2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2013
(Source: Purchased on kindle from Amazon.co.uk for £2.49)
Carlos is moving from Mexico to Colorado to live with his brother, and finish high school. He's got no time for a girlfriend, or any sort of complication to his life, and getting arrested for drug dealing is the last thing he wanted.
Intent on not revealing the name of the kid who planted the drugs on him, Carlos ends up living with professor Westford and his family, whose daughter Kiara seems to be getting slowly under his skin.
Carlos isn't boyfriend material though, he just wants a girl to screw around with, doesn't he?
This is the second book in the `Chemistry' series, but can be read as a stand-alone novel (I haven't read the first one.)
I liked this story, but for me it took a long time for the romance to kick in.
Carlos is a pretty rough male lead, he's obviously lived in some not-nice places, and although his mother has done her best, he's not had the best of starts in life. He was pretty stubborn about not revealing the name of the drug dealer who set him up, even though he wasn't actually anything to do with him, and this probably revealed quite a lot about the things he learned as a teen.
Underneath it all, quite a way underneath it all, Carlos was a good person, but in the beginning he was pretty rude to Kiara and her family, and probably didn't deserve the chance they gave him.
For me the romance took a long while to build up in this book. At the beginning Carlos was not very nice to Kiara at all, I totally got why she wanted to play a practical joke on him to pay him back for some of his comments. That being said, as they slowly got to know each other a little better, Carlos wasn't quite so mean, but I certainly didn't see why Kiara was falling for him either.
Things didn't really heat up between the pair until really late in the story; around the last10-15% of the book in fact, which was a little disappointing, but when they eventually got together things weren't even smooth sailing then.
Kiara was an okay character, but while she seemed to have problems with stuttering during stressful moments, she didn't seem to have the same problem when whispering dirty little teases in Carlos' ear, which personally would have made me a little nervous!
The ending of the book concerned Carlos and the drug ring he had somehow gotten caught up in, and this was unfortunately the least interesting part of the story for me. I didn't really appreciate the epilogue much either.
Overall; a YA contemporary romance, with quite a slow-to-love couple.
6.75 out of 10.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2010
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!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 February 2011
Thank you Simone for writing yet another fantastic story. Rules of Attraction, like Perfect Chemistry had me hooked from the first page. It the kind of story it flows perfectly and you actually forget everything around.
Rules of Attraction focuses on Carlos and Kiara. They are both completey opposite of each that. Carlos is a bad boy who doesn't give a crap about anything. However, deep down we all know he does. Kiara is a shy girl and very quiet until she decides it time for a change. So when they both meet, their worlds are turned upside down. And Kiara starts to come out her shell. The attraction between the two of them is clear very early on even though they aren't admitting it. There is a raw connection with them that sucks you into their world and leave you wanting more and more.
Aside from Carlos and Kiara, there was a few other characters that I liked but one that was just cute that I couldn't help smiling whenever he appear. Brandon, Kiara's little brother. He was just adorable. And they way Carlos was around Brandon when they were playing just melted my heart.
Alex and Brittany are also in this story, However, not as much as it Carlos and Kiaras story. I would have liked to see a bit more of them though.
The story line itself was fantastic. It was wonderful, beautiful and I have to say very funny. Rules of Attraction is better than Perfect Chemistry just because Simone has created banter between Carlos and Kiara that just seems effortless. Its Perfect.
I now can't wait till Chain Reactions comes out and seeing whats in story for the youngest Fuentes brother.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I first read Perfect Chemistry almost 2 years ago, and it pretty much consumed me. When I found out Elkeles was continuing the series with a younger Fuentes brother, I was skeptical. I mean, could she ever replicate the epic romance of Alex and Brittany? The answer is no, not quite, though she gives it a very good go. I think I knew nothing would beat Perfect Chemistry, but Rules of Attraction is still a worthy sequel and is miles better than most YA romances on the shelves.
Rules of Attraction follows a similar formula to that of its predecessor, which I was expecting. Think bad boy meets good girl amidst a backdrop of high school and gang life, and you've got it in a nutshell. What makes this series so alluring is the writing, hot hot HOT scenes and those irresistible Fuentes brothers. Honestly, once I started reading, I couldn't stop. I almost took it to the cinema with me, but I didn't think my friend would have been too impressed.
