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"Rules of Attraction" review

Hey guys!  It’s Alex, here with the review of the next Perfect Chemistry novel, “Rules of Attraction” (Simone Elkeles).  Now, when I opened up this book and saw the words “A New York Times Bestseller” printed across the cover, I thought, “New York Times Bestseller?  Wow.  How did that happen?”  
It’s easy to see why.  Carlos Fuentes, now a senior in high school, has been sent to live in his brother’s apartment (in Colorado, where Alex is happily attending college and dating Brittany) by his mother to keep him out of trouble.  But Carlos can’t seem to stay away from the same types of gangs that once tormented his brother, and he’s getting into all sorts of trouble.  Basically, Elkeles’ second antihero is the classic bad boy that girls squeal over.  
And then there’s Kiara Westford, the rich, good girl daughter of Professor Westford, a teacher at Alex’s school.  She’s no Brittany Ellis though–she’s not particularly pretty, she’s certainly not popular (her only friend is a guy named Tuck), she’s quiet and self conscious because of her subtle yet noticeable stutter, and lastly, she has a good relationship with both of her parents, unlike rebelling Brittany from the first book.  Another thing–Kiara isn’t like Brittany in the sense that girls can actually relate to her.  I mean, I feel sorry for Brittany, but I’m sure that twice the number of girls have been in Kiara’s situation where they don’t feel good about themselves, and would just love to be in her predicament with Carlos.
Unfortunately, Kiara’s relativity and Carlos’ Carlos-ness (a.k.a sexiness) are the only things I could see that made this book a bestseller.  The entire idea of Carlos coming to live with the Westfords after being framed for drug possession (you’ll see when you read) is entirely unrealistic, and the fact that Professor Westford doesn’t kick out Carlos after he fools around with Kiara and acts like a jerk is astonishing.  Although I’m sure lots of girls squealed over Carlos, I found him unappealing, and I lost all respect for Kiara when she has sex with Carlos instead of breaking up with him for his general moodiness.  Finally, I felt like the side-plot with the gang Carlos joins is irrelevant and thrown in so the book isn’t entirely a romance.
Oh yeah, and there’s the usual swearing/explicit content that should have been censored out.
Overall, I’d give this book one and a half out of four cookies.  It wasn’t nearly as good as Perfect Chemistry, but I still have hopes for the third (and final) book in the series, “Chain Reaction”, which I will be reviewing next week.
Happy reading!!!!
Alex

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