Rules of Attraction
Author: Simone Elkeles
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Walker and Company
Date Published: April 27th 2010
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.
I really didn’t know what to expect from Rules of Attraction, because I wasn’t a huge fan of Perfect Chemistry, so I did open up this book with some trepidation, in the end though I liked it way more than Perfect Chemistry.
Rules of Attraction is the second book in Simone Elkeles Perfect Chemistry series following the middle Fuentes boy, Carlos. After getting in trouble in Mexico, Carlos’s mom sends Carlos to live with Alex who is currently going to school in Colorado. Carlos arrives in Colorado with a huge attitude problem, and acting very similar to the way older brother Alex was before he grew up, and changed his ways. Soon after being there he gets in trouble and finds himself living with the Westfords. It’s either jail or them, anyways Kiara who butts head with from the beginning so happens to be a Westford, commence sexual tension, and drama. Kiara is as straight laced as they come, and Carlos following his brothers footprints is in a gang back in Mexico. Just because you leave Mexico doesn’t mean your ties to the gangs go away.
Like I mentioned before I really enjoyed Carlos’s story much more than Alex’s, and Carlos’s romance with Kiara was also better than Alex’s, in my opinion. First off, one of my problems in Perfect Chemistry was the overuse of words like mamacita and the such, being Hispanic (Mexican descent) it was corny to me, and not as popular as Ms. Elkeles likes to believe, but in Rules of Attraction it is definitely toned down, very toned down. There still is a quite a bit of Spanish words mixed in with English, but hey there Mexican, I get it. Carlos also didn’t come off as a wannabe hardcore gangster, like the way I felt the character of Alex was written. Carlos was just easier to digest, in fact I enjoyed his character.
The relationship between Kiara and Carlos worked for me because I like both characters. Kiara is someone who is hard to not like, unlike Alex’s female protagonist Brittany. She tried to be helpful, and nice to Carlos, it was Carlos who wasn’t buying it. I really liked how Carlos stirred some emotion out of her, and took her out of her controlled life. I was really rooting for them.
There being three Fuentes brothers I know one more book is left in the Perfect Chemistry series, so if Rules of Attraction is any indication I should like the next book even more. Great YA romance with real life situations make this a good escape on a lazy day.