Mallory Jones is tired of being the girl who stays home and practices French horn while her identical twin, Blake, is crowned homecoming queen. So when she has the opportunity to pretend to be Blake, she takes it. At Camp Pine Ridge, she will spread her wings and emerge a butterfly. Or at least someone who finally gets kissed by a cute guy. That is, until bad boy Ben Iron Cloud shows up, ready to get revenge on Blake
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Ugh. It figures.
She had missed the bus. Again. She'd been reading The Unrequited Duchess in the back of the library, not that Mallory would admit to it. Her official story was — Actually, she didn't need one. No one was going to ask.
As she zipped up her bag, Jill, her orchestra stand partner, ran up in a hurry. "Mallory, will you cover for me?" Jill sported smeared lipstick, mussed-up hair, and a partially undone blouse. "I'm, uh ..."
"Yeah, I get it." It was obvious what Jill was planning on doing.
"Yeah, anyway, if my dad calls, tell him I'm at your place, 'kay?"
"Sure thing." Mallory regularly covered for Jill, who was only a few weeks into a hot-and-heavy relationship with the timpani player. Mallory sighed. She'd had her eye on the timpani player for ages. From the French horn section, she had the perfect view of him during rehearsal. The way he bit his lip when he focused on hard passages was so cute. C'est le vie. Someday it'd be her turn to make out in the stacks and pretend to stay out late with Jill.
At this point, it seemed like she had a sign on her back that read: "Do not touch. Future nun."
Fighting away the "always a nun, never the bride" feeling she'd been having too often, she packed the legal limit for library checkout into her backpack and headed home. It was only four miles. Good exercise, she reasoned pragmatically. Except halfway there, it started raining. She pulled her hood up and double-timed it for fear the water would soak through and wreck her books.
Just when it started coming down harder, a car pulled up alongside her. She looked up through rain-splattered glasses hoping to see someone willing to give her a ride — anyone not driving a panel van who looked vaguely familiar would do. At this point, she had to admit that walking home in the rain with a twenty-five-pound French horn and thirty pounds of romance novels strapped to her back had not been a good idea. Clearly, she should have left on time, not checked out so many books, and played the flute. Basically, she should be someone else.
A car filled with faces from the track team looked back at her, faces she recognized from her sister's friend list and every other page of her high school yearbook. "Yo, Jones-y! You need a ride, beyotch?" they called out.
The moment the driver realized she wasn't her twin sister, his face went slack and he quit yelling out the window. Mallory tried not to let it get to her. She wanted a car full of boys to yell beyotch in her direction — in the way friends do, obviously. She wanted to belong.
Instead, he took all the fun out of his voice and said, "Oh. Mallory, I thought you were your sister." Then he sped off, hosing her from head to toe with muddy water.
"Stop! Can you —" she yelled, but they couldn't hear her.
To be Blake for a day. Sometimes Mallory didn't want to be the frumpy Jones twin no one noticed, the one boys treated like their English teacher. Blake got all the rides, all the awards, all the boys. It was amazing how you could look exactly like someone and yet lead a completely different life. It couldn't just be the glasses. If Mallory took out her ponytail and put in some contacts, nothing would change. Absolutely nothing.
The confidence and sparkle that made Blake shine like a shooting star and made boys drool bypassed Mallory completely. You'd think she would enjoy a fraction of Blake's popularity — she had the same honey-gold hair and emerald eyes, features that inspired poetry from actual boys when displayed on Blake. Mallory, though, was the kind of girl who the best middle-distance runners at school would happily leave on the side of the road in the pouring rain with nothing but a backpack full of book boyfriends.
Clearly chivalry was dead.
Mallory would have broken into a run when her house came into view, but her legs were too stiff from the cold. With its wide welcoming front porch and grand white columns, her home was basically Sofia, North Carolina's version of Tara, except her ancestors planted tobacco instead of cotton. It was essentially a monument to slavery and lung cancer with original woodwork and two swimming pools.
