The Trail Rules
by Melanie Hooyenga
Series: The Rules #2
Published by Melanie Hooyenga
Publication Date March 9, 2018
Genres: Young Adult
Setting: Colorado Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 15-18
Written for: High-School/Young Adult
Junior year's looking up for sixteen-year old Mike. Her new BFF isn't a sadistic control freak, her boyfriend adores her, and she's learning to bike in the mountains without decapitating herself on a tree.
When she meets a group of riders who welcome her into their pack, she feels like she's finally found where she belongs. One particular rider--a boy with an amazing smile and an even more amazing ability to see what she's truly capable of--gives her the confidence to go after what she wants: her own life with her own rules.
There's only one problem--he's not her boyfriend.
Just as things seem to be falling into place, her parents put on the pressure to figure out her future--one that doesn't include riding. Mike soon realizes that having everything isn't that great when she's not the one choosing it. She needs to decide if she's going to continue to be a follower or step out of the shadows and find her own trail.
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The Trail Rules is a well-written, compelling, coming-of-age story. The author has a fun way of incorporating the “trail rules” for mountain bikers into the story applied to Mike’s everyday life. The theme of Mike learning not to just be a follower is subtle but woven throughout the story in a number of ways.
As the second book in the series, this book can still stand alone though Mike first appears in the previous book and the way she ended up seeking new friends is explained in much more detail there. It also appears that there will be at least one more book, as a mystery involving one of the characters remains unresolved.
There is mild swearing in the book, sexual innuendo, and more than innocent kisses. While it is not described in detail, it is mentioned that the characters are engaging in skin-on-skin kisses. There are also discussions between Mike and her best friend that make it clear that sex is perfectly acceptable to them. Personally, I have a hard time recommending this book because of my personal convictions.