The Rule of Won

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Stefan Petrucha's 'The Rule of Won' is full of minute twists and turns. It follows the identifiable life of a sixteen year old procrastinator in high school. Drunk with romance, he follows the will of his girlfriend and ends up joining a cult. At first, the notion of obtaining all of his fondest wishes with just positive thinking inebriates him. The real action comes in when his girlfriend ends up falling for the leader of the cult dubbed The Rule.

Suspense heightens when members of the cult have their fondest wishes come true--difficult teachers leave on convalescence, expense video games come to fruition, and whole wings of the school are rebuilt. All of these come from the cult's leader whom is too concerned with being accepted; he provides for his classmates in the only way he knows how: appeasement. Such avid characterization makes the story that much more believable.

Later in the plot, Caleb meets the school newspaper staff who give his incriminating evidence on the cult's leader. This section is quite intriguing, although the reader is left wanting more. No description of the staff's 'office' headquarters is given. Also, when the staff breaks into the cult leader's house, the author does not expound. Imaginations of readers take over, but it would have been nice to read about those particularly enticing scenes more in-depth. The only equivocal part of the book that is successful is the prologue and epilogue pertaining to the cult leader's sister. Mysterious artwork that deals with the paranormal leaves just enough curiosity while not propelling the novel into the sci-fi category.

Eerie lessons are learned towards the end of the novel as there is a brouhaha between Caleb and the cult's leader. Copious events ensue as Caleb tries to discover both his purpose and reason for being. This book is excellent for young readers since it juxtaposes teen angst with the globally faddish craze called positive thinking. The overall tone of the novel is blithe yet escalates as the novel progresses. It is definitely a page-turner as readers wonder what will become of the run of the mill teenage boy quarreling with an increasingly popular cult of juveniles that want an easy way out in life and will go to extraordinary means to stop anyone whom gets in their way.





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