While 17-year-old Scarlet Ellis has always been the nice one in her family, her moody, selfish older sister, Juliet, has always been quick to dump a long line of boyfriends. Although they were once close as children, their now-tenuous relationship becomes even more difficult when Juliet returns to their Pacific Northwest island home, married to gorgeous, romantic Hayden—and pregnant.
As Juliet pushes away her new husband and chases after her one serious high school boyfriend, Scarlet is trying hard not to fall in love with Hayden. She dedicates herself, as always, to rescuing those around her, including her eccentric neighbors: a retired mailman who has started checking his mail wearing nothing more than his slippers, an artistic Goth girl who wants a date to the prom and an older couple selling their home to answer the email pleas for money from a plantation owner in the Ivory Coast. But eventually she begins to realize that she needs to follow a gift from Hayden: the “Rules of Maybe,” a set of directions to achieve her own dreams, wants and wishes.
Scarlet’s spot-on musings about high school and her elaborate network of relationships lead her to see that she can still be nice while taking care of her own needs and desires. She also begins to understand her relationship with Juliet better, and she may even find a little romance that she doesn’t have to share. These discoveries tug on the heart in all the right places.