Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Review of Rules of Attraction
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience: Older teens, YA-romance-reading adults
High point: Carlos
Low point: The swearing, the adult content
Reader maturity: 18+
Several readers have mentioned that Rules of Attraction pales in comparison to Perfect Chemistry. As I've never read Perfect Chemistry, I don't have that to compare it too. I can say for sure that Rules of Attraction stood well on its own; everything I needed to know about Alex and Brittany in order to follow Carlos' and Kiara's story was explained.
Carlos' bad attitude bleeds through the pages, immersing me into a world of gangs and turf wars--not so much that it was scary but enough that it took me out of my reading comfort zone. He appears to the reader as a true tool, the same impression he gives Kiara, but as she comes to understand that he's not the jerk he appears to be, the reader does too. Kiara is also enjoyable as a main character. She has "ugly duckling" syndrome, which usually drives me crazy, but her choices to change--or stick up for herself--are always validated.
Though I enjoyed the opposites-attract romance in Rules of Attraction, it felt a little rushed, like the book needed a few more chapters for Kiara and Carlos to get to know each other. The quick pace makes the romance seem based more on physical attraction than emotional attraction, even though both characters have a lot to offer each other. In that vein, the book contains quite a bit of swearing in its venture for realism and also some intense scenes that are pretty explicit for a YA novel.
Rules of Attraction is one of those books I'm sort of torn on. I liked it--the writing was good and the characterization was great--but the questionable content was so great in quantity and frequency that I don't feel comfortable recommending it.
Title: Rules of Attraction
Author: Simone Elkeles
Genre: Teen Fiction -- Romance & Friendship
Book Source: Won from Pure Imagination