Title: Rules for 50/50 Chances
Published by: Square Fish | 25 October 2015
Date Read: 13 February 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Can love beat these odds?
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 will tell 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 assumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult–including going to ballet school 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 in California, Rose begins to question her carefully laid rules.
*ARC Kindly provided by Kate Mcgovern (the author) for review*
“If you had a crystal ball, like in a fairy tale – or a magic mirror or one wish or whatever – would you want to know how you were going to die? Would you want to watch it happen, in slow motion, every day?”
With an opening line like that who wouldn’t get scared? Honestly, I’m scared of reading stories that involves sick people. I’m clingy. I easily get attached to lovely characters and I actually don’t want to feel so broken on whatever might happen to them. But let me tell you that that first line might be a bit deceiving – no one’s dying (really dying) yet. This is the start of a journey for a teen girl in discovering if she’s also inherited her mother’s genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease.
Rules for 50/50 Chances is a story about Rose – whose mother has inherited a genetic disease called Huntington’s disease. With a fifty-fifty chance of inheriting the same disease, Rose was skeptical to pursue a lot of things in her life – college, ballet career and even falling in love. A few months to go and she’ll be eighteen, then she can take a test that tells if she carries the same genetic mutation – would she go through with it and live a life that already leads to death or just let life live?
As I’ve mentioned, if not really for my busy work schedule, I would have breezed into reading this book in at least 2 days the most. That‘s how deep the story could suck you in once you’re really into it. Unfortunately, I was only able to sit down yesterday and breathe in tge last 50% of the book in one sitting.
Rose is your typical seventeen year old character. She’s spunky and talented. But she did have a tendency to get selfish and self centered at times. Realistically, if I was on her place, I would feel the same way. If I have a fifty percent chance of dying no sooner that later I would as pessimistic as her, so I do understand where she’s coming from. In addition to her pessimism, she as well refused to believe that someone understands what she’s going thru until she met Caleb…
“It’s nice, in a weird way – knowing that the person in his own world next to me understands a little bit about what my world looks like.”
Caleb understands what Rose is going through. His mom and sisters also has a rare genetic disease called Sickle Cell anemia – also incurable. He may have not inherited the disease but he understands how Rose feels.
Of course, a love story was built for this two. I love their nicknames for each other – HD Girl and Sickle Cell Boy. But though I loved their chemistry and scenes together – Caleb was not much sold on me. He’s hot and cold with Rose. Yes, I understand that he has his own struggles with his sick mom and sisters but I just can’t feel that he’s really into Rose most of the times. It feels like he’s always neglecting her. With that, the majority of their times together just felt flat and forced.
Despit my hang-ups with Calebs character, one thing I truly appreciate about this book is the diversity of its characters – Rose is American, Caleb if African American and Lena is Asian. I love how despite their racial differences they have bonded greatly with each other.
The family presence on this book was also greatly shown and it is deeply touching. Despite Rose being hot and cold about her mom’s illness, you could still see her love and support for her. She even travelled one of her mom’s dreams Train Line! Her dad’s dedication to her mom despite of her illness was exceptional- it was indeed true love for the both them. Also, let’s not forget her grandmother who gave up her own life in London to help take care of her daughter-in-law. Despite the disease being a huge part of their family, their love for one another seems to fight that off.
The story also made me aware of rare genetic diseases that are growing rampant in our world today. I’m not familiar to many of them but this story opened me up into learning more about rare genetic diseases which is honestly fascinating. It’s also good to be aware that these kind of genetic diseases are really there.
The way the story ended was kinda in between for me. That is not actually what I was expecting. I wanted answers as much as Rose does but I was not able to get those answers. The closure did not come. But on the other side, I understand why the story went that way. I guess, it’s just easier to let life live instead of living and counting down the days of your death. Just YOLO, Right?
In all, Rules for 50/ 50 Chaces is a great realistic life and death read for me. Though the topic of the story was heavy, Mcgovern has managed to make it lighter and enjoyable for young readers. It makes us appreciate life more, be full of hope and just let life live.