Once safely out of the rain, she ran up the grand Scarlett O'Hara-style staircase to her own private sanctuary. Stepping inside her room was like climbing into one of those musical boxes with a tiny spinning ballerina — magical and completely safe. She'd painted her walls a perfectly tragic shade of cream, the same shade as Tess of the D'Urberville's milky complexion or, more-to-the-point, a wedding dress. All weddings were tragic because it meant the book was over. Mallory hated "The End."
She stripped off her wet clothes, wrapped herself in a fuzzy robe, and then went straight to the kitchen pantry. "Do you want soup, Blake?" Mallory called out to her sister, who was on the couch, staring at the living room ceiling.
In response, Blake moaned like a zombie and pulled a blanket over her face.
"Are you okay?"
"My life is over, Mallory."
Just like it was yesterday and the day before that. It would be easy to hate Blake for all the selfish drama, but she couldn't help it. Blake was born to live her life in front of an audience. Maybe theater would have helped. Track wasn't the right outlet. You can't outrun drama.
Mallory punched in one minute on the microwave. "I'll make you some just in case."
"Thanks. Maybe I am a little bit hungry. As long as it's not the gross kind Dad likes."
"Are you serious? I would never make that." Mallory shivered at the thought. Their dad liked a fancy European soup brand, supposedly imported from France. The actual soup tasted like wet cat food. She and Blake called it Fancy Feast. Every now and then they heated up some Fancy Feast in a crystal bowl for him and then laughed like hyenas because he had no clue he was reenacting an actual cat food commercial. With his mane of white hair and bright blue eyes he even looked like the Fancy Feast cat.
When they heard the side door slam, Blake finally came to life. She sprinted up the stairs like someone had just shot the gun at the beginning of the two-hundred-yard dash, one of Blake's top events. She rounded the corner right as their dad stomped into the living room.
He glanced around the kitchen and bellowed, "Blake Alexandra Jones, get your butt down here this instant!"
Mallory stopped turning the crank on the can opener. It no longer seemed like the right time for soup.
A moment later, Blake slinked down the stairs with the look of a frightened animal. Their father held up a card between two fingers. When Mallory squinted, she could see it was a driver's license. "I have no words for this. No words."
Mallory held her hands over her ears. She was about to remind him they weren't deaf, but he looked like the vein in his forehead might bust open. Probably not the best time to complain.
Even Blake remained silent. She stood mutely, looking embarrassed and contrite, something Mallory hadn't seen since ... well, ever.
Their dad held up a fist and extended fingers one by one as he listed grievances, getting louder and louder with each one. "Using my credit card for criminal purposes, using a fake ID, attempted arson, blaming an innocent party. And ... behavior I would expect from a drunken frat boy." He shook his head in disgust. "You could go to jail for this."
Blake cowered. "Jail? I'm sixteen, Dad!"
"North Carolina considers everyone over sixteen an adult. They'll lock you up and throw away the key," he blustered.
Mallory had to admit, that sounded really harsh. There's no way Blake would end up in prison, though. She'd get community service or something.
"Oh, Daddy. I can't go to jail. I just can't! Not for a silly prank."
"If that's what you call a silly prank, young lady ... I feel like I don't know you anymore." He shook his head. "I've given you girls everything. You have the best school. The most beautiful home. The prettiest clothes. The newest phones. Why would you throw that all back in my face? What is your problem?"
Mallory opted not to point out that throwing money and things at your kids wasn't a substitute for parenting. That had been his go-to strategy since she could remember.
Blake looked at her feet.
"I don't understand. Why would you do this?"
"It's not about you, Daddy."
"It damn well is! Your behavior reflects on me. You are a Jones! That means something in this town." He took some deep breaths and paced the room, presumably thinking over her punishment. It was like the end of a reality TV show when the host waits forever to announce who's leaving the show that week.
Blake was actually crying. Mallory was willing to bet they were fake tears, though.
"You're lucky Davis is the assistant DA in this case. He owes me big time. We had a little heart-to-heart, and I talked him down from charging you. As a favor to me, he agreed to ignore your little stunt, on one condition — you spend six weeks at summer camp." With a piercing stare that made Blake melt into a pile of tears, he announced, "You're going to Camp Pine Ridge. Pack your bags."
