Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern // Touching and Satisfying

Monday, 28 March 2016
Rules for 50/50 Chances, by Kate McGovern
Publication: November 24, 2015, by Farrar, Straus and Giroux BFYR
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

A heartrending but ultimately uplifting debut novel about learning to accept life's uncertainties; a perfect fit for the current trend in contemporary realistic novels that confront issues about life, death, and love.
Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she's going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that tells her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington's disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother.
With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family's genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she'll live to be a healthy adult-including her dream career in ballet and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool and gets an audition for a dance scholarship across the country, Rose begins to question her carefully laid rules.

My Thoughts:

I like books about taking chances. About people taking risks and discovering something new about themselves. Obviously, I didn't want any horrible outcome of this novel and its main character, Rose Levenson. Rules for 50/50 Chances is not your average contemporary romance tale that some people compare to anything by the works of John Green and The Fault in Our Stars. This novel can save a life, more specifically the life of a bookworm who feels like there isn't anything good anymore out there to rave about or recommend. At least, I know that it saved me in a way and I can never look at the cover the same way anymore since I know what it did to me. Kate McGovern throws in a reader's dream—a contemporary tale that shows diversity, an unique concept and a romance that is seriously gorgeous and meaningful. 

I'd say that there is a greater than 50 percent chance that you will adore this book. Much, much more greater than 50%. I have not been able to give out many five star ratings this year, and when this novel came around, it changed my perspective of great reads. WE NEED DIVERSITY. 2015 and much of 2014 were years of diversity, where new books all featured characters who fit in their own skin and were proud of who they were. Then... it kind of stopped. I haven't read a diverse book in a while. After flipping through the last pages of this beauty, I headed off to my Goodreads shelf where I realized that I haven't checked off too many books in the "diverse" category. That kind of shattered my heart. I didn't expect this to be diverse. When it was mentioned that Caleb is African-American, my heart crumbled into happiness. This is such a precious read! (I keep telling myself this continuously, actually.)

"'Let's face it,' I say finally. 'There are more ways to die in this world than to not die. There are exactly zero ways to do that.'" (115)

Do not try to contradict that quote. Don't even implant that thought into your mind! I know you just did because I threw the idea to you, like if you caught a ball. Ugh. Geez. That is what Kate McGovern's writing was like. There were quotes implanted throughout the novel at random times (but those that made sense) which caused me to think. To think about life and all of the things that I as a teenager have not yet learned or discovered in this glorious world. This kind of was, in a way, philosophical and heartbreaking. My heart crackled and popped at times where something unbelievable happened or when I felt Rose's agony and heartbreak. 

So you just keep seeing me blabbing about how this novel hit me. But really, you're inwardly asking, what is this about? Sadness. A girl named Rose. A boy named Caleb. Two families hit by different genetic illnesses that has begun to cause them to crumble inwardly. Rose's mother was diagnosed with Huntington's disease, where her fourth chromosome is mutated and causes her mental condition especially, to deteriorate. Rose discovers that she has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the disease. Her life falls apart as she realizes that the things that she loves to do and see might not even be worth it if she inherits the disease one day. Her father panics, tries to warn her to stay away from the negative thoughts and not take a test just yet. Rose dreams of going to a prestigious ballet academy in San Francisco and to ride trains all over the world, seeing things that she has never seen before. But Huntington's is on her mind. When she meets Caleb, who is also dealing with his two sisters and mother carrying the sickle cell, she feels like she is not alone.

Of course, a person cannot always rely on another person for too long. I've seen this in my own life. It's kind of like human nature. Rose and Caleb's relationship is emotional, and relatable, because the two could relate to each other so well and understand the hardships that they both have to encounter in their daily lives at home. They had very alike personalities that made their own relationship seemed flawed at some points because inwardly, Rose knew exactly what Caleb was trying to say, but she couldn't let the truth slip out at all. 

"Because it's a slippery slope from kissing to boyfriend-ing to falling in love. And falling in love is like getting a dog: You're pretty much guaranteed to end up with a big loss. Loss. It stops sounding like a word if say it enough times." (138)

I read this in a jiffy. One sitting. The minimum amount of time that you can imagine. I adore it so much. It's a refresher, honestly. My life is complete because of this book. And when everything came together and the ending hit me, I was more than satisfied. This is a tragic, coming-of-age novel about a girl who is torn between changing her life forever or not. Because of a test. The ending kind of killed me inside, I saw it coming, but I loved it anyways and it didn't change my opinion at all. Zero. Nada. I want to keep gushing and freaking out over the romance and everything else that came to mind here.

Rules for 50/50 Chances is seriously one of the best books I have ever read. I have never read anything like this—at all. My life has become better because of this story (not that it sucked before or anything) and it's going to be one of those stories that you won't have to pick up again because its magic still sticks inside of you. You won't be able to forget Rose and Caleb's story and their relationship... ever. I guarantee that you will build some personal relationship with this beauty.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review! Thank you so much!*

What are some diverse books that have been published this year for YA? Does this book look fabulous to you?



    I love diversity so I'll check this book out! Nice review :)

    1. HEY GIRL! Thanks! How are you?! I'll baaaack into the commenting-blogging world! You have to check this beauty out!

  2. I keep trying to place the name, Kate McGovern but nothing's coming to me. She sounds so familiar. Hmm. Anyway, this sounds like a very important, albeit, heartbreaking read. Though I must admit that I've yet to diversify my choices of novels lately. Gah.

    Great review, Michelle. I need to check this book out.

    1. I AGREE. WOW. I SWEAR I'VE HEARD HER NAME BEFORE TOO! I thought it was just me so I let my thought go away. *thinks harder* Ahhh Cammie McGovern, author of Say What You Will! I haven't read anything by Cammie before but I have two of her books on my shelf! You should definitely go for this! Diversify your choice of novels! :D Thank you, Joy!


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