Sunday, May 9, 2010

Review: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

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.

Plot: 5/5
Another story about the unlikely romance of a Fuentes brother, Rules of Attraction is the sequel to Simone Elkeles' masterpiece Perfect Chemistry. It's the story of Carlos, a delinquent from Mexico, who has to move to Colorado to live with his brother. Somewhere along the way he meets Kiara. She's kind, deep, smart, non-superficial, the total antithesis of the typical girl Carlos goes for. Yet, they have an undeniable connection. Unfortunately for Carlos, he has way too much on the line to risk getting emotionally involved with someone, and letting her in to see that he really has a good heart. Just like Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction has a juicy plot revolving around the love of two people from completely different worlds.

Creativity: 4/5
Rules of Attraction is not the typical "bad boy falls for good girl" story. The characters are polar opposites, but it's not the usual things,such as family and social status, that keep them apart. In fact, most people around the central characters are supportive of them being together. In the story, it's less about external forces and more about the internal complexities of both Carlos and Kiara, such as pride, insecurity, and emotional turmoil, that hinder them from being together. Readers will enjoy the refreshing approach on the unlikely love story.

Characters: 5/5
Carlos and his older brother are alike and different at the same time. In Perfect Chemistry, Alex longed to let his guard down, but given his circumstances, he couldn't. Carlos, on the other hand, likes being indifferent. Untouchable, even. And this makes him seem like a selfish jerk- his ultimate plan. But As the reader digs deeper and deeper into his character, they find the many complications that rule his life, that make him who he is. They find the twists and turns to his personality, and find something to love in him. Kiara's also a very well-developed character. Unlike Brittany, Alex's love interest in the first book, she isn't perfect. She has faced more than her share of ridicule due to her stutter, and because of that, she's insecure and often doubts herself. But her imperfections only make the readers enjoy the book more, because she's realistic and her quirks only make her more lovable.

Writing: 4/5
When Simone Elkeles writes from the points of view of her characters, things just feel right. The voices are believable, the ideas are convincing. Whether she's writing as Carlos or Kiara, she makes the reader become the character portrayed. Things become natural. Things become real. Because of this, the readers' understandings of both Carlos and Kiara deepen, because the words on the pages describe their joys and sorrows, their challenges and triumphs, so convincingly.

Impact: 5/5
The fire between Kiara and Carlos could give Alex and Brittany's a run for its money. Just like Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction brings forth an intensity that will have readers' hearts melting.

Overall: 5/5
I loved (and I mean seriously, seriously loved) Perfect Chemistry, so I was both excited and nervous about reading Rules of Attraction. Excited, because obviously I'd be reading the follow-up to one of my favorite books, but nervous because I was afraid it wouldn't turn out as good as I expected. Luckily, I was blessed because I really enjoyed this book. I devoured it quickly, like a glass of cold water on a hot day. I really enjoyed reading it! It was intense, humorous, and oh so romantic. I personally liked Perfect Chemistry more, but maybe that's just because I'm biased when it comes to everything about that book. All bias aside, though, Rules of Attraction is a stellar book and is a definite must-read. It won't disappoint!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful review! I just finished Perfect Chemistry and loved it, so I'm glad to hear this is just as good.