The Six Rules of Maybe

The Six Rules of Maybe

by Deb Caletti


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Scarlet considers herself someone who fixes other people’s problems...until she becomes one when she falls in love with her sister’s husband in this beautiful young adult novel about love and family from National Book Award finalist and Printz Honor medal winner Deb Caletti.

Scarlet spends most of her time worrying about other people. Some are her friends, others are practically strangers, and then there are the ones no else even notices. Trying to fix their lives comes naturally to her. And pushing her own needs to the side is part of the deal. So when her older sister comes home unexpectedly married and pregnant, Scarlet has a new person to worry about.

But all of her good intentions are shattered when the unthinkable happens: she falls for her sister’s husband. For the first time in a long time, Scarlet’s not fixing a problem, she’s at the center of one. And ignoring her feelings doesn’t seem to be an option...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416979715
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 03/22/2011
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,219,505
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Deb Caletti is the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of over sixteen books for adults and young adults, including Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, a finalist for the National Book Award; A Heart in a Body in the World, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book; and Girl, Unframed. Her books have also won the Josette Frank Award for Fiction, the Washington State Book Award, and numerous other state awards and honors, and she was a finalist for the PEN USA Award. She lives with her family in Seattle.

Read an Excerpt

The Six Rules of Maybe

By Deb Caletti

Simon Pulse

Copyright © 2010 Deb Caletti
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781416979692

Chapter One

You could tell something was different about Juliet the moment she stepped out of that truck. She was wearing a yellow summer dress and her hair was pulled back so that you could see her cheekbones and her straight nose and the blazing eyes that used to make all the boys crazy in high school. I don?t know how to explain it, but she seemed smug in some way I?d never seen before. Like she had this satisfying little secret. Like something had been decided by her and her alone. She held her head as if she were the period at the end of her own sentence.

We knew Juliet was coming home; we just didn?t know she?d be bringing someone else with her, or several someone elses, depending on how you counted. Hayden?s dog, Zeus?he was one of those people-like dogs; he listened hard and looked at you with knowing in his eyes, even if two minutes later he?d decide to zip around the living room, slightly crazed, ears pinned back, taking the corners around the furniture like he was in his own private race with lesser dogs.

When the truck door slammed outside, Mom looked out the window and gave a little It?s her! squeal and we hurried outside. The afternoon was just right warm?a May day that could have been a role model for all May days, and the air smelled wet and grassy because Mrs. Saint George across the street had turned her sprinkler on. The truck was one of those old kinds with the big wide front that could slam into a tree and still come out smiling its chrome smile. Juliet stepped out and she was all sunbeams in that dress. She was wet grass, and summer, and sunbeams, same as that day was. The thing about sunbeams, though ? Well, it might sound unkind. You?ve got to know that I loved my sister very much even if our relationship was complicated (and, anyway, aren?t love and complications basically words partnered forever, like salt and pepper and husband and wife?). But a straight shot of sun directed at a mirror can set things on fire. Juliet and I had learned this ourselves when we were kids one August day on the sidewalk in front of our house. When I was seven (and, honestly, nine and twelve and fourteen), I?d have held that mirror toward the sun for days even if nothing had happened, just because she?d told me to.

Mom ran across the lawn to hug Juliet like she hadn?t seen her in years even though it had only been five months since she?d been home last, three since Mom and I had gone down to Portland, Oregon, where Juliet had gotten her big break singing four nights a week at the Fireside Room at the Grosvenor Hotel. When you saw her onstage in that sapphire gown, her head tilted back to show her long throat, smoke from some man?s cigarette circling around her like a thin wisp of fog in some old detective movie, you?d never have thought she?d come from tiny Parrish Island. Tiny and inconsequential Parrish Island, where the only important visitors were the pods of Orca whales that came every summer. You?d never have thought Juliet was a regular girl who had graduated from Parrish Island High School only the year before. Barely graduated, I might add, almost flunking Algebra II had it not been for the tutoring of her younger sister, thank you, although Mom would say Juliet had never been a regular girl.

