Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Book Review: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles.

Product details:
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books.
Paperback, 368 pages.
Release date: January 6th 2011.
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
Ages: 14+
Series: Perfect Chemistry #2
Other books in series: Perfect Chemistry.
Source: Received from publisher for review.

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.

Rules of Attraction takes place two years after Perfect Chemistry and sees us right back in the thick of things with the Fuentes brothers. This time, the focus is on Carlos, the middle brother, who has a rebel-without-a-cause type chip on his shoulder, and who is cocky and arrogant to boot. He’s certainly not easy to warm to and he pretty much acts like jerk most of the time, but don’t you just know that underneath that bad boy exterior he’s got a heart of gold, just like his yummy older brother. When we meet Carlos, he’s headed for major trouble in Mexico due to gang-involvement and as a result is sent to live with his older brother, Alex, in Colorado. Yes, I’m happy to report that Alex and Brittany are back, and still oh, so in love. Le sigh! Carlos isn’t happy with this enforced move to Colorado, though, and he soon finds even more trouble and trouble finds him. He also finds a girl called Kiara who does her best to keep him out of trouble, but that’s not an easy feat where Carlos is involved.

This story follows the same route as Perfect Chemistry when opposites attract and different worlds collide. Carlos is the ultimate bad boy, while Kiara, is shy, quiet, and not impressed by his attitude. She’s no wallflower though. In fact she’s a tomboy who likes to hike and fix up her vintage car. She’s also more than a match for Carlos. Even so, she can’t help but notice that he’s hot, a fact that he points out to anybody who might care to listen to him, and there is a little attraction between the two that grows over time. While Alex and Brittany had perfect chemistry, Carlos and Kiara just love to hate each other, which leads to a whole load of tension, and you know what happens next! Yes, this book has the same steamy romantic scenes as Perfect Chemistry and this is something that Elkeles really excels at. Hot!

I’ve have to say that I found the storyline and the romance here less powerful than Perfect Chemistry. When reviewing a second book in a series, I don’t like to compare it too often to the first, but that’s simply unavoidable here. The books are similar in many respects, and, for me, Rules of Attraction wasn’t a huge departure in terms of character or plot from Perfect Chemistry. Also, while there is danger here for Carlos, it is resolved all too and easily, and even a little rushed. I didn’t feel the same intensity as I did with Perfect Chemistry where the plot took quite dark turns at times and where I really feared for Alex.

Overall, while I didn’t think this book was anything new or exciting, it’s still a good read. Elkeles has an addictive writing style that just sucks you in and just like Perfect Chemistry, I read this one in one sitting. I didn’t warm to the characters here like I did in the first book, but then, a guy like Alex Fuentes is pretty difficult to live up to, right? I’m glad that Elkeles is taking a different direction with the third book in this series, Chain Reaction (May 2011), which will focus on the youngest Fuentes brother, Luis. He’s a good boy, with big dreams, until he falls for the wrong girl. If the cover is anything to go by, Luis is all grown up now and things are about to get pretty steamy! Can’t wait!



  1. <3 this series! I kind of agree that Carlos's story doesn't quite live up to Alex and Brittany's but it's still awesome! Great review.

    XOXO~ Renee

  2. Great review :) I am looking forward to reading Chain reaction!!

  3. I might be the only who hasn't read anything by Simone Elkeles. Thanks for the review! I really need to pick up Perfect Chemistry.
    The cover foe Chain Reaction is quite steamy ...

  4. I appreciate your honesty on this, Leanna! I found that Return to Paradise fell rather flat compared to Leaving Paradise, too. Sometimes I think Simone Elkeles should leave the readers wanting more, rather than dragging out a sequel. That's just my humble opinion, though! :)

    PS...I'm sending you an email. I have a little question!

  5. I haven't read anything by Simone Elkeles which I know is tragic and wrong and needs to be fixed! I've heard good things about Perfect Chemistry, and I usually have the same problem you had with a second book in a series, I try not to compare it to the first but it's hard not to when you love the first one so much. Really nice review Leanna!

  6. I can't NOT compare two books in a series when I review them both. And I have recently done this to Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction. I love the way Simone Elkeles takes to tell her stories through the eyes of the two protagonists, and I find it simply amazing.

    And, about the review, I have some of the same "complaints" on RoA. It was indeed less powerful and emotional, and Carlos wasn't such a strong character as Alex was for me. But I really, really enjoyed this second book.

    Just can't wait for Chain Reaction now... Seems to be pretty much hot!

  7. I still have Perfect Chemistry sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read, but just had to come and check out your review of the next in this series. Actually, your review is actually making me more curious about PC than this one, even though I'm sure I'll be adding this to my TBR pile too. Loved your review as always :D

  8. I totally agree with you! While Rules of Attraction was an enjoyable read, it's no Perfect Chemistry. The relationship between Carlos and Kiara just didn't sweep me off my feet the way Alex and Brittany's did. I can't wait for Chain Reaction, though! It sounds pretty different from the first two books in the series, and that cover is SMOKING!

  9. Thanks for the review. Haven't read this series yet; I'm not completely sure that it's for me. Though I have read some good things so I may check this out eventually.

  10. I haven't actually read Perfect Chemistry yet but absolutely loved Rules of Attraction - will definitely check out the first if it's even better!


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