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A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

August 5, 2014 | Christine | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...

The Rule of Thirds by Chantal Guertin cover imageThe Rule of Thirds by Chantal Guertin is a sweet novel about 16 days in the life of Philadelphia Greene, a high school student preparing for the upcoming Vantage Point statewide photography competition. An avid photographer, Pippa (as she’s known to her friends) has been preparing for this competition for the last six months, and wants nothing more than to win a place at that year’s Tisch photography camp in New York City. The problem is, on top of all of this, she also has to deal with her school’s mandatory volunteer hour placement at St. Christopher’s Hospital, a place that Pippa had hoped never to set foot in again. Despite her trepidations, the teen dives into her new candy-striping job head-on with lots of pluck and humour, and tries to find the happier side of a place she only associates with death and sadness. Along with all of this, Pippa must find a way to juggle her changing relationship with her best friend/model-in-training Dace, the attentions of love interests Ben and Dylan (!), and try not to let debilitating panic attacks stop her from getting to Vantage Point.

I think that The Rule of Thirds is a charming book that explores love, loss, and friendship in a very touching way. I felt that Pippa's interactions with the other characters at the school and in the hospital were very well-written, and I liked seeing all of the different rules that the main character had for different situations in her everyday life, such as:

1. Answer when she calls”


1. No one gets in the house.
2. If you’re about the let someone in the house, remember Rule #1.”

I also enjoyed reading about some of the different photography techniques that Pippa was using to make her shots, like focusing on items in the foreground while letting the background stay blurry, doing wide angle shots for her school newspaper, and making use of the titular “rule of thirds.” This was a very funny and enjoyable read, and I think that it would be a great book to have on your shelf this summer.

What did you think of The Rule of Thirds by Chantal Guertin?