrong, but as an LGBT novel published in 2001, it broke a lot of ground just... ...more
By Lauren (Atlanta, GA) · ★★★☆☆ · January 07, 2010
I read this book without having read its predecessor, Empress of the World. I'll have to go back and read that when I get a chance. The Rules for Hearts was a quick read, but the plot and characters haven't really stayed with me. I'm generally a fan of "quiet novels," but this one just didn't hav... ...more
By Alicia · ★☆☆☆☆ · January 01, 2011
It tried to hard to be quirky, offbeat like the way Francesca Lia Block does it effortlessly. I think I was looking for more, I had high expectations because the cover was pretty, the subtitle was "a family drama", but there just wasn't much substance. A group of misfits living in a "forest" acti... ...more
By Kate · ★★★☆☆ · September 09, 2011
I enjoyed "The Rules for Hearts" quite a bit; right up until the end. The story lacks a real resolution, and I always find that frustrating.

I have to admit that Battle isn't my favorite character; I can't really empathize with the way that she almost never stands up for herself. The passive aggr... ...more
By Amanda (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · November 12, 2011
The publisher summary for this book is a little misleading. It's not ABOUT the main character being a lesbian. In fact, people's sexual orientations are almost entirely irrelevant in this book. It's perfectly matter-of-fact that Battle likes girls and her brother Nick is bi. The real story here i... ...more
By Christina (Boulder, CO) · ★★★☆☆ · December 16, 2013
One thing I like about Ryan in both this the previous book is that Ryan hands sexuality as a very un-crazy thing. It's nice to have it be a factor within a YA book but not the defining factor. However, in Rules for Hearts, I actually thought there were some aspects of sexuality tha... ...more