BOOK REVIEW: A Perfect Chemistry novel, #2: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles



Carlos Fuentes felt betrayed when his big brother he idolized, Alex, chose to get jumped out of the Latino Blood fro a chance at a future with his gringa girlfriend, Brittany. Even worse, Alex has forced Carlos to come back from Mexico to join him on the straight and narrow path. Trouble is, Carlos just wants to keep living on the edge. And ties to his Mexican gang aren’t easy to break, even when Carlos is living with one of Alex’s college professors in Colorado. Carlos feels completely out of place in the suburbs. He’s even more thrown by his feelings for the professor’s daughter, Kiara, who is nothing like the wild 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 difference and dangers that conspire to keep them apart.

from dust jacket ~


The thing about these books is that they make me feel like a perv even if it is YA romance. They’re just so detailed and descriptive that it makes me a bit uncomfortable.  But aside from that, it’s a very good book. So, Alex Fuentes’s little brother Carlos is 17 and Alex forces him to move to Colorado and live with him because Mexico is too dangerous. Carlos, who is very angry at everything, is getting himself into trouble. He gets caught with marijuana which isn’t his and has to go to the REACH program for troubled kids and live with Alex’s psychology professor, and former “military guy”, Richard Westford and his family: his daughter, Kiara, who is appointed to showing him around school. His son, Brandon, and his wife, Colleen. He hates the idea but moves in anyway.

This book, also like the first, is narrated by both Kiara and Carlos. I prefer books that are narrated by more than one point of view, I think it’s more convenient and just overall better that you can see how the characters think .

I think these books are great. I haven’t read any YA romance books, so it’s a little hard to accurately judge it. I tried to read a Sarah Dessen book, but it was just too girly and I’m just not interested in girly romance books. I like this series though, its romance but with a hint of a, pun intended, spicy twist.

This book took me about 8 hours to finish. After I finished City of Glass I just straight into this book, which is not good considering how messed up I was after I finished CoG .

Now I understand why it’s called “A Perfect Chemistry novel” and not “The Perfect Chemistry trilogy” , the story-line doesn’t continue. You may already know this, but I thought I was clever enough to figure it out.

Since there’s not much plot other than “boy is a hubristic gangbanger who slowly falls in love with a good girl and the action happens when there’s a potential drug deal” , i’ll talk about the characters…

Carlos Fuentes-
Much like his older brother, Alex, who I have a little fictional character crush on, is a tough boy who doesn’t like to admit his feelings about anyone. But I admire how much he cares about his family. I admire that he tries to solve his own problems but dislike how he doesn’t ask others for help when things go out of hand.

Kiara Westford-
I like her character because she seems so ordinary. Like one of those “I can’t believe you actually love me” type of girls . She’s not like most of the girls around her. She likes to climb mountains and fix cars, she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, which I like. At first, I didn’t really like her because she was too plain and I found that boring, but that’s what makes her unique compared to everyone else. She’s simple and doesn’t rely much on luxuries even though she has it.

Tucker Reese-
I really like Tuck. He’s the funny character of the story. I like his sarcastic, confident, free personality. I thought there would be a plot twist that Tuck wasn’t actually gay and he liked Kiara, or that he was gay and liked Carlos. I was expecting a little more drama than what was necessary, but it would’ve been interesting.

Brittany Ellis-
Brittany wants to help Carlos but he disses her. I like how she doesn’t give up on him. A good thing too, since he needs her later on when he went shopping for a tux because he asked Kiara to Homecoming.

I don’t really have stronger opinions for any other characters, I think they are okay. Except for Madison, she’s a stupid hoe.

I really like this part;

“Just so you know I’m goin’ to enlist”
“I’m proud of you. But why?”
I groan against the pain but manage to give him a half smile. “I want to make sure Kiara’s got a boyfriend who has more to offer than a hot bod and a face that could make angels weep.”
“Do you ever lose the ego?” Westford asks me.
“Yeah.” When his daughter kisses me, my ego flies out the window.

and, oh gods, the part when Tuck arrives at the hospital to see Carlos and has a vase of hot pink carnations and a balloon that says ‘fifty percent of all doctors graduate in the bottom half of their class– hope your surgery went well!’

This is such a sweet book. And I loooooveeee the epilogue! Carlos and Kiara get married and have 3 girls, then they decide to take in a delinquent much like Carlos was, and he says the same thing Carlos does when he first moved in with the Westfords.


✔ The romance

✔ Slightly different events

✔ The moral of the story


Could’ve had a bit more action


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