The Rules Do Not Apply by: Ariel Levy

I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway, and it was an exciting one!

Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true.

Just reading that blurb on the back, I was very intrigued. How could her life change so quickly? I had to know.

This is the first true memoir I think I’ve ever read, and certainly the first I’m documenting on this blog. Reading “A Hope More Powerful Than The Sea,” it was a true story about a woman’s life but she wasn’t the one telling the story. It’s hard to say whether I ‘enjoyed’ this book or not, as it was the subject of someone’s life. It was fascinating to learn a little bit about the events that have formed Ariel Levy’s life and how she has handled them.

Levy is a woman who wants it all. And not just the “career and kids” sense, she wants to experience all the aspects of life, even the ones that aren’t allowed. Her life as a journalist is exciting and fast-paced as she flies all over the world and relishes in the people and their cultures. Her career is one way in which she refuses to allow herself to be placed in a box and feel free of rules.

After meeting the love of her life, this changes and she tries to force herself to fit the mold of what others believe she should be. This causes her to break the rules in more severe ways. She eventually cheats on her wife because she doesn’t really value fidelity. This of course damages their marriage that ripples throughout the story as they buy a house, try having children and deal with addiction. When it seems to all be coming together as planned, Levy takes a leap of faith for her career – and then everything changes.

This was a fun new genre to dip my toes into, and I enjoyed Levy’s writing style. Since she was a journalist, it was impressive how she managed to fit so much into a short book. She bore her soul, but didn’t need to use many words to do so. I appreciate her bravery to share it all so plainly. Her life is obviously unique to her, but as a human, I strongly empathized.

I will certainly be keeping this book. It’s a good reminder of the power of forging your own path but also be present in your loved one’s lives so you don’t leave them behind. Even though my life is going well at the moment, it is a good reminder of how much grief humans can handle and still come back from.




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