Friday 28 October 2011

Review: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

I have never been so excited to get a book. After finishing Perfect Chemistry, the first in Simone Elkeles' series, I cursed myself for not having ordered the whole thing, and immediately went online to remedy my mistake. Then I waited. And waited. Everyone in my office was on book watch. Each day a book didn't come (or the wrong one did) was a disappointment. Then, when Rules of Attraction finally appeared on my desk...

Yep. I squealed. Then went home and DEVOURED it. I'm talking staying up 'til 2am even though I had to work the next day. I could not put it down. I sped through the pages, anxious for the next appearance of Alex and Brittany, plus excited to watch the developing relationship between Alex's little bro, Carlos, and Kiara, the girl whose family had taken him in.

Squealing aside, I was initially a little concerned that Rules of Attraction would feel like copypasta of Perfect Chemistry, but I needn't have worried. Sure, the two books are structurally and thematically similar, but the characters are completely unique. Carlos may be related to Alex, but the two are quite different. Carlos is even angrier at the world than Alex was, and takes his emotions out on those around him. As a result, he comes off as quite, well, douchey for a big chunk of the book. Of course, he's a good guy deep down; his sweetness just takes a little longer to surface than it did in Alex's case. Which makes him pretty amusing, but also incredibly frustrating and hard to warm to at first. It's OK though, coz his hotness in the second half of the book more than makes up for it.

What I liked most about Rules of Attraction, though, was not actually Carlos - it was Kiara. She was a bit of a dag, but I loved that she was smart, had unique interests, an awesome gay best friend, didn't care what other people thought of her and took no crap - especially from Carlos. She gave as good as she got, and it was totally hot. Plus she has an incredibly amazing family who were so fun to read about. At first I was like, are these people for real?! Taking in a gang member the same age as your teenage daughter is not exactly a smart move, when you think about it. But when Kiara's dad's background is revealed, it all makes sense. I loved the way they all looked after each other and enjoyed spending time together. Hello, Family Fun Night? Adorable!

The chemistry between Carlos and Kiara wasn't quite as explosive as it was between Alex and Brittany (for me, at least), but it was still pretty fiery. I loved the glimpses we got of the older couple, too; they're so loved-up for most of the book and it's great to see them going strong. There was one plot twist that kinda threw me off, but thanks to the cheesetastic epilogue in Perfect Chemistry I knew everything would be OK. There's another extra cheesy epilogue in this installment, and I gotta admit I enjoyed it. I do love me a happily ever after.

Rating: 3/5

Eye Candy
I pictured Tyler Posey as Carlos because a) he's hot, b) he has Mexican heritage, c) he's hot, d) he looked hot doing the whole (highly stylised) gang thing in Best Coast's Our Deal film clip, and e) he's hot.

I pictured Tyler's Teen Wolf co-star Crystal Reed as Kiara, because I'm just THAT imaginative. In my defense, she does look kinda how I thought Kiara would - brunette, athletic...

Also? They're totally adorable together.

The aforementioned Best Coast clip, which I watch at least twice a day. I'm obsessed.

Fine Print
Genre: Young Adult
Published: 2010
Publisher: Walker Books
Get It: Book Depository

Images via Tyler Posey Online and Ultimate Crystal Reed


  1. Great review Belle! I haven't really given this series much thought but you have made me want to read it now! I love how you always put up pics of who you think matches the character - very clever!

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

  2. I agree. I did enjoy this book but it didn't hit me as much as Perfect Chemistry. What I really enjoy about these books is the Latino perspectiv. I wonder how close to true these prejudices and stereotypes are in the US.

    Have you read Elkeles' Leaving Paradise? For me that's the best one I've read.

    That clip is awesome. A modern West Side Story.

  3. @Megan - Thanks! Yes it didn't really interest me until I saw other bloggers rave about it, and it's such a fun series.

    @Mo - I wondered how accurate it was too. I haven't read Leaving Paradise but I'll add it to my wishlist if you enjoyed it even more than this series. :)

  4. Wait! Is that the kid from Maid in Manhattan? HOLY CROW! When did he grow up? God, I'm old. *sobs*

    And YES! You expressed perfectly how I felt about RoA. I loved Kira's feisty side and Carlos' douchebaggy antics. Thanks for this review. It made me so happy!

  5. @Missie - It is! Scary, right? He's 19. Totally legal. Ahem.

  6. Haha, Belle I love this review (Made the most undignified noise at the Jonah Hill gif. I had a very similar experience when my copy of Froi came the other week!)

    I read Perfect Chemistry a while a go and I wasn't sure whether I would continue but this review has definitely made me reconsider :-p
    I mostly want to read it to see how awful the epilogue is ;)

    Great review :-D

  7. @Jo - Haha, thanks! If you love awful epilogues, you should definitely continue to Chain Reaction - that epilogue is THE WORST. :D

  8. I love it when you put the pictures below the review!
    I have to say that Crystal reed is a perfect kiara now i think about it.
    I loved Carlos in the books hes so sexy!

  9. Thanks Abbey! Yes Carlos is definitely hot :D

  10. Oh god, that video made me cry.

    1. Oh I forgot about that video in my review. I haven't watched it ages - I have to now!