The driver?s side door opened, and that?s when Hayden got out. I thought he was having a nice stretch before he got back in and went home, a friend doing a friend-favor, maybe. He was about twenty-three or -four, tall, with easy, tousled brown hair. He wore Levi?s with a tucked-in white T-shirt, and his jeans had a big wet spot on the leg, spilled coffee was my guess, which he was blotting with napkins.

And then he looked up at us. Or at me, because Mom didn?t even notice him. Usually I was the invisible one in any group, but he was invisible along with me then. Mom was clutching Juliet to her and then holding her away again so that Juliet?s fiery eyes could meet Mom?s blazing ones. So his eyes met only mine, and mine his, and right then my heart shifted, the way it does when something unexpected begins. There are those moments, probably few in a life, where before and after split off from each other forevermore in your mind. That was one of those moments, although I wouldn?t realize it for a long time afterward. I saw something very simple and clear there, in his eyes?that was the thing. Honesty. But with the kind of hope that was just this side of heartbreak.

He smiled at me, went around to the back of the truck. I guess anyone would have noticed the way he looked in those jeans. Of course I did. In the open pickup bed there was a big dog waiting to be let out. He was the sort of large, energetic dog that made Mom nervous. A sudden dog, and Mom didn?t like sudden things. She mistrusted squirrels and birds and men and anything that had the capacity to surprise. If she ever got a dog, she?d say, it was going to be one of those white and fluffy ones, like Ginger, the Martinellis? dog, who looked the same as the slippers Mrs. Martinelli wore when she went to get the mail. You could put a dog like that into your purse like a lipstick and take it anywhere you wanted it to go, like women did in New York or Paris. A lipstick with a heartbeat that might pee on your checkbook, in my opinion, but this was Mom?s dream, not mine. I liked a dog you could lean against.

The dog jumped down and made a galloping leap toward Mom, and the guy in the Levi?s lunged for his collar and said, ?Zeus!? in a way that was both emphatic and desperate. Zeus, it would turn out, was actually a very well-trained dog?he?d do anything for Hayden. Zeus would look at Hayden in the complete and adoring way you privately wished and wished and wished that someone, someday, might look at you. But Hayden was a good dog father and knew his boy?s limits?meeting new people turned Zeus into a toddler in the toy aisle, with the kind of joy and want that turned into manic jumping. Zeus leaped up on Mom, who was horrified to be suddenly looking at him eye to eye, and she held him off with a palm to his tan furry chest. She looked down at her clothes as if he might have made her muddy, although the ground was dry and she was only in her old cargo pants and a tank top, her hair in a sort-of bun stuck up with a pair of chopsticks.

It was then that Mom realized that Juliet had not descended alone from the heavens. She looked surprised at the unexpected visitors and the facts in front of her: this truck, not Juliet?s ancient Fiat convertible; this lanky, excited dog; this lanky, somewhat tousled and tangled guy grabbing his collar ?

And that?s when we saw it. We both did, at the same moment. It caught the sun, so shiny and new was the gold. A wedding band. On the guy?s finger. We both did the same thing next, Mom and me. We looked at Juliet?s left hand. And, yes, there was one there, too. That same gold band.

My mother put her hand to her chest. I heard her gasp. And then she breathed out those two words, the ones I was feeling right then too, that multipurpose, universal expression of shock and despair.

?Oh fuck,? my mother said.