Blake sank to her knees like she'd been shot. She held up her hands and raised her face to the heavens. "Suuuummer caaaamp!" she wailed. "Oh my God. That's worse than jail. At least jail has TV. And just think of all the mosquitoes at camp. I'll get the Zika virus, Daddy!"
He leveled an angry stare at her. "As long as you're not pregnant, that shouldn't be problem. And don't try anything at camp. I spoke to the camp director. If he isn't satisfied with you, Davis will charge you with everything he can."
Summer camp — boo hoo! Mallory could have laughed. That was the most ridiculous sham nonpunishment she'd ever heard. The fact that her sister actually considered it worth crying about, that was funny. Sure enough, when she Googled Camp Pine Ridge on her phone, the website was vintage Americana, all pictures of smiling, happy kids posing with fishing poles in front of the kind of lake other families visited for fun all the time.
While her sister and dad continued with their best Shakespeare-in-the- Living Room theater act, Mallory texted Jill for the details about whatever crime spree Blake had gone on. Mallory was the only one in the family without the drama gene. Blake and her dad, and she assumed her mother (reputed to have run off to Vegas), never stopped acting.
Jill answered: Idk. Something about a fire alarm. Must have been while we were at the library.
Of all the days to use their free period to go to the public library.
Another text from Jill came in: Getting juicy! Just heard Iron Cloud was arrested.Don't know full story. Been busy.
Mallory snorted. Busy making out.
Ben Iron Cloud.
With his coal black hair, heartthrob eyes, and lanky frame, Ben was easily the cutest guy at school. God knew why Blake wanted to mess with him, but she'd been doing exactly that all year long. He was probably the only gorgeous guy Blake hadn't dated. Maybe that was the problem?
With act one of their play winding down, her dad decided to escalate the drama with some forced family togetherness. Sounding as angry as before, he stood at the bottom of the stairs and bellowed, "Dinnertime."
After what might have been the most awkward family dinner ever — saved only by the homemade mac-n-cheese, courtesy of their housekeeper — Blake followed Mallory upstairs. While Mallory booted up her computer to work on her English essay, her sister said, "You know I can't do summer camp. I just don't have it in me. I'm not like you."
She wanted to tell Blake to suck it up. Except for the looming threat of jail, which would almost certainly be downgraded to probation or community service, summer camp actually sounded really fun. It would be filled with the kind of childhood pastimes that they had missed out on — campfires and, well, whatever normal people did outside for fun. As always, Mallory held her tongue. If she kept quiet, Blake would give up and start texting someone else her woes.
Just as suddenly as it had disappeared, the defiant twinkle returned to Blake's eyes. Oh no. She crawled across the pink shag rug on her knees and clasped her hands together like a little girl begging, "Can I have a pony, pretty please?" Instead Blake pleaded, "Mallory, my favoritest sister in the whole wide world, will you go to Camp Pine Ridge as me? No one will ever notice. Pretty please."
Mallory conjured a vision of herself on the roadside covered in puddle water, a car of cute boys hightailing it away from her. Sure, there was some risk of her sister going to jail, but Camp Pine Ridge might be her one and only chance to try out life as the popular Jones twin.
Welcome to Camp Pine Ridge
In no hurry to get out of the vehicle, Ben surveyed the scene from the cab of his family pickup. Camp Pine Ridge looked nice enough — a small lake surrounded by cabins and wooded hills. It smelled like clean mountain air. People of every size, shape, and age wandered around taking pictures. Even though they only needed to walk from the parking lot to the cabins, which were within sight, a good chunk of them were dressed for a full-on safari in wide-brimmed hats and khaki shorts. His little sister, Chelsea, was standing on the edge of the crowd, eager to join in whatever was happening. His mom was sending the wrong kid to camp.
He turned to his older brother, Jack. "This doesn't look anything like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit shoot." Eight-year-old Chelsea would be right at home at Camp Pine Ridge.
"Just you wait. I used to hear stories about this place when I was in high school. I would have given anything to spend six weeks up here with Taylor Lester." With a wistful look, Jack said, "Keep your eye out for the South Paw Cave."
