Friday, August 5, 2011

Rules of Attraction - Simone Elkeles

Summary:  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. ( Summary and Image from www.simoneelkeles.net )

My Review:  To tell you the truth, I’m kind of embarrassed that I read this book. It’s not really the kind of book you want people to see you reading, you know? For all intents and purposes, Rules of Attraction is a teenage romance novel and not much else. The entire plot revolves around Carlos and Kiara’s unlikely relationship, and Carlos transformation from gang banging bad boy to Kiara’s hopelessly smitten (and reformed) love interest.  I read the first book in this series, Perfect Chemistry, cover to cover in 4 hours, so when I was looking for a mindless novel I could read in one sitting, I decided to see if the sequel was any good.

It wasn’t.

Rules of Attraction was an easy read, but it was far too generic and predictable. I wasn’t engaged by the writing or the characters, who all seemed to fall into their stereotypical slots: the nerdy girl who becomes gorgeous once she puts some effort into it, the not-as-bad-as-he-pretends-to-be bad boy, the gay best friend, the hot mean popular girl. It all just felt like a teen movie plot.

Maybe it’s the fact that I have three young daughters, and have started to view books like this from a different perspective, but I wouldn’t recommend this books for teens at all. It gives a highly unrealistic (not to mention overly casual) view of sexual intimacy. Even though the main characters eventually claim to be in a ”serious monogamous relationship,” with an epilogue that reflects that, it doesn’t change the fact that they "fell in love" in a matter of weeks with no discernible basis for that affection.

Overall, this is the kind of book you’ll love if you don’t mind bland writing, stereotypical characters, lots of swearing, and teenage sexual relationships.

My Rating: 2.25 Stars.

For the sensitive reader: Plenty of graphic language, sexual dialog, and sexual situations.

Sum it up: Just another teenage romance distorts reality and sends the wrong message.

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