Author: Kate McGovern
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux
Publication Date: November 24, 2015
A heartrending but ultimately uplifting debut novel about learning to accept life's uncertainties; a perfect fit for the current trend in contemporary realistic novels that confront issues about life, death, and love.
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 tells 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 presumes she'll live to be a healthy adult-including her dream career in ballet 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 across the country, Rose begins to question her carefully laid rules.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern is one of the most eye-opening books I’ve read this year. This book talks about rare genetic diseases, some of which I didn’t even know existed, and discusses them in a way that is easy to understand. There is also a calm and understanding main character, and an incredible use of ballet dancing. I suggest that everybody read this book, as I certainly enjoyed it!
Rules for 50/50 Chances definitely taught me a lot about genetic diseases. The main character’s mother has Huntington’s Disease, and her friend’s sisters both have sickle cell. I honestly don’t know much about these diseases, or any genetic disease, actually, so this book really opened my eyes. Kate McGovern explains the details of Huntington’s Disease so well that I really feel like I understand it now. Rules for 50/50 Chances is such a great way to raise awareness!
I loved Rose, the main character in Rules for 50/50 Chances. She is very patient with her mother, even though she is slowly losing her personality and skills. Rose continues to try her best to live her life normally, and continue with extracurriculars, and not spend every moment of the day with her mom. An understanding main character like Rose is the perfect one for a book tackling issues like Huntington’s.
One of my favourite things about Rules for 50/50 Chances is the use of dance. Rose is a dancer, and is actually quite good at it. I loved the descriptions of the ballets that she performs in, and especially appreciated the description of her worn-out ballet clothes. I feel like not many books really acknowledges that ballet is a really tough activity like this one does. Knowing that ballet is really competitive, Rose still auditions for a scholarship to the best dance school in the country! I really loved how this book didn’t focus entirely on Rose’s mom’s disease, like most books, and more about her life and how it is affected.
Rules for 50/50 Chances is a great way to raise awareness for genetic diseases. There is a patient and caring main character, and plenty of ballet dancing. I absolutely recommend this book to everyone, because I learned so much, yet had so much fun reading this book!