"Whatever, Jack. You're so full of crap." Ben never thought of camp as a giant sexual awakening, not that he'd complain if it were. In his mind, it was a lot of chubby white kids with nothing better to do than go canoeing and sing stupid songs around a campfire. But given that his brother had just taken a job jackhammering concrete on County Road 55 until his brain turned to mush, Ben decided to keep his trap shut.
His mom, who'd been talking to the director about something or other (probably belated scholarship opportunities), opened the driver's side door. "You ready?"
Jack jumped out like the gas tank was about to explode. After an hour of strained silence on the car ride to camp, it had become obvious that "a talk" was coming. Ben had only been speaking in caveman grunts and moody glares to his mother for at least a week. Going to camp was not his idea.
"I think you'll end up really loving camp. Just look at it." His mom gestured to the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. "It's gorgeous."
A bird tweeted in agreement.
Ben looked up without lifting his head and wordlessly explained the vast depths of his discontent with a completely blank expression. Although he had to admit, he was getting tired of being moody. It was just the injustice of the situation that kept him holding on to his scowl, the fact that his mom took Blake Jones's word over his. Of all people.
She ignored his nonresponse. "You're going to love it. Six weeks in the mountains. You'll have so much time to think and reflect. It'll be lovely."
Time to reflect — his mom really had her finger on the pulse of his generation. He leveled her with another blank expression. "Mom, I know you think you're doing the right thing, but I don't need this. I didn't do anything wrong. Plus, this place costs way too much money!"
She sucked in air like she was about to blow, glared down at him, and then started in. "Benjamin Iron Cloud. Do you know how nice I'm being?"
That was a matter of perspective.
"With what you did, you should be grounded for the rest of the summer."
There was no point reminding her that Blake Jones had admitted to the prank in the end. His mom couldn't get over the shock of getting a call from the police, even if they hadn't charged him.
"A whole year of trouble and misbehavior at school. Then you topped it all off with a fist fight ..." She shook her head as she trailed off, something she'd been doing a lot lately.
Excerpted from "Breaking the Rules of Revenge"
Copyright © 2017 Samantha Bohrman.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
mallory thinks that trading places with her identical twin sister blake will be a good thing for her. she'll spend a couple of weeks in the woods, her sister will pass her math class for her, and she can try her hand at being more like her confident, good-with-the-boys sister. if only ben iron cloud, the boy blake has been feuding with over a series of escalating pranks hadn't also been sent to camp. and even though mallory knows that he has every right to be mad at blake. he doesn't actually have any reason to be mad at her. so when he decides to get revenge on blake, mallory ends up in his crosshairs. what ben can't figure out is why he's suddenly seeing blake in a new light. she doesn't seem as selfish. and she keeps apologizing. and when he realizes that he's breaking the rules of revenge that he set for himself, he has to admit that his heart isn't into it. there's more to blake than he thought. (mainly because who he thinks is blake is actually mallory.) this secret identity causes way more problems than mallory could have ever imagined. because she really likes ben. and she knows he's going to be so angry at her when he learns the truth. and there's also a part of her that is afraid that ben likes the parts of her that are pretending to be blake and won't like the real mallory. when everything blows up it ends up blowing over pretty quickly. blake for all her awfulness does actually care for mallory, and she ends up helping in a surprising way. when you think of summer camp and identical twins and pranks you can't help but think of the parent trap, but this is definitely not a retelling of that particular story, it is just as enjoyable though. the pranks that ben ends up pulling off on mallory are pretty epic. orange hair and green teeth are definitely something. **breaking the rules of revenge will publish on september 18, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (crush) in exchange for my honest review.
