The Rules of Survival

The Rules of Survival

3.97 (10,705 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 4 business days
When will my order arrive?


For Matt and his sisters, life with their cruel, vicious mother is a day-to-day struggle for survival. But then Matt witnesses Murdoch coming to a child's rescue in a convenience store, and for the first time, he feels a glimmer of hope. When, amazingly, Murdoch begins dating Matt's mother, life is suddenly almost good. But the relief lasts only a short time. When Murdoch inevitably breaks up with their mother, Matt knows he needs to take action. But can he call upon his hero? Or will he have to take measures into his own hands? A heart-wrenching portrait of a family in crisis, this is Nancy Werlin's most compulsively readable novel yet.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 273 pages
  • 137 x 208 x 23mm | 295g
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0142410713
  • 9780142410714
  • 240,076

Review quote

One of [Werlin]Æs most deliciously harrowing works.

ùVOYA Edgar Award-winner Werlin delivers another suspense-filled thriller that is sure to spark discussion.

ùHorn Book
show more

About Nancy Werlin

Nancy Werlin writes YA fiction that ranges from realistic fiction to suspense to fantasy, often breaking the boundaries between genres. Her books have gathered awards too numerous to mention, but including National Book award finalist, Edgar award winner and finalist, New York Times bestseller, L.A. Book Prize finalist, and IndieBound Top Ten. Nancy's first novel, Are You Alone on Purpose, was a Publishers Weekly Flying Start pick. Of Nancy's suspense fiction, Sarah Weinman says, "Chances are, many of you haven't heard of this author. That would be a shame, because she's simply one of the best crime novelists going right now. Period." These titles are where Nancy habitually breaks genre-separation rules and include The Rules of Survival (a National Book Award finalist), The Killer's Cousin (Edgar award winner), Locked Inside (Edgar award nominee), Black Mirror (which the Washington Post called "an edge-of-your seat thriller"), and Double Helix (named to multiple best-of-year book lists). Nancy's unusual fantasy fiction was inspired by the ballad Scarborough Fair and includes the loose trilogy Impossible (a New York Times bestseller), Extraordinary (featuring a rare thing in fantasy fiction: a Jewish heroine), and her personal beloved, Unthinkable. For fun, Nancy also writes and draws a graphic memoir in comics, using her Tumblr to self-publish an episode three times a week. Her favorite book in all the world is Jane Eyre. A graduate of Yale, Nancy lives near Boston, Massachusetts with her husband.
show more

Rating details

10,705 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 35% (3,784)
4 35% (3,778)
3 22% (2,403)
2 5% (573)
1 2% (167)

Our customer reviews

"You looked at Callie and me from over our mother's shoulder... I hoped you wouldn't try to wriggle out of the embrace, because in fact our mother seemed to be in a good mood. She was humming. Cocaine? New man? There were a few possibilities, and I didn't care which one it was. Maybe we'd have an okay evening." Those are the words of Matthew Walsh as he tells a story of survival to his youngest sister Emmy. Matthew has decided to write down the events as they happened so his sister can read them some day. She was so young at the time, he worries that she might not understand the details of their early life in the hands of an abusive mother. Nancy Werlin writes a powerful novel, THE RULES OF SURVIVAL, about three children and their struggle to live normal lives surrounded by chaos and abuse. Their crazed mother Nikki, most likely bi-polar or manic-depressive, has created a topsy-turvy environment for her family. One day she's treating them to a gigantic pancake feast at IHOP, and the next she disappears without a trace for days. Matthew, Callie, and Emmy soldier on alone until help arrives in the form of a sympathetic boyfriend. He enlists the help of Matthew and Callie's father and their mother's sister to rescue the kids from the chaos. Werlin creates a realistic and terrifying picture of life through Matthew's eyes. Readers will remember the story well after the last page. This is a book worth reading for adults as well as teens. *Gold Star Award Winner!show more
by TeensReadToo
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X