The Rule of Won [NOOK Book]


The secret of The Rule of Won is simple, yet its power has been suppressed for generations. The universe is one of infinite abundance-ask, and you shall receive.

Umm, yeah right.

Meet Caleb Dunne, slacker extraordinaire. When his over-achieving girlfriend, Vicky, convinces him to join a new school club based on a controversial book, The Rule of Won, he thinks it'll all ...
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The Rule of Won

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The secret of The Rule of Won is simple, yet its power has been suppressed for generations. The universe is one of infinite abundance-ask, and you shall receive.

Umm, yeah right.

Meet Caleb Dunne, slacker extraordinaire. When his over-achieving girlfriend, Vicky, convinces him to join a new school club based on a controversial book, The Rule of Won, he thinks it'll all just be a joke. But as The Rule gains popularity and the club members start to get out of control, Caleb realizes that stopping a cult isn't as easy as simply hoping it will go away. Darkly funny and exceptionally thought-provoking, Stefan Petrucha's new novel, inspired by the ideas behind the runaway hit The Secret, shines a light on the dangers of group thinking and the inner desires that can sometimes get the best of us all.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
Most of us have felt the sting of being excluded by some cliques during our school careers, so we will recognize—and possibly empathize with—the nerds who write for the school paper, the popular jocks, the disaffected Goths, and the loners. Our protagonist, Caleb Dunne, prides himself on not wanting anything. He calls himself a professional slacker. Most academics come to him fairly easily, so he invests little effort in his school work. He is dating Vicky, the popular and pretty candidate for student body president. However, she is growing disenchanted with his lack of ambition and has made his attendance at a new club, based on the book The Rule of Won, a condition of continuing their relationship. The charismatic leader of the group, Ethan Skinson, is an unsavory character. He is trying to steal Caleb's girlfriend and is not above cheating to convince his growing group of followers that he holds the key to their happiness and fulfillment. As rumors about actualized wishes spread through the school, the postings on the club website grow more unbalanced and exclusionary. Participation is encouraged through physical intimidation, and people start getting hurt—seriously. An unpopular teacher is in a car wreck that may not have been accidental, a depressed girl attempts suicide, and the newspaper editor is beaten up by masked attackers. Caleb realizes that it's no longer an option to do nothing. Characters in this book are only partially developed; it feels like we have dropped in for a visit and do not really getting to know anyone. Likewise, there are a number of provocative ideas, like following false idols, which could have been explored more satisfyingly.Nevertheless, this is an accessible and engaging read for teens who deal daily with the pressures of conformity and belonging. This would serve as a good discussion starter about values and critical thinking. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
VOYA - Kathleen Beck
Self-proclaimed slacker Caleb Dunne feels stuck in the economic and social doldrums of Screech Neck. So when his overachieving girlfriend Vicki suggests that he join the new group based on a book called The Rule of Won, Caleb is skeptical but intrigued. As charismatic leader Ethan explains, "If you can completely imagine you've already achieved some goal . . . , you will win it." Thinking it a joke, Caleb wonders whether this theory means that everyone should then have everything that they want. But the idea spreads like wildfire through Screech Neck High, and soon Caleb realizes that things are rapidly spinning out of control. Petrucha sets out to examine the power of a cult and a persuasive leader. With echoes of the "prosperity gospel" and Rhonda Byrne's bestseller The Secret (Beyond Words/S & S, 2006), the topic is timely. It feels, however, as though this title was rushed into print before the author could decide whether he was writing a satire or a straightforward story. Everything is exaggerated: the bleakness of Screech Neck, the principal's vendetta against Caleb, Ethan's resort to violence. A key plot device, the repeated collapse of the new gym, is unconvincing. A side plot involving Ethan's sister, whose drawings might possibly have power of their own, is a distraction. Caleb has a distinctive if snarky voice, although he is given to awkward similes such as, "Silence hung in the air like a smelly old sock on a doorknob." This worthy although flawed effort will be useful for discussion, but better editing could have produced a real winner. Reviewer: Kathleen Beck
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

Faced with the possibility of losing his overachieving girlfriend, self-avowed slacker Caleb reluctantly joins a new school club centered around a highly touted self-help book (based on Rhonda Byrne's bestseller The Secret ). Led by charismatic Ethan, members attempt to practice The Rule of Won: "if you can completely imagine you've already achieved some goal in your life, you will win it." At first, their positive thinking seems to bring about positive change: they wish for funding for Screech Neck High and the school receives a large grant. However, as the group becomes more popular and powerful, its members begin to bully those who don't share their beliefs, and their "Craves" (wishes or goals) become morally suspect. Caleb is increasingly troubled by the assertions that people bring evil on themselves by their own negative thoughts, and that positive thoughts alone are enough to achieve aspirations. When he discovers that Ethan has been helping the Craves with criminal acts, he realizes that he will have to take a stand. Caleb is a likable character, and his slightly self-deprecating first-person narrative is filled with humor and insight. Readers will be rooting for him in his final confrontation with Ethan. The book is fast paced and gripping enough to draw in reluctant readers; sections depicting "Craves" posted to a discussion board are both comical and frightening. Raising questions about issues such as personal responsibility, freedom of speech and the press, and standing up for unpopular beliefs, this novel would be a terrific choice for book-group and class discussions.-Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802723864
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 4/10/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Age range: 12 years
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

