The Number One Rule For Girls by Rachel McIntrye
Tell me about The Number One Rule For Girls…
It’s a book about friendships, relationships and the ways we’re constantly learning how to do them properly! The main character in the book, Daisy, is sixteen years old and starting college. She’s broken up with someone she thought was The One and it’s left her floundering. Then she meets a guy who superficially seems perfect, but ends up being a heap of trouble.
The bad boyfriend is a stereotype in a lot of fiction aimed at women/girls and I wanted to explore that, but in a realistic way. In fiction, moody bad boys are sexy, in real life they are annoying at best, actively dangerous at worst and I wanted to convey that. Another key aspect of the book is friendship. Daisy has a close knit circle of friends who try to make her see that she’s in a toxic relationship and support her through her difficult moments.
She also has a close relationship with her parents. They had her when they were very young and I’ve tried to subvert another stereotype here: they may have had her when they were teenagers, but they have made an excellent job of it.
But it’s a comedy, isn’t it?
Yes, it’s a comedy drama! I like to write stories with plenty of humour as I think it reflects life. I create realistic characters and so I make sure there are ups as well as downs in their lives.
There were a lot of comedic episodes in Me and Mr J (my first book) but because the other themes were so serious (bullying, family breakdown, forbidden relationships), the book seems a lot darker. The Number One Rule for Girls is a more light-hearted read, although Daisy does face some tough challenges.
What about the bad boyfriend?
When I started writing #1 Rule, I’d just read a string of books in which the heroine has to tame the guy, or try to fit into his world in order to win his love. Even though I enjoyed them, part of me was always thinking wouldn’t you rather just find a nice boy?!
In The Number One Rule for Girls, I visualised Toby as a mix of Marlon Brando and Heathcliff. He’s the charismatic bad boy, good-looking but with a dangerous edge. (Btw, Robert Pattinson and Emma Watson were in my head the whole time I wrote Me and Mr J.) I decided instead of the tame the bad boy, uncover his inner angst, put up with his moods etc. I’d kind of take the mickey out of bad boys. So there are a few of them in there as well as Toby, but they’re not sexy at all.
Who would enjoy The Number One Rule for Girls?
I guess anyone who fancies a lighter read with plenty of comedy and a look at the difference between fictional idealised bad boys (they’re sexy) and realistic fictional bad boys (they’re annoying and make you miserable).
A huge thank you to Rachel for this fantastic post. ♥
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