Breaking the Rules of Revenge is your typical Parent Trap story. Twin sisters Mallory and Blake trade places when Blake is sentenced to summer camp rather than prison for her most recent prank. All Blake has to do is pass math for Mallory and Mallory will spend her summer doing arts and crafts and going on long hikes. It seems like the perfect plan until Blake’s arch nemesis turns up at camp as well. The story is told in alternating POV’s, Mallory and Ben. Let’s start with what works: Summer Camp as a setting. This book is a part of the Endless Summer standalone series by Entangled, so frequent visitors to the Crush shelves will notice the camp and a couple characters seem pretty familiar. I am obsessed with using camp as a setting in YA. Partly because I never went to summer camp as a teen (I did, however, attend girl scout camp when I was in elementary school) and partly because it’s so much more fun than being in high school. With a few exceptions, these are summer friends! The stakes are entirely different. Love it. Also, the dynamic between Mallory and Ben. Despite their prank filled rocky beginning, there’s a connection between our two main characters that builds to a climax and then builds again. While lacking on character development in a lot of ways, these two do have a lot of chemistry built into the novel and I can appreciate that. What didn’t work: Mallory and Blake’s relationship. Blake is a terrible sister. She walks all over Mallory and doesn’t care, even when she realizes she’s doing it in the end. I wanted a fight! A huge blowout! One that ended in a mutual understanding but not a tearful hug and a promise to be better. I have a sister and I know any promise of the sort would be a blatant lie. But sisters fight even if Mallory seems pretty level headed (with a few exceptions). A major screaming match between the twins would have given this novel a level it is currently missing. And, as I mentioned before, this book is seriously lacking in the character development department. Mallory feels one dimensional to me despite a ton of opportunities for improvement. She’s pretending to be her outgoing sister for the summer! That has to make a girl realize a thing or two about herself. And yeah, in a small way she does, but just like the sister fight this was a missed opportunity that would have made the novel even better than it already is. Like all Entangled Crush books, this is a fun, quick read. If you’re as sad as I am about summer ending and you’re not quite ready to embrace the pumpkin spice lattes quite yet, immerse yourself in summer camp for a few hundred pages. You won’t regret it.
Romance is my absolute favorite... there’s just something addicting with books that make my heart skip a beat and leave me feeling happy. Breaking the Rules of Revenge by Samantha Bohrman definitely did that and more. It’s a fun sweet story about first love, but it also delivers a great message about self-discovery, honesty and forgiveness. The writing in this book is fantastic and easy to read. The plot, while a bit predictable at times, is fast-paced, engaging, and so much fun! As a teen, I’ve always wanted to go to summer camp ever since I watched Bug Juice on the Disney Channel. Gosh.. I don’t even know if anyone still remembers that show, but this book brought me back to those days… And it’s absolutely the best feeling ever! I loved every moment and I honestly could not stop reading. (Bug Juice is a reality show about teens in summer camp and I just read that it's actually being revived in 2018 just in case you wanted to know). I thought Bohrman did a such great job creating genuine and relatable characters. They acted their age -- teenagers just trying to figure out who they are and learn from their mistakes. Mallory is shy and a bit insecure. She’s always overshadowed by her popular twin sister, Blake, and I just felt for her. Ben comes off as the “bad guy,” but you learn that he’s actually quite charming, sweet, and kind. George is just delightful! I loved his quirky personality. And Blake…she’s everything Mallory wants to be -- beautiful, confident, and popular. But underneath all that, Blake is still just a teenager with her own insecurities. At one point of another, I’ve been a Mallory, envied a Blake, had a friend like George, and crushed on someone like Ben. They’re just so real and I absolutely adored them. I also really enjoyed the dual POVs between Mallory and Ben. It was interesting to read how they saw each other and how they dealt with their growing attraction. I honestly just wanted to squeeze the both them… Mallory and Ben are just so cute together. Their chemistry had me smiling the entire time and I loved watching their relationship develop into something more. From pranking each other to calling truce and being friends and to almost kissing and actually kissing, I swooned over and over. This is why I’m forever a romance junkie… I love feeling giddy, and happy, and getting those butterflies in my stomach. This book is charming in so many ways and I just love it to pieces! If you’re looking for something quick, light and sweet, then I definitely recommend you pick this up. I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. To read more of my reviews visit sincerelykarenjo [dot] wordpress [dot] com
Very fun read that I thoroughly enjoyed! The story was very well done and had me laughing and smiling all the way through. A set of twins, one a good girl and one a bit wilder. When Blake finds herself in trouble, again, and doomed to summer camp she convinces her twin Mallory to go in her place. Ben Iron Cloud can't believe his bad luck. His nemesis Blake Jones is at the same camp as he is. She's the one that got him in trouble to start with and now he has to deal with her for 6 weeks of his summer. He's confused though, she's nothing like the girl he knew at home. This Blake is nice, kind, and generally perfect.Which one is the real Blake??? A fantastic YA read that I think you will enjoy. I highly recommend it.