STEFAN PETRUCHA is the author of many novels for teens, including Teen, Inc.; The Rule of Won; Split; the TimeTripper series, the Nancy Drew graphic novels, and the Wicked Dead series. He lives in Massachusetts.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 28, 2009

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    A slacker stands up for what's right

    Review by Jill Williamson

    Caleb Dune is a major slacker. He lives to laze around. His overachieving girlfriend, Vicky, is not only running for class president, she has read a book called The Rule of Won that showed her a new way to live successfully. And she is bent on getting Caleb to read it too.

    Caleb gives in to make her happy. He's not sure he buys the whole thing, but, being a slacker, it's easier to join the club and make Vicki happy, than to take a stand against it and face her anger. So Caleb joins up. He wears the button proclaiming him a member and chants along with the other club members as they try to get what they want by wishing for it.

    When things start to work out, Caleb gets excited. This is the ultimate slacker way of life. If he can simply wish for things and have them happen, he'll never have to do anything in life. But things start to get out of control. People get hurt, and Caleb discovers some things about the club that upset him. Can he simply turn his back on The Rule or will he have to take a stand for what is right, even if it means doing something hard?

    I really enjoyed this book. It was funny and true of human nature to not only follow the crowd, but to look for easy answers in life. Caleb got sucked into the cult by simply wanting to make his girlfriend happy. It was creepy-and sometimes hysterical-to read the things the members of the cult posted on the message board. I didn't like all the swearing in the book, and because of it, couldn't recommend it on my blog, which was a shame. Swearing in books for teens doesn't make them more relatable, it just turns them off to certain people and limits the book's audience. Regardless, the message of this book is a good one of you don't mind the swearing.

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  • Posted February 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Story!

    The Rule of Won was a very interesting story about a cult that is obsessed with The Rule of Won. The Rule of Won is a book that was written by Jasper Trelawney and basically is about how if you just wish for something hard enough, you will get it and how anything that happens to you is what you secretly wished for.
    Caleb Dunne is a slacker with horrible bad luck. Ever since the old gym of the school collapsed and he was the only person there at the time, he has been on the brink of expulsion and on the outs with his politically ambitious girlfriend, Vicky. When Vicky asks him to join the after school club for The Rule he figures that it will be a way to win her back. Once he gets into the club, though, bad things start to happen.
    Caleb realizes that maybe the leader of The Rule, Ethan might be behind a lot of the accidents that are causing The Rule's dreams to come true but as he begins to investigate he realizes that it is impossible to stop them. The whole school has become obsessed, including the principal.
    Caleb finally decides that he has to take matters into his own hands and faces off with Ethan to end the reign of the cult but not everything goes as expected.
    I really enjoyed reading this book even though it wasn't one that I would normally pick up off the shelf. The story is kind of left hanging at the end though. It's almost like the author could write a sequel and I think that would make another great story.

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  • Posted December 3, 2008

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    Reviewed by Angie Fisher for

    Merriam Webster defines cult as, "Great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially: such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad." The only thing it's missing is: "See Rule of Won." <BR/><BR/>Meet Caleb Dunne, self-proclaimed slacker. Caleb never wanted to be an integral part of anything. It required entirely too much energy. So when he found himself pulled into the center of the fastest growing club to ever to grace the halls of Screech Neck High, he was a bit uncomfortable to say the least. Slackers don't join clubs...unless of course it's to try and impress a girl. <BR/><BR/>When Caleb is confronted with some hard truths about his newfound beliefs, he is forced to step back and take a long, hard look at what the group is really about. Old habits die hard, and he finds himself struggling between which is the easier road; stay and be a part of the group, because there is definitely power in numbers, or follow his gut, and go against the crowd. <BR/><BR/>In THE RULE OF WON, Stefan Petrucha flawlessly weaves the story of the risks of a seemingly harmless fad turning into an obsession, and the danger of those individuals who are willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want. As humans we all desire at some point to be a part of a cause that is seemingly bigger and more important than ourselves. What we must be careful of are the motivations behind those intentions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2008

    Worth Reading

    Very good read. thought-provoking, and witty. You won't be able to put it down. Like 'The Secret' meets 'The Wave'.

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