House Rules

A harrowing, shockingly authentic, savagely funny novel of a teenage girl s odyssey through sexual violence and drugs the most electrifying fictional debut since Bret Easton Ellis s Less Than Zero.
House Rules A harrowing shockingly authentic savagely funny novel of a teenage girl s odyssey through sexual violence and drugs the most electrifying fictional debut since Bret Easton Ellis s Less Than Zero

  • Title: House Rules
  • Author: Heather Lewis
  • ISBN: 9781852424619
  • Page: 220
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “House Rules”

    1. In some ways Natalie Scott’s Rules for Riders, Anton Disclafani’s The Yonahloosee Riding Camp for Girls, and this book, Heather Lewis’s House Rules, seem different versions of the same basic story - a young equestrienne’s discovery of the real world. If they were films, Scott’s might be PG13 light romance & Disclafani’s an epic rated R. Lewis’s: Unrated & full-frontal - no certificate, no cuts, & no concessions to the censors. Like Megan Abbott’s Dare Me, House Rules [...]

    2. Powerful, bleak, disturbing I read it because it was reviewed somewhere as a kind of Bret Easton Ellis for the equestrian world--- one reviewer sardonically called it "the finest novel ever written about coked-out lesbian fist-fucking on the wealthy horse-show circuit". It's a lot more than that. It's dark enough, God knows, and there's a lot in it about drugs, transgressive sex, and the technical world of show jumpers. But it's also about a young heroine trying to put up walls between herself a [...]

    3. This reads like the sort of first novel one would write to try to exorcise a lifetime of abuse: it is searing and unflinching in its portrait of a young woman whose life is spent by day in the high-gloss world of the horse show circuit, and by night in the thrall of a series of depraved manipulative adults and equally wounded peers. Lewis's is a powerful voice, and not just because her subject matter is so disturbing: she conveys viscerally the complicated emotions and motivations of her protago [...]

    4. It’s hard sometimes for me to decide whether I want to read a book that is this violent. But then I could ask myself, if I had met the author, Heather Lewis, while she was still alive and she told me of the abuse would I listen? Yes, absolutely, because I like her voice, despite what she needs to talk about. I can’t see myself running out to buy her next book, anymore than I would eagerly question the author further about fist-fucking and needle jabbing, but all the same this book is really [...]

    5. Harrowing account of a fifteen-year old girl's descent into drug use, sex (mostly with her fellow riders/trainers), and horse showing/jumping. The sex and drug writing is remarkably descriptive without ever being self-indulgent or overwrought. This book isn't exactly "punk rock" but is maybe something that arose out of it, like certain strands of shoegaze.

    6. This book is about a 15 year-old runaway working as a professional show jumper and getting really heavily into drugs and entangled in sadomasochistic lesbian relationships. I found out 3/4 of the way through that the author killed herself by overdose at the age of 40, and cried the rest of the way through the book. Raw and honest and heartbreaking.

    7. A troubling and deeply affecting book about a young woman's struggle with drugs, sex, control and professional show jumping. Probably best for people who have a lot of horse knowledge and aren't squeamish about fairly dramatic sex scenes.

    8. Edit: On September 22 2017, I rewrote this review and have included a lot of background information on Heather Lewis in my blog post.New review posted here: icomewithknives/20New review below: [I've excluded the blurb on Heather's biography, but it's included in my original link] Not exactly spoilers in this review, but general outline of the plot (so you might want to avoid it!)(view spoiler)[The book begins with the narrator, Lee, facing expulsion due to being caught with pot and a bunch of bo [...]

    9. The content of the book may repel others, but not me. Lee is introduced as a troubled fifteen-year-old who has just been kicked out of boarding school for posessing marijuana. She can't (or better yet, won't) stay home because her father sexually abuses her which doesn't seem to bother her mother very much. So instead Lee heads off to Florida and returns to the world of competitive horse showing. Thus begins Lee's downward spiral into a brutal world filled with drugs, alcohol and violent sexual [...]

    10. House Rules is a novel about show jumping but probably not like any other novel about show jumping. The book is written in first person from the POV of 15 year old Lee, a talented rider who is desperate to keep away from her abusive father. Unfortunately, the people she falls in with from the show jumping fraternity aren't much better. Between the horse action (and Lewis does go into it in quite a bit of detail), the characters spend their time smoking, drinking, taking drugs and engaging in pre [...]

    11. this is one of the weirdest and darkest books i've ever read. i'm not even sure how to rate it, honestly. the subject matter is horrifying, and i found myself getting really lost when lee was talking about the horse jumping world. it was like another language. after awhile, i just went with it, and realized i just wasn't going to get what she was talking about in those moments, though towards the end, some of it seemed to make more sense's hard to know the characters or know where they come from [...]

    12. im not really sure what the point of this book was. i thought it was a lesbian s&m book, but the main character is freaking FIFTEEN! Can I talk about how wrong that is. She has sex with everyone in the book, male and female, is raped by her dad and has a sick sexual relationship with a woman her mothers age. This was just not a good book.

    13. A visceral novel that draws you kicking & screaming into the world of competition show jumping where the only things more doped out than the horses are the riders. Painful, erotic, twisted and violent - left me with an indelible memory that has persisted for years. Sad the author is gone, because if this is her first novel, I would have loved to see what her tenth one looked like.

    14. Despite the star rating, I can't think of a single person I could recommend this book to without some major trepidation. Heather Lewis is a WRITER. It saddens me we won't get to see what else she could have done. I can't think of another book that both compelled and repulsed me on such a level. Tread careful.

    15. Heather Lewis was a powerhouse. I read this book while I was in Japan and it changed my world. I wanted very badly to write her a letter and composed one in my head multiple times. I never wrote it or sent it a few years later she killed herself. This saddens me immeasurably.This book made me interested in competitive horseback riding and to a lesser extent horse heroin. Yeah.

    16. I was torn between giving this book 2 or 3 stars 2 stars It was okay and 3 is I liked it. I wish I could give 2 1/2 stars. If you love horses or enjoy reading about drug abuse and sexual abuse you will really enjoy this book.

    17. the cover is misleading; don't pick up this book thinking it's sm erotica (like i did). however it's a good read, especially if you enjoy total immersion in an emotionally intense teenage subjectivity. plus, you'll be spouting technical details about competitive horse show culture for like a week.

    18. Man I have read this book at least 5 times!! I love it! It is a crazy look into head games, sex, and horses!!!

    19. Rainbow sticker was so promising! Book itself was a horribly let-down. Could barely finish the first two chapters. Ugh.

    20. Incredibly accurate description of the show jumping world, chilling writing, very graphic sex scenes that were disturbing

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