Carlos and Kiara are great characters for this kind of story. Both have their flaws, but both want to better themselves, whether it be by keeping stuttering to a minimum or learning to trust someone. Their relationship starts off slowly, and is encouraged by a convenient living arrangement. I mean really, how often would this happen in real life? And do I care? Nope, not one bit. It's escapist romance of a high level, and it got me hook, line and sinker.
As with Perfect Chemistry, the gang-related part of the plot can be a bit on the unbelievable side, but it is what it is. It adds drama and usually means many smooches ensue. For me that's a win-win situation. Oh, and did I mention that my beloved Alex and Brittany feature quite heavily? 'Cos they do. High five to the Mighty Elkeles for that one - she's the master of YA romance, no doubt about it!
While Rules of Attraction has a few flaws just like its characters, I am more than willing to overlook all of them. I can't wait to read book 3, Chain Reaction, and rejoin the Fuentes boys - I'm almost counting down the days. There are very few authors who can draw me in like Elkeles can, and with love stories as addictive as this, who needs reality?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
RULES OF ATTRACTION, the second novel in the PERFECT CHEMISTRY series, focuses on Carlos Fuentes, the middle child in the Fuentes family.
Even after his older brother, Alex, was jumped out of the Latino Blood so that he would not have to be a part of it, Carlos still wants to run his own life. Not one to be controlled by others or to follow rules, it's hard for Carlos to adjust to his new life, once he is sent to live with Alex. New school, new people... same old Carlos.
Soon after his arrival, Carlos gets wrapped up in the wrong crowd and finds himself in the middle of a drug bust at school. To prevent himself from going to juvie, Carlos must move in with Professor Westford, Alex's old professor and father of Kiara, the annoying good girl who was designated to show Alex around school. Before he knows it, Carlos has to live in a home with two authority figures who both think they can change him - Kiara's annoying little brother pestering him, and Kiara herself, who for some reason he just can't get out of his mind.
Even after the way Carlos first treated her when they met, Kiara really wants what is best for him, even if it means him living with her. It sure doesn't hurt seeing Carlos with his shirt off, but what worries Kiara the most is how he can cause her to stutter and have her heart flutter. Sure, Carlos can be a jerk sometimes, but in his most vulnerable moments, Kiara is able to see his softer, sweeter side. However, getting too close to Carlos can be a risk for total heartbreak, especially when Carlos himself does not want to let anyone close to him.
Before we know it, readers are on a roller coaster ride with Carlos and Kiara. As Carlos tries to figure out who this drug lord is that wants him to be a part of his business, he must also figure out his feelings for Kiara, the ones he never thought he could ever have with someone like her.
With alternating narrations and cameos from our favorite couple Brittany and Alex, Simone Elkeles does not disappoint with this newest installment. Readers are once again graced with a heartwarming love story that is accompanied with some action scenes that can give any guy an excuse to be reading this novel. Ms. Elkeles once again is able to capture the essence of teens and their emotions.
Carlos is just another Fuentes brother that the ladies will find irresistible, and Kiara is that kick-butt female character who can drive any guy crazy with her soccer skills and her talents for fixing up cars. Both characters are such opposites of one another... that they fit perfectly together!
Reviewed by: Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen
on 24 December 2013
After being told a number of times by a friend that I would love Elkeles' books I finally gave in and read 'Perfect Chemistry', which I ended up really enjoying. So when I saw book 2 on the shelves at work I decided to pick it up and give it a go. It's been a couple of months since I read book 1 but as soon as I started to read this one everything started to come back to me.
This book follows Carlos who is Alex's younger brother, and a girl named Kiara. This story takes place about 2 years after the events of book 1 which of course followed Alex and Brittany. I was pleased that Alex and Brittany feature quite a lot in this book and are involved, brought some of the familiarity of the first book back.
Carlos has been sent back to America after living with his mother and younger brother in Mexico for the past 2 years, he has to stay under Alex's watchful eye, but he doesn't want to follow Alex, Carlos wants to make his own choices, his own mistakes. I wasn't sure about Carlos at first, he is very cocky and self-assured and irritated me a bit with his bad attitude, but that is how he is supposed to come across, that is his character, and as the book progresses he really develops as a character and I found myself starting to like him.
Kiara is practically the opposite of Carlos, nervous, shy and rather unsure of herself, but when it comes to the rules of attraction there are no limits.
