Rules of Attraction
By Simone Elkeles
April 13, 2010
