The Rules of Half – Jenna Patrick

If Will Fletcher’s severe bipolar disorder isn’t proof he shouldn’t be a parent, his infant daughter’s grave is. Once a happily married, successful veterinarian, he now lives with his sister and thrives as the small-town crazy of Half Moon Hollow. But when a fifteen-year-old orphan claims she’s his daughter, Will is forced back into the role he fears most: fatherhood. Her biological dad isn’t the hero Regan Whitmer hoped for, but he’s better than her abusive stepfather back in Chicago. Still haunted by her mother’s suicide and the rebellious past she fears led to it, Regan is desperate for a stable home and a normal family–things Will can’t offer. Can she ride the highs and lows of his illness to find a new definition of family? The Rules of Half explores what it is to be an atypical family in a small town and to be mentally ill in the wake of a tragedy–and who has the right to determine both.  –

I received this book free from the publisher via in exchange for an honest review.

Ah, where to begin!

I really loved the concept of this novel, being someone who has great (as in a lot) experience with mental illness, I was looking forward to a new perspective. I think a lot of the feelings associated with mania and depression and psychosis were pretty accurate (in terms of my personal experience) if not a bit extreme.

I got about half way through this book before I had to call it quits, unfortunately. For completely objective reasons. One possible but predictable spoiler below.

Those being:

  1. The structure of the novel made it difficult to keep up with whose perspective we were reading from. Mixed messages between characters made it awkward to try and determine relationships at times.
  2. We get about half way through before we get any real backstory on Regan, and then it’s only about her mother. From my understanding she’s had three major tragedies/traumas in her life, and given the mother was the most obvious, I was looking forward to details on the other two.
  3. Possible spoiler: Insta-love. Crazy new girl falls in love with perfect small-town boy in like one minute.

I do enjoy some mystery in my novels, but it needs to make sense to me. Perhaps this made more sense to you? If you have read it or are keen to, let me know your thoughts below!


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