Saturday, April 03, 2010

Rules of Attraction (YA)

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles. 2010. April 2010. Walker (Bloomsbury) 336 pages.

I want to live life on my own terms. But I'm Mexican, so mi familia is always there to guide me in everything I do whether I want them to or not. Well, guide is too weak of a word. Dictate is more like it.

Rules of Attraction is a sequel (of sorts) to Simone Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry. The narrators are Carlos (Alex's younger brother) and Kiara (his love interest). The premise is simple. Carlos is being sent to live with Alex in Colorado. His mother is hoping that Alex will be a good influence on him. After all, Alex has gotten his life together since meeting Brittany. Giving up his gang--truly risking it all--and putting all his energy and drive into his new dreams. These dreams which he shares with his girlfriend.

But Carlos is angry. He doesn't see this new Alex (it has been two years since the close of Perfect Chemistry, I believe) as a better Alex. He doesn't see Brittany as a good thing for his brother. Far from it. He still sees her as an outsider. Too rich. Too white. Too perfect.

Like Perfect Chemistry, this YA Romance is told from two perspectives. So it becomes a real he said, she said, affair. So who is Kiara? Well, it's a bit complicated. No, her character isn't all that complicated. But the circumstances that line up to bring these two together. Alex knows Kiara and her father. (Kiara shares his interest in cars. Kiara's father is a professor who invests a lot in his students. He has become close with Alex. And so Carlos sort of comes under his wings as well. He invites Carlos into his home--to live--when something big comes up.)

These two so do not get along. At first anyway.

I didn't love this one as much as Perfect Chemistry. Perhaps because Carlos isn't Alex and Kiara isn't Brittany. Though in all fairness, there is no reason they should be. Just because Alex and Carlos are brothers don't mean they're the same. Brothers can be very, very different from one another! And these differences do need to be appreciated. Kiara. I just didn't connect as deeply with Kiara as I did Brittany. I never felt I really got past the surface with Kiara. But that could be just me. Some readers may be able to relate to her more.

So this one is still recommended.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Maria the Bookworm 5:08 PM  

Great review! I cannot wait to read this book, Simone never disappoints :)

heidenkind 1:39 AM  

So excited about this book! Even if it's not AS good as Perfect Chemistry, I'm sure it'll still be good.

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
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I am not a fan of:

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  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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