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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
Posted April 28, 2009
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.
Posted February 21, 2009
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.
Posted December 3, 2008
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 21, 2008