by Marilyn Reynolds

Accurately portrays the widespread effects of a young lesbian's decision to come out of the closet and live openly and honestly while in high school.

How could this be? Lynn has known Kit since they were twelve years old. Then Kit tells Lynn that she “likes girls.” How could Lynn not have known? Can they still be best friends? When Kit is bullied by jocks, what can they do? Written with humor, warmth, and understanding, Love Rules is the story of a young woman struggling to understand her best friend’s sexual identity, and what comes next in their lives.

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ISBN 978-1-929777-09-9
272 pages

Grade levels 8 and up.

Reading level: 4.5

AR: 11.0  IL: UG BL: 4.5


My best friend is what?

“Do you think being in San Francisco turned you into a lesbian?”
“Nothing turned me into a lesbian, Lynn. I am a lesbian!”
“Don’t get all hostile.”
“I’m not hostile! I’m telling you, this is me! Your friend for life! Remember?”

Reviews:Teen readers wrote:

I remained 'in the closet' for all of high school, and only came out to a few of my very closest friends in my final year. So I'm sure you can see why Love Rules had such a big impact. I loved it, I loved it so much. -- Sarah, Australia

i am a reader of your books and i think you are a FANTASTIC writer! my friend told me to read one of your books and i can`t put it down! the book is love rules and i love it! it is so awesome and my friend and i think there should be a GSA group at our school but we decided that nobody would even admit they are gay but it seems so cool to be in a GSA group! -- A., San Diego

I just wanted to say how much I love your books! My mom read them and wanted me to read "Too Soon For Jeff". I could not put it down until I had finished it. Your one book called "Love Rules" inspired me to join my school's GSA and accept my sexual orientation (lesbian). I am now the leader of the GSA and I owe part of it to you, without your book I wouldn't even know what GSA was. I hope to acquire the rest of your books,especially "Baby Help". I already own two of them. Thank you for being one of the most influential and favorite author I have read. -- Kelly

You talked to me while I was attending a continuation school. I remember you were writing a book at the time called Love Rules. I felt the urge to write to you and let you know what a big impact you had on my life. You were not only a friend, but a sort of mentor at a time when many people, including my family to an extent were turning their backs on me because I was gay. These days, I've become very comfortable with it, and see myself as completely normal, someone who fits in with society perfectly. But getting there was a very difficult task, and you really helped me by allowing me to help with your book project. It's something that I am glad and honored to be a part of. -- Joe, Sacramento

School Library Journal wrote:

Gr. 8 up. A worthy addition to YA literature in which straight, gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals are represented. -

VOYA wrote:

Thoughtful teens will like this issue-packed realistic novel about accepting differences.

About the Author

Marilyn Reynolds is the author of eleven books of realistic teen fiction: Telling, Shut Up, No More Sad Goodbyes, If You Loved Me, Love Rules, Baby Help, But What About Me?, Beyond Dreams, Too Soon for Jeff Detour for Emmy, and Eddie's Choice all part of the popular and award-winning True-to-Life Series from Hamilton High. Marilyn is also the author of a book for educators, I Won’t Read and You Can’t Make Me: Reaching Reluctant Teen Readers, and a collection of essays, Over 70 and I Don’t Mean MPH. Her newest book is a memoir, 'Til Death or Dementia Do Us Part (2017) available from River Rock Books. She has a variety of published personal essays to her credit, and was nominated for an Emmy for the ABC Afterschool Special teleplay of Too Soon for Jeff.

Ms. Reynolds worked with reluctant learners and teens in crises at a southern California alternative high school for thirty years. She remains actively involved in education through author presentations to middle and high school students ranging from struggling readers to highly motivated writers who are interested in developing work for possible publication.

In the introduction to her book on techniques to help reluctant readers (I Won’t Read and You Can’t Make Me), Marilyn writes: “Over time I came to realize that the greatest gift I could give  to my students, many of whom would have no formal schooling after they left [high school], was the gift of a reading habit. Silent reading time became the backbone of my program.” She quotes a study in the the Los Angeles Times reporting that the single most significant factor in determining a person’s success in life is whether they read for pleasure.

She published her first novel, Telling, with the encouragement of Gloria Miklowitz, a well-known writer of young adult fiction. Telling deals with molestation, and students at her school became avid readers (and critics) of the manuscript. In the process, “students were developing a critical sense, using literary terms, analyzing character and motivation. And they were paying attention to the specifics of language use.”

Encouraged by the experience, she went on to write a realistic novel about teen pregnancy, Detour for Emmy, followed by nine more titles in the series. She believes that “the essence of sustained silent reading has to do with the increased understanding of one’s self and the world, of enabling the wounded to heal, the isolated to know they are not alone, the bigoted to see the humanity of others.”

Marilyn Reynolds is a passionate advocate of the benefits of writing in addition to reading. She promotes writing through participation in the 916 Ink program, and works with incarcerated youth in the Sacramento area. She engages with teens in a local continuation high school, and through visiting schools as an author, designing each visit to meet the individual needs of the school. She also presents staff development workshops for educators and is a frequent guest speaker for programs and organizations that serve teens, parents, teachers, and writers.

To request a visit, comment on Marilyn's books, or ask a question, visit Marilyn's web site, or send a message to Marilyn Reynolds below:

Other Books By Marilyn Reynolds