? 2010 Deb Caletti


Excerpted from The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti Copyright © 2010 by Deb Caletti. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Six Rules of Maybe 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Chloe_Beth More than 1 year ago
The Six Rules of maybe is not your average love story. With the love triangle and the family that has been broken for years, things fall apart quickly. Caletti tries to make us see the difference between always helping others or choosing to help yourself first. Everyone¿s world is soon turned upside down and they all struggle to continue things normally. But when you continue to help others, you could be helping yourself as well. Scarlet¿s world gets rocked when her older sister, Juliet, comes home with a ring on her finger and a baby on its way, all with a guy they¿ve never heard of before. Scarlet instantly realizes that she doesn¿t only like Hayden, but she is in love with him. She attempts to tell herself that she can¿t be in love with her sister¿s husband, but it isn¿t any use. She also knows that because she loves him and her sister, she has to let him go so they can be happy. Scarlet continues to push herself farther and farther throughout the story to help others, in hope she could make their life better while hers is broken. I recommend this book to any girl in eighth grade or older who enjoys a romance novel with many twists and turns. Although the book has some language, it is an excellent example of how helping people can be good, but you also have to take time for yourself. It shows the struggles of a family and the unfairness of life. It also shows that when things are at their worse, you can choose to pull it together or sit and watch it slip farther away. This story will leave you on your toes, and never slows down. You will find yourself falling for Hayden right along with Scarlet! The ending will leave you re-reading the last paragraphs in hopes of finding answers to some unanswered questions. You may just have to some questions for yourself. Overall I loved this book and the characters. You get emotionally connected with them and begin to feel their pain as they struggle to keep a family bond. Scarlet has always put others first, but she has finally decided to enjoy something all for herself.
janeausten93 More than 1 year ago
Amazing... Just amazing. might not help much but... read it and you will see.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i didnt think i would like this book, but i was surprised on how much i liked it and how good it was. it is a slow read for my taste, but the author wrote a very good book. you should buy it and read it, just be prepared for Scarlett, the main character to fall in love with her new brother-in-law on the first page, but to give her somesupport, she never met before and hes a rele nice guy. but it wont be a weird book because she falls in love witjh him on the first page, its not that type of book, read it and youll know what i mean, its rele good.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
I just finished this and thinking how much I love it. First book I read by this author was Nature of Jade. The summary, like this one, caught my interest. Scarlet looks out for everyone, whether its her neighbors, her friends and family. Only things get awkward when her older sister Juliet comes home not only married, but pregnant. Even more awkward when Scarlet finds she might be falling for her brother in law. The writing was well done and flowed well, making the book even better. The characters and setting was interesting. Deb Caletti is now one of my new favorite authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must vread held me to the end
Danielle10122 More than 1 year ago
The best book in the world, and i read A LOT!! Read it teens, it will change your life!!!!!
t1bnotown on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got this book out of curiosity after reading a review. It's out of my typical genre, but I really enjoyed it. It made me feel emotional, I guess, and I really appreciated the way that Scarlet worked herself out of a difficult situation. I also appreciated the way the characters learned about themselves and got ready to grow.
EdGoldberg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The wrong kind of love abounds in The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti. As a general rule, I like her books and this is no exception. Scarlet is seventeen and her older sister Juliet is twenty one. Juliet skipped college and moved away to pursue her singing career. All of the sudden she¿s back home with a new husband, Hayden, in tow. Oh, I forgot to mention¿she¿s pregnant and wants to be home for the baby¿s birth. Juliet¿s never really been in a stable relationship and Scarlet¿s afraid she¿ll try to rekindle a relationship with her old flame, Buddy Wilkes, hurting Hayden in the process. Wrong kind of love, # 1. Scarlet thinks she¿s in love with Hayden. Wrong love #2. The girls¿ mother is dating the stuck-up Dean Neuhaus, who criticizes her every move. Wrong love #3. Nicole, Scarlet¿s best friend, is in love with Shy (aka Jesse) who seems to have a crush on Scarlet. Wrong love #4. And I¿m probably forgetting one or two. The only right love is that of Hayden for Juliet. He writes her astonishingly romantic