(This is an Adult-who-enjoys-reliving-the-stirrings-of-first-love-and-self-discovery-during-the-teen-years-through-YA books review)
**CONTENT WARNING - Since this is a YA book I will include a warning that this book contains some Sexual, Drug and Alcohol, Course Language and Violent Content - Recommended for Older Teens and Adults who enjoy YA books**
Rules of Attraction is the sequel to Perfect Chemistry, and the second book in the “Fuentes Brothers Trilogy”. I really love the cover of this book - Very HOT and romantic! I don't know what it is about kissing in the rain... *shivers* ^_^
Perfect Chemistry was one of my favourite reads of 2010. I just absolutely adore Alex and Brittany!
In Rules of Attraction, author Simone Elkeles once again uses the formula of “bad-boy” from wrong side of the tracks meets middle-class “good girl”. However, while I really enjoyed this book, it lacked that sizzling, combustible magic that was Perfect Chemistry, for me.
Carlos Fuentes is a rebel who loves living on the edge. He is forced to move to Boulder, Colorado, to live with his older brother, Alex, to finish off his senior year of high school. One his first day of school, Carlos gets assigned to Kiara Westford, who is to be his “peer guide”. Kiara is an avid hiker, dresses in baggy T-shirts and hiking boots, and is wholesome – definitely not Carlos’ type.
When Carlos ends up getting into some trouble, he moves in with the Westford family, as part of the REACH program. Through living in close proximity to each other, Carlos and Kiara get to know each, and well, much to both their surprises, sparks eventually fly and they end up falling for each other. Hey, this is a YA Romance! ^_^
Like in Perfect Chemistry, I really enjoyed the alternating point-of-views that allows the reader into both Carlos’ and Kiara’s heads. Simone Elkeles is really connected with her “inner teen”. Her writing keeps me engaged and makes me remember what it was like to be a teen falling in love.
I didn’t like Carlos much from the snippet I got in Perfect Chemistry and wasn’t sure how much I would like this book, but ended up really enjoying it. The reason I love Alex so much more is because he didn’t want to be in a gang, but felt he had no choice. He wore a “mask” to convince others he was bad, yet longed for something more in his life. His internal struggle moved me so much…plus, he was so gosh-darned sexy! ^_^ Whereas, while Carlos was a hottie, too, I felt that he had an attitude problem and enjoyed being a “badass”. I really enjoyed watching Carlos’ growth throughout this book. Though at the end of the day, Alex is still my numero uno Fuentes brother, mi corazon. Aahh…Alex… *sighs*
I loved Kiara. She is the kind of girl I could see myself having been friends with in high school. She is smart, funny, strong, determined and caring. Though, actually, her love of cars and hiking wouldn’t have aligned with my interests of reading and talking about hot guys, at that age. Oh, wait, those are still my interests! LOL
I really liked Kiara’s best friend, Tuck, and her adorable younger brother, Brandon.
The epilogue was sweet but was a little corny.
But what I most especially loved, was getting more of Alex and Brittany in this book and seeing them in college, even though things were not smooth sailing. I loved the realism of their relationship. They are one of my favourite YA couples. I just love them!
All in all, Rules of Attraction was funny, romantic, angsty, and tugged at my heartstrings, just at the right moments. I happily recommend this YA series for adults who enjoy reading YA and want a sexier, grittier read, and for older teens.
Some of my favourite quotes/scenes:
“We kiss all the time." I clear my throat, then add, "We just...do it in private."
"A smug expression crosses his face. "I don't buy it for a second, 'cause if you were my girlfriend and a stud like me was livin' in your house, I'd kiss you in front of the guy every chance I got as a reminder."
"A reminder of w-w-what?"
"That you were mine."
"Tell me somethin’ you do that would shock me.”
She sits back on the couch. “Shock you?”
“Yeah. Shock me to the core.”
She sits up on her knees and leans toward me. “I’ve thought about you, Carlos,” she whispers in my ear.
“At night, in bed. I think about kissing you, our tongues sliding against each other’s, while your hands are buried in my hair. When I think about feeling those ripples in your naked chest I touch my—”
“Here’s more popcorn!” Westford says, barging into the room with two big bowls filled to the rim with freshly popped popcorn.
“Kiara, what are you doing?"
"You know about fixing cars, you're athletic, and you know when to shut up."
"That last one isn't a skill."
"Honey, trust me. It's a skill."
"La cucaracha, La cucaracha, Ya no puede caminar, porque no tiene, porque le falta, I don't know the rest, la la la la!"
“K, The lady at the store said yellow means friendship and red means love. The Rosary is the only thing I own that has value to me. It’s yours. I’m yours. C.”
My Carlos (Marlon Teixeira)
My Kiara (Hayley Erin)
I'm REALLY looking forward to the youngest Fuentes brother's (Luis') book, Chain Reaction, out on 16th August 2011 - SQUEEE!!!!
LOVE the cover! It seems that in this 3rd book, Luis Fuentes is the "good boy" with big dreams who falls for the "wrong" girl. And I already have a cutie image of "my Luis", so bring on Chain Reaction!
"Luis Fuentes has always been sheltered from the gang violence that nearly destroyed his brothers’ lives. But that didn’t stop him from taking risks—whether he’s scaling a mountain in the Rockies or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis can’t stop ...looking for the next thrill.
Nikki Cruz lives her life by three rules—boys lie to get their way, don’t trust a boy who says “I love you,” and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Her parents may be from Mexico, but as a doctor’s daughter, she has more in common with her north-side neighbors than the Latino Blood at her school. Then she meets Luis at Alex’s wedding, and suddenly, she’s tempted to break all her rules.
Getting Nikki to take a chance on a southsider is Luis’s biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by Chuy Soto, the new head of the Latino Blood. When Chuy reveals a disturbing secret about Luis’s family, the youngest Fuentes finds himself questioning everything he’s ever believed to be true. Will his feelings for Nikki be enough to stop Luis from entering a dark and violent world and permanently living on the edge?"