Rules of Attractionby Simone Elkeles
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Release Date: April 27, 2010
Publisher: Walker & Co.
Age Group: Older YA
Source: Library Check-Out
Rating: Perfect Bed Partner
Good for 2nds Challenge
Other Books in the Series:
About the Book:
When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.
Carlos: 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...
I would love to say something clever to open this review, but all I can manage is, I am cuckoo for the Fuentes brothers. When I first wanted to pick up Rules of Attraction, I kept getting a lot of feedback saying that it's basically just Perfect Chemistry retold. The same story with different characters, and the third book followed the same formula. I have to disagree. While yes, the same themes are being executed, the same TYPE of story - you know, Mexican bad boy meets White good girl - the story in Rules of Attraction still somehow manages to be fresh and unique to the characters.
Carlos reminded me of Alex, sure, but he is still his own person, with his own aspirations, quirks, and resentments. Honestly, I'd be a little mad if the two weren't similar, being that they are brothers. I like seeing familiar personality traits being passed down into the family. It isn't like Anna and the French Kiss vs. Lola and the Boy Next Door, because those feature two unrelated people, who were brought up differently in different environments. Whereas Alex and Carlos are products of their shared pasts. And while Carlos has the whole bad boy thing down-pat, he does it with his own flair. He has this certain arrogance that's different and more acute than Alex's. Did I like him more than Alex? That's a toughie. I'd say they're pretty much tied in my book.
Being that this story is told between two POVs, Kiara is the other first person narrative to be enjoyed. And I did. I actually love Kiara more than Brittany. Kiara is that girl who wears clothes two sizes too big, who fixes cars for fun, currently in the process of revamping the craptastic one she's in possession of, who isn't afraid to say what she means, and she stutters. I admired her while simultaneously adoring her for being so cute. Plus I loved that she has a gay guy for a best friend, especially this particular one (Tuck), because he is the source of so many great LOL-moments. And like Brittany, besides valuing family a great deal, she has that specific ability of challenging their chosen Fuentes guys, infuriating them and invoking overpowering love in them.
I liked how the plot in this book ties in the first one as well, as the Fuentes brothers are revisited by some unwelcome disturbing members of their past. Set-ups, betrayals, and old gang ties crop up and nearly ruin both Fuentes brothers' chances at happiness with the girls they love. I don't remember how huge the tension level was in Perfect Chemistry, but in Rules of Attraction I was gripping the pages hard and sporting white knuckles. And whenever I'm in that situation I tend to skim until I find out what happens, so there's a whole chunk toward the end that's kind of a blur because I got so worried and curious. And it leads up to a superb ending, which induced many awwwws from me.
I'm so happy that I didn't let other people's judgements pry me away from this series! It was worth the time it took to read Rules of Attraction, and Carlos and Kiara's love story makes my list of best romances.
|In the most totally inappropriate way you can imagine, PBP books are the books you want to do, they're so bloody brilliant... (My Rating System In-Depth)|