"Breaking the Rules of Revenge" is a YA contemporary that seems to be "The Parent Trap" meets "Dirty Dancing" meets "Mean Girls." Mallory is tired of being the invisible and boring twin in the shadow of the outgoing and glamorous Blake. However, when Blake landed herself in a lot of trouble with her latest "prank" and is sentenced to go to summer camp (a normal camp/not one for delinquents or anything but you'd think it was the end of Blake's world), Mallory seizes the opportunity to step outside her comfort zone and pretend to be Blake. Attending camp as Blake shouldn't be too hard- or so Mallory thinks. She runs into Ben, the boy Blake had been pranking all year, at the camp- and Ben is set on revenge. Unfortunately, he doesn't realize that the Blake at summer camp isn't the same Blake that made his year so miserable (and got him arrested). As he pranks Blake, he starts to realize she (Mallory) isn't the same girl he thought he knew from school, and a reluctant friendship develops- maybe even into something more. It's a really quick read and has some genuinely funny moments (many clever pranks contained within). The side characters were also fantastic- especially George, whose parents are psychotherapists, and Kipper, the camp counselor obsessed with chipmunks. There are a lot of gender stereotypes throughout the book that I would have liked to leave out, but aside from those, it was a fun, sweet, and delightful story of young love at summer camp. It's a quick read (and good thing too because it's tough to put down)! Overall, I highly recommend it to lovers of contemporary YA romance with a touch of comedy! Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
*Thanks so much to Entangled Teen for sending me over an e-ARC of this! I really appreciate it, and it did not change my opinion in any way!* I have a thing for camp books. Like, I really like camp books (i. e. why I have a thing for them - wow, I'm being Princess Obvious). Therefore, the moment I saw some trees on the cover, I WAS LIKE, THAT'S A CAMP BOOK AND I WANT TO READ IT. While the book started off strong, it fell apart for me and my camp love couldn't quite save it. There were quite a few good things that I did enjoy about the novel. As I said, I was fully invested for about 40% of the novel and it was riding at easily a 4 crown rating. Bohrman has a very easy writing style, and it really does feel like the perfect, easy read to pick up when summer is winding down with fall up on deck. The atmosphere was wonderful, and the setting of camp was a lot of fun. Our main characters were fun as well. Gosh, I could relate to Mallory. She has a perchance for regency romance, and dear gosh, I wanted the book that she was reading so badly. I literally kept going, um, I need an update on the duke and Lydia. They were some of my favorite parts of the novel. I've never been so invested in such a ridiculously small subplot before and I think the author deserves a major round of applause for making me care so much about that. Other than that, I could relate with Mallory in other ways, and I thought she was quite real and realistic. One of the issues I had was that it seems to get a bit too repetitive. After reading about the pranks and whole keeping a secret thing, I felt like something had to give. Yes, the twist was put in, but it took a little too long to get there and then I grew restless and bored. And then when it did come, I knew it was going to happen and I didn't really care as much because I was so done with waiting for it. I just bored and felt so eh. And then the characters. While I had an investment in them in the beginning, I thought their growth got a bit stunted. Some of it didn't feel as natural as it should have been, and I really kind of just stopped rooting them on. There was the whole reveal tension, of course, and that was amazing, but then the aftermath didn't feel as satisfactory for me. The ending just felt so meh to me and I kind of just...I felt nothing at the end, and you're usually supposed to have a super happy feeling at the end of a contemporary novel. I'm not sure if I even explained my thoughts on this properly, but it did feel like this book had an odd switch. The beginning half of the story was very strong, and I thought it was fun and a perfect end of summer read. However, lack of growth in the story and characters brought the ending half down for me, and I failed to get into the ending half due to that. 2 crowns and a Cinderella rating!