Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

I purchased the hardback edition of The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy at the Friends of the Library Used Bookstore in Fort Bragg, California in April 2018. I'd heard good things about this memoir, but had never heard of Ariel Levy before discovering her memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply.

I am so glad I read The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy. Her writing is just as amazing as I expected it to be from someone who writes for The New Yorker magazine. 

Ms. Levy writes early on in her memoir that as a child she was "domineering, impatient, relentlessly verbal, and as an only child, often baffled by the mores of other kids." 

Books were also something Ms. Levy enjoyed very much as a youngster and she decided early on in her life that she wanted to become a writer... "That, I thought, was the profession that went with the kind of woman I wanted to become: one who is free to do whatever she chooses." 

The above quotes set up the initial tone and feel at the start of the memoir as it unfolds to reveal the unconventional life Ariel Levy goes on to live. I loved reading how Ariel Levy goes after the life she wants to live. She becomes a successful writer, travels the world, meets the love of her life, and decides to start a family... Just when you think life is going perfectly for her, the bottom drops out. 

Life isn't always perfect. You may never obtain everything you desire in life. But everything happens for a reason, right? 

With candor, Ariel Levy writes about her life and the resiliency that inevitably follows in the aftermath of tragedy. 

After reading The Rules Do Not Apply, I was surprised to read other reviewers write that they thought the author was a 'Drama Queen' or a 'Narcissist'. I didn't sense any of that at all about the author from reading her memoir. 

The following is a summary of The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy from Amazon:
All her life, Ariel Levy was told that she was too fervent, too forceful, too much. As a young woman, she decided that becoming a writer would perfectly channel her strength and desire. She would be a professional explorer—“the kind of woman who is free to do whatever she chooses.” Levy moved to Manhattan to pursue her dream, and spent years of adventure, traveling all over the world writing stories about unconventional heroines, following their fearless examples in her own life.
But when she experiences unthinkable heartbreak, Levy is forced to surrender her illusion of control. In telling her story, Levy has captured a portrait of our time, of the shifting forces in American culture, of what has changed and what has remained. And of how to begin again.
I am giving The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!


  1. Now on order from the library - thank you! Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  2. This sounds like a memoir I would love.

    1. It's an appealing memoir with beautifully, bold detail. I thought it was definitely worth the read.

  3. Glad you liked this memoir so much. From what you say she doesn't come across as narcissistic, but my perception is limited by not having read the book. Reading tends to be a personal experience, some people love and others hate the same book, while other books are so universally loved that there is no gray area in the ratings.

    1. So true what you say in how we all experience the same book!