I liked to see the relationship between the two of them develop, with it's ups and downs. Nothing was instant and they had their share of problems. I also liked how everything tied together, Kiara's background and family, Carlos' problems and background and the other characters that make an appearance.
I found myself addicted to this book, I started it at about 5 o'clock and I had finished it by 8:30. I just couldn't put it down. Something about Elkeles' writing just draws you in and won't let go, making the book really easy and enjoyable to read.
I have now requested the next book and I can't wait to read it.
on 14 October 2012
Carlos Fuentes isn't happy about leaving Mexico to start the 'new' life his older brother, Alex, has planned for him. Carlos liked his freedom; living life on the edge and carving out his own path - just like Alex did.
Kiera Westford doesn't talk much; preferring instead to shut the world out. And when Carlos bounds into her life she struggles to understand him and his wild ways. Carlos is sure that Kiera thinks she is too good for him, which is just fine because he is not interested anyway, right? But when they finally open up to each other, the connection they feel shocks them both. Can they overcome their fears and realise that sometimes opposites reall DO attract?
I love this book! I think it's as good as the first one.
'I HAVEN'T KNOWN HER LONG AT ALL, BUT JUST LOOKING AT HER FEELS SO RIGHT. BEING WITH HER FEELS LIKE... HOME.'
There were so many romantic and sweet scenes between Carlos and Kiara.
I love Carlos! He is a bigger bad-ass than his brother - Alex.
' I KNEEL IN FRONT OF MY LOCKER AND READ THE NOTE, WRITTEN ON A TORN PIECE OF NOTEBOOK PAPER - K. THE LADY AT THE STORE SAID YELLOW MEANS FRIENDSHIP AND RED MEANS LOVE. THE ROSARY IS THE ONLY THING I HAVE THAT HAS VALUE TO ME. IT'S YOURS. I'M YOURS.'
My heart was melting...
'" YOU'RE DANGEROUS,"' HE SAYS.
' " WHY?""
'" BECAUSE YOU MAKE ME BELIEVE IN THE IMPOSSIBLE"'
This book is SO HILARIOUS! I was laughing constantly!
'TUCK SETS THE VASE DOWN ON THE WINDOW LEDGE AND SMILES WIDE.'
" OH, COME ON. DON'T BE SUCH A GRUMP. I'M HERE TO CHEER YOU UP."
" BY BRINGIN' ME PINK FLOWERS?" CARLOS SAYS, GESTURING TO THE VASE.
" ACTUALLY THE FLOWERS ARE FOR KIARA BECAUSE SHE HAS TO DEAL WITH YOU."
I love every character in this book!
Oh, and did i tell you there were some REALLY hot stuff going on? This book isn't just romantic and funny, it's smoking hot as well.
'" KIARA UNBUTTONS MY PANTS AND REACHES DOWN TO FEEL ME OVER MY SHORTS."'
Believe me, this stuff is HOT.
Like i told you before, i loved every character in this book. They could be a little bit more described but they were really well developed. Every character had a little part in the story. Like in the first book, we get to see both main characters points of view. I love that. And not only do we get that, but we also get to see what happens next with Brittanys and Alexs relationship. I love them as well, so i was so happy do be able to see how there story continues.
As always, the ( nearly) endings are full of action and thrill. I'm always looking forwards to them. The very ending was so hilarious, i was not expecting that and i can't believe it happened.
Overall, Rules of attraction is a gripping ride that you can't miss.
Rules of Attraction is the second book in the perfect chemistry series which focuses on the second brother Carlos. I loved the first book in the series but absolutely adored this instalment.
From the outset Carlos is very bit the bad boy with attitude. He is angry at the world having been sent to live with his brother in America which he is not in the least bit happy about. He arrives at a new school and settled in way he knows how by partying hard with the cool kids. Within the first few days of enrolling the school is raided for drugs. Before he knows it Carlos is moved into Kiara's home to live with her family and made to join REACH a program for delinquent youths.
The plot of this book is the same as book one, Bad Boy falls for Good Girl and in this sense the book is entirely predictable, there is even a cheesy epilogue at the end but nevertheless I loved it and devoured every page greedily.
I loved Kiara as a main character and thought she was the perfect heroine. She's clever without being a nerd, loves and helps out her family without being a good-two-shoes, has a gay best friend, runs and hikes mountains and knows how to fix cars. All these things rolled into together make her such a cool character. Although to start with Carlos doesn't think so.
