Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry #2)
by Simone Elkeles
Summary: Carlos Fuentes doesn't want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him in Boulder, Colorado. He wants to keep living on the edge, and carve his own path-just like Alex did. Unfortunately, his ties to a Mexican gang aren't easy to break, and he soon finds himself being set up by a drug lord.
When Alex arranges for Carlos to live with his former professor and his family to keep him from being sent to jail, Carlos 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.
As the danger grows for Carlos, he's shocked to discover that it's this seemingly All-American family who can save him. But is he willing to endanger their safety for a chance at the kind of life he's never even dreamed possible?
Source: I borrowed a kindle copy from my local library
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I liked Perfect Chemistry enough to be curious about the rest of the series. Since all of the books are available to download on Kindle from my local library and are quick and easy to read, I figured I might as well read them all.
For a light contemporary YA romance, Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction are good books. They are full of conflict, emotions, and romance with all of the right lessons learned and changes made. I get why so many people have raved about this series.
I enjoyed Rules of Attraction and liked the characters. I liked getting to see Alex and Brittany from the first book and getting to see Alex's younger brother change his ways and grow as a person. However, I feel like it was pretty similar to the first book in the sense that the guy is in a gang and falls for a girl who has no idea what that might be like. There's something unbelievable about it all. It doesn't have the realness that I look for when I read contemporary romances and it was just too.. easy.
I know I'm being picky, but I think it's because I'm a huge Katie McGarry fan and she tackles the poor and mixed up youth in a way that is believable and real. She kind of digs underneath the exterior and shows us why they are the way they are and how they are awesome people, just like she exposes the richer characters and shows how their family life can be less than perfect.
In this series, I feel like Alex and Carlos are in their gang just to be a plot device and I don't sense the reasons why someone would join. I have no idea if the author has experience with gang members or mixed up youth, but I feel like the author must either be too far removed to truly express a person's motivations in a sympathetic light, or only vaguely educated about what gang life is like. Also, I feel like the author doesn't quite capture regular people, either. Everyone is a little too much of who they are supposed to be. The popular girl is shallow. The gay guy is funny and quirky. The tomboy girl is more complex that you'd expect. It's not like the characters are all cookie cutter, but none of them really... break their molds.
This is a YA romance I recommend to fans of light contemporary with a little fluff and a happy ending. If you're looking for something that captures the complexities of class and culture, it's not really the right series.
With that being said, of course I've downloaded the next book. The series is fun, cute, and I have no idea what else to read right now. And sometimes, books like these are the best medicine for times when you don't know what to read and want a story that makes you feel good.
Labels: contemporary, Review, romance, YA