Thursday, 22 April 2010

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

"Carlos Fuentes idolized his older brother, Alex, when he was a member of the Latino Blood. So when Alex chose to get jumped out of the gang for a chance at a future with his gringa girlfriend, Brittany, Carlos felt shocked and betrayed. Even worse, Alex forced Carlos to come back from Mexico to join him on the straight and narrow path. Trouble is, Carlos just wants to keep living on the edge. And ties to his Mexican gang aren't easy to break, even hundreds of miles away in Colorado.

In Boulder, Carlos has to live with one of Alex's college professors - and he feels completely out of place. He's even more thrown by his strong feelings for the professor's daughter, Kiara, who is nothing like the girls he's usually drawn to. But Carlos and Kiara soon discover that in matters of the heart, the rules of attraction overpower the social differences that conspire to keep them apart."

Rules of Attraction is the second Perfect Chemistry book, the first book followed Alex and Brittany's story, this one follows Alex's younger brother Carlos. It's written in first person, switching each chapter between Kiara and Carlos. Like Perfect Chemistry and Leaving Paradise before it, the changes of narrative tell the story incredibly well. It's easy to see where the book is going, there aren't really any big surprises, but once again it's written so well, that I just don't care.

If I'm being picky, this is my least favourite of the three of Simone's books I've read so far. Kiara and Carlos are fantastic characters, with a great story to tell and there are some great side characters as well. But for me, I didn't like it quite as much as Perfect Chemistry or Leaving Paradise. However, it is still a fantastic read and I'd highly recommend it! I did find it quite a bit funnier than both Chemistry and Paradise. It had a slightly lighter overall tone, and Carlos in particular had some hilarious moments. In some ways he's very different to Alex, he likes having his fun and while he's smart enough to know what needs to be taken seriously, it doesn't make him serious 24/7. Kiara can never back down from a challenge which, seeing as Carlos can't either, also makes for some entertaining moments between the two as they get each other riled up. It was very easy to get caught up in Kiara and Carlos' world, and I loved getting to know them, just like all of Simone's other characters.

Well written, great characters and a great story. Would recommend reading Perfect Chemistry first, simply because it explains Alex and Britt's story, plus a little of Carlos' background, but it's a complete story in its own right, so it's not necessary. There is going to be a third Perfect Chemistry book next year, I don't know who it follows, but I still can't wait for it. If you've not yet tried any of Simone Elkeles' books, I strongly suggest you do asap! 9/10

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