I loved seeing how their relationship changed as the book progressed. To start with they hated each other with Carlos's ego getting in the way at every opportunity. However as the book progresses you start to see Carlos's softer side and their relationship begins to change little by little. The tension between them is excruiating with so many near misses.
By the end of the book I was totally sold on Kiara and Carlos being together and I loved how the story went by the very end. A fantastic read with lots of hot and sexy tension which kept me hanging on every word waiting to see what happened next.
I was such a massive fan of Perfect Chemistry that I was desperate to read Rules of Attraction but at the same time I found myself feeling nervous. How could Simone Elkeles possibly live up to my high expectations? What if I didn't like it, would that colour my thoughts of Perfect Chemistry? I honestly don't know why I was so worried, not only did Rules of Attraction live up to my expectations - it far exceeded them. Yes, I'll admit it Carlos has stolen my heart away from Alex - something I didn't think would be possible.
Rules of Attraction does follow a similar storyline to Perfect Chemistry - hot bad boy gang member meets and falls in love with a girl who couldn't be more different than he is - but Carlos and Kiara are very different to Alex and Brittany and their story is just as powerful. Where Alex only joined a gang because he wanted to protect his family Carlos believes it is in his blood to be a member. He thinks that he was born to be part of the gang and feels it is right to follow in the footsteps of his father and brother. His mother sends him to live with Alex because she is worried for his safety but Carlos doesn't go willingly. He believes that Alex abandoned his family to be with Brittany and he hates him for that, the last thing he wants is to be forced into living with the couple and he is determined not to follow their rules.
When Alex arrives in Colorado he seeks immediately finds the wrong crowd and ends up getting in trouble. It is only when he is forced to live with Kiara's family that he starts to see how wrong his attitude has been. Kiara is nothing like the girls Carlos is usually attracted to, she is a tom boy and not one of the popular crowd at school. She is happy in her own company and would rather be working on her car or off hiking than swapping make-up tips with the girls from school. Kiara is painfully shy but she knows who she is and what she wants out of life. She may be attracted to Carlos but she isn't going to fall for his charms easily so he'll have to work hard if he wants to be with her.
The relationship between Kiara and Carlos is Hot with a capital H but also has incredibly sweet and tender moments that will make your heart melt. I found the storyline lighter than Perfect Chemistry and there were a lot of laugh out loud moments as the two of them banter and play tricks on each other. You really never were quite sure what they would get up to next. I loved getting to find out how Alex and Brittany are doing 2 years after the ending of their story, it made me want to re-read Perfect Chemistry (in fact I might just indulge myself and read both books one after the other). I also really enjoyed getting to know Kiara's family and fell for her younger brother Brandon in particular.
If you haven't already read Perfect Chemistry you could probably read Rules of Attraction as a stand alone story but they are both such amazing reads that I would highly recommend reading them in order. Perfect Chemistry easily makes it into my top 10 YA reads of 2010 and I would have to read some pretty impressive books to knock Rules of Attraction off of this years list. If you're looking for a contemporary YA romance you can't go wrong by picking up a book by Simone Elkeles, she really is a master at characterisation and knows just how to draw you into the romance. I can't wait to get my hands on the final book in the series Chain Reaction
on 13 March 2011
Kira Westford is a quiet, clever girl staying out of the way at school, always trying to be as invisable as she can.
Carlos Fuentes is loud, rude and angry, fresh of the plane from Mexico where he lives on the edge of the law. His eldest brother Alex wants a better life for him and drags him back to America where he can get a proper education like Alex wants for him.
Kira and Carlos are opposites. Neither can understand the other, but when Carlos gets into trouble they are thrown together. As they grow closer, they are forced to answer the question - Can opposites attract?
After "PERFECT CHEMISTRY" I had serous doughts that this could equal it. And it didn't. It over took it. By a mile (Or five). Instead of a Britney, beautiful, popular girl, we meet Kira, baggy tops, jeans, hard working. But she's strong, and funny and smart but vulnerable making for a great story. And then there is Carlos who we already know from the previous book, and is a lot like the younger Alex. Together they make for another great story from "SIMOME ELKELES". I love how we come across Alex and Britney again and how it is to see them through another pair of eyes, and see their story progress as well. The next book in the sires is "CHAIN REACTION" and here is another reader bursting for the next instalment!