Monday, May 3, 2010

Review: Rules of Attraction

Rules of Attraction
By Simone Elkeles
Publication date: April 13, 2010
My rating: *****

My review:

In this sequel to Perfect Chemistry, the story is about Alex's younger brother Carlos Fuentes who is sent to live with Alex after getting into trouble in Mexico. Alex is now living in Colorado and attending college. Carlos doesn't like Colorado from the start. He doesn't like the changes he sees in his older brother and he feels like he doesn't fit in at school. On his first day he meets Kiara Westford, the daughter of Alex's college professor, who is supposed to be his guide for the first week. Right away he irritates Kiara by his behavior but when he is forced to move in with the Westfords he starts to see Kiara and his life in a whole new light.

Just like Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction is another great "opposites attract" romance by Simone Elkeles. There is nothing earth shattering about the plot but the attraction and developing relationship between Carlos and Kiara is enjoyable to read about. Kiara is a fantastic character. I liked that she is this average looking, down to earth girl. She is definitely her own person and her interests and way of expressing herself reflect that. She has difficulties, particularly with stuttering and the way the other students tease her about it but she grew up in a very stable home environment with two supportive parents. I found myself comparing her to Brittany, the main female character in Perfect Chemistry, and I liked Kiara more because I could relate to her a little bit better. She is spunky and endearing and I loved how she would get Carlos back if he played tricks on her or gave her a hard time.  I found Carlos to be very different from Alex. I liked Alex right away but with Carlos it took a little bit of time to see beneath the gruff exterior. I think I felt like Alex was a more sympathetic character because his involvement with gangs was for the protection of his family but with Carlos it was because he thought it was cool. Some of his choices in the book irritated me. I soon grew to like his character though, especially after reading about why he left Mexico. I thoroughly enjoyed the romance between Carlos and Kiara.

Kiara's parents and younger brother Brandon were very welcoming to Carlos and really made him part of the family even when he was rude to them. I loved the interaction between Carlos and Brandon. Seeing Carlos play G.I. Joe and think about his own youth reminded me that this is the kind of childhood Carlos could have had if he had grown up in a different situation. I also liked how nonjudgemental Dr. Westford is towards Carlos and Alex. He is a really good positive male role model for Carlos.

The other characters in the book are not as well developed. Tuck, Kiara's best friend, is more of a caricature unfortunately and even the villains are pretty shallow. I felt that the villain from Perfect Chemistry was far better developed. Still there were some good suspenseful moments but I felt the resolution of the plot was too smooth. However this did not really detract from my enjoyment of the book. Overall I thought that Rules of Attraction was an electrifying YA romance. I can't wait to read Luis's story in the next book!


  1. Great review, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Great review. I have this one on my shelf :)

  3. I've only been hearing great things about the Perfect Chemistry series! I really have to go out and get the first book.

  4. I reviewed this book as well and I throughly agree with your take on it. It wasn't as engrossing as PERFECT CHEMISTRY, but it was still a fine and enjoyable read. In all fairness to the author, PERFECT CHEMISTRY was so awesome, it's a hard book to top!

  5. great review! it's on my TBR pile, and i hope i enjoy it as much as you do :)

  6. These are entirely not the kind of books that I would normally read, and yet the number of positive reviews that they are getting make them incredibly tempting. I might have to check them out. Thanks!

    ETA: I changed my mind. They are just the kind of books that I would read, but don't admit to reading. I must come to terms with the fact that I do enjoy both YA and romance novels. It's difficult, however, to justify the combination of the two when you're in your thirties :)

  7. Becki, you are in good company! I am in my 30s as well and thoroughly enjoy YA romance. I do however have a tendency to place those books in the darkest corners of my bookshelf while reserving the prime spots for more "age appropriate" reads like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society or my Norton anthologies.

  8. Great review! This one looks sooooo good, I can't wait to read it!

  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! This is my first Brandilyn Collins read. I got it for the Kindle and the "E" worked with my "Read Your Name Challenge" so I thought I would give it a shot. I will be reading more! I love a good suspense story.

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