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Friday, September 3, 2010

Review: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

Usually sequels don’t fair well with the book they’ve preceded. More often than not it falls short of the expectations of the readers, but let me tell you, this is an exception to that trend. Rules of Attraction doesn’t disappoint!

I love Rules of Attraction as much as I loved Perfect Chemistry.

Title: Rules of Attraction
Author: Simone Elkeles
Pages: 324


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.

The elements that gave birth to Perfect Chemistry were very much present in Rules of Attraction. We have our male protagonist, a boy from the slums, who has seen and lived on the harsher side of life, and we have a girl who was the exact opposite of this boy, one that seemed pampered and sheltered and different from all the girls this boy has ever met. Add that other “savior” that gives this boy a chance, one that gets this boy’s life inextricably tangled with the girl. Weave a beautiful tale about how love blossomed between these two unlikely people against all odds, despite the circumstances, and you have two wonderful novels.

Rules of Attraction have more hilarious moments than Perfect Chemistry. It was more laid lack, but not less serious than its predecessor. Less heavy plot, less intense emotions, but not less substance. Simone Elkeles was able to maintain that distinct feeling you get when you read about the Fuentes brothers, now Carlos, their family and friends, their lives, and that one girl they were willing to give everything up for, even at the cost of their lives. You’ll get to laugh, you’ll get to think, and you’ll get to feel and connect with the characters and hold your breath on emotionally intense moments. Which to me, is just brilliant!

Carlos comes off as a very cynical guy. He was cynical about a lot of things, his life as a whole, his future, uncertain and bleak at best, which he believes will be the same as the one his Papa had and the one Alex had before he decides to leave the gang. Carlos was careful not to let anyone get too close because of his fear that they’ll end up leaving him in the end. But deep down? Carlos is just the same as his older brother. Tough on the outside, but one who was capable of loving and cherishing and protecting those he holds dear. He's kind and righteous and fights for what he believes in, even though he doesn't want to admit it.

Kiara’s character is a refreshing change from Brittany. Kiara wasn’t close to perfect. Her number one problem was her stuttering, a habit that shows when she’s nervous, and one that makes her the receiving end of jokes of her classmates. She’s more flawed, which makes her character more convincing. Simone Elkeles was able to create an entirely new character out of Kiara. She wasn’t very feminine, heck she loves tinkering with her car and could care less about what she looks like, but its these unique qualities she possess that draws her to Carlos like moth to a flame.

So when these two character meet? Sparks are definitely guaranteed to fly. And once again, love will bloom!

One addition to the staple set of characters was Tuck, and I have to say I very much enjoyed his presence in the story. It's always nice having a gay friend, may it be in a novel or in real life. Having gay friends makes life more colorful and fun. Sometimes they're more loyal and loving than most female friends, trust me.

Mrs. P’s is to Alex as Westford is to Carlos. They were that one person apart from Brittany and Kiara who gave them a chance, saw something in them that other people don’t see. That one person who didn’t give up no matter how “bad-ass” and tough the Fuentes brother thought they were.

I have no words to express how much I adore this book. Like all books, it’s not perfect, but it’s… amazing. Even when I was just reading the first pages of the book, this quickly became one of my most favorite reads this year.

By the way, my most favorite scene is: *points at the cover* yep, you guessed it right, it was that moment when they kissed like that, in the middle of the rain.

Will there be a third book? I am curious to read about the life of the lesser known and the youngest of the Fuentes brothers, Luis.

★★★★★ : AWESOMENESS! MORE! MORE! - I can't believe such a book exists!



  1. I absolutely love Simon Elkeles. This book is great! Brilliant review :)

  2. Very cute cover, I'm glad you liked the book.

  3. Absolutely fabulous review! I've heard so many good things about Perfect Chemistry but haven't had a chance to read it yet. Your review just made it #1 on my list.

    Following you now! Thanks again!


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