There Are No Rules for This

A Novel

Fiction - Womens
248 Pages
Reviewed on 08/08/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Donna Parrey for Readers' Favorite

From the hook of the first two pages to the rollercoaster ride of emotions throughout, readers will be drawn into JJ Elliott’s There Are No Rules For This. The fact that this is JJ Elliott’s debut novel makes one greedy for the next. A tight quartet of women friends becomes a grief-stricken trio when one commits suicide. This is not a spoiler as it is the basic premise of the book right from the beginning but might serve as a trigger warning for some readers. The story rolls out in more than a dozen chapters with intriguing names like “The Time Wine Shot Out My Nose” and “The Time We Got Caught on a Stakeout.” JJ Elliott weaves each chapter with memories that Max, Liddy, and Ali have of Josephine “Feeney” Simms and their newly-hatched plan to hold their own funerals while they are still alive.

There Are No Rules For This gives readers a compelling story and a lot to think about. JJ Elliott’s superb writing kicks in early and never lets up. Readers can relate to her descriptive passages of sorrow, angst, joy, guilt, and peace of mind. The author manages to let us get inside the skins of these women as if we, too, knew one another for years and shared Wine Wednesdays with them in California wine country. The story is well-paced as we follow both the flashbacks that Max, Liddy, and Ali have of Feeney and their struggles to deal with things not said. There Are No Rules For This is women’s fiction at its best, and JJ Elliott is an author you’ll want to hear more from.


This book was about the deep and interconnected lives of 4-women who have a rich history of friendship. When Feeney kills herself they are left with utter disbelief and grief and it affects them all in different ways. Their response to holding funerals for each other proves to act as a mechanism to help deal with their grief and understand the love and support of their family and friends. The novel serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of expressing love and support while people are still present. It underscores the gift of human connection, especially during challenging times. JJ's masterful storytelling skill is evident as the narrative gracefully unfolds, evoking laughter and tears in equal measure. is a masterfully written exploration of the complexities of female friendship, loss, and the human experience. JJ's ability to blend humor and sorrow creates a narrative that is both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. This novel is a testament to the enduring power of love and connection, making it a must-read for anyone seeking a profound and emotionally resonant story.