letters, despite her ambivalence towards him. Caletti writes extremely readable books. She¿s populated The Six Rules of Maybe with an interesting cast of ancillary characters. There are Scarlet¿s next door neighbors on one side who are seemingly being entrapped by an internet scam. One the other side, there¿s Clive Weaver, a retired postman, who is losing it a bit and runs outside to get his non-existent mail in his birthday suit and sllippers. Across the street are young twins Jacob and Jeffrey who provide comic relief. And finally Goth Girl, an artist who draws in chalk on her driveway. Scarlet, a do-gooder at heart, has to help everyone. You can¿t go wrong with a Deb Caletti book. This is one probably my favorite, with The Fortunes of Indigo Skye as a close send and The Nature of Jade coming in at number 3. If you¿re looking for a little romance, a little heroine grows up, a fun story, some action, then I highly recommend The Six Rules of Maybe. We could all learn from the actual six rules of maybe, as well.
bookheart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved the book. The only thing messed up is when she kisses her sister's husband.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I knew it going in, but I picked it up anyway. Though it's beautifully written, I am Just Not That Into Deb Caletti.
ericajsc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Scarlet reminds me of a balloon, slowly leaking air. As the story progresses, the balloon is obviously falling, but it¿s happening so slowly that it takes a long time before she hits the bottom and has to figure out how to rectify the problem.I don¿t want to say that Scarlet is unlikeable, because she¿s not, really. It¿s just that she is so wrapped up in other people¿s lives that she herself isn¿t that interesting, so I can¿t really say that I like her. She¿s a people pleaser, so she tucks away her own feelings and desires in order to keep the people around her happy. So the fact that she develops feelings for her sister¿s husband isn¿t really an external struggle, but a mental one. However, she allows those feelings to control her behavior in regards to him, seeking out ways to know him better even if it makes it harder to see him with her sister. Now, I¿m not saying that it¿s not admirable that the story isn¿t about two sisters fighting over the same guy, because I was somewhat worried that it would turn into that (though having read many of Deb Caletti¿s previous works, I highly doubted that it actually would be that story). But it still made me uncomfortable to watch Scarlet struggle with those feelings. This struggle may have been easier to consume had Scarlet had something in her life I could really grab onto as exceptional. There are things that she does throughout the story that are noteworthy, but nothing about her reels me to make me truly care about her as a character. I don¿t believe that, if she was a person I was introduced to tomorrow that I would find that person to be dull or annoying or too passive; but I do think that she¿s almost too ordinary, too passive, to carry a story. Although there is conflict in her life, which every story needs to make it interesting, her personality doesn¿t allow her to deal with it as a conflict. This makes the story somewhat difficult to latch onto.This slow-paced story could be problematic for many readers, especially when it is combined with a character that, though seemingly well-intentioned, is kind of unlikeable in a bland sort of way. Although I¿ve enjoyed the other Caletti books I¿ve read, this one missed the mark for me. While I appreciate the message I got from the book, I wasn¿t captivated by the story.
ShellyPYA on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Scarlet spends her time helping others. Her goal is to make sure everyone's happy. So when her older sister Juliet comes home married and pregnant, she tries to make sure Juliet doesn't fall beck in love with her old boyfriend. Things get tricky when Scarlet finds herself falling in love with Juliet's husband. On top of this, she's worried that her mom might decide to marry her pompous boyfriend. And when her interfering starts to harm rather than help, she must examine her motivations.
B00KAH0LIC on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ridiculously beautifully written. Deb Caletti's words are alive in this book that makes your heart ache.
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BirdieEEM More than 1 year ago
when i read the back of this book the thing that drew me in was the part where she falls for her sisters husband becasue i am a sucker for a good romance and all the nice stuff. it turned out to be more focused on family than romance between the main character and her sisters husband, which was actually ok with me! i found my self disapointed at some parts when things didnt go the way i hoped but at the end, for the last 10 pages i couldnt stop smileing! i love this book and it was quite a nice suprise to see how realistic this book could be BECUASUE things didnt happen how you wanted them too. the main character learned some nice leasons threw out the book too which means the reader learnes too which i always love about books (when u learn lessons and all) over all i loved this book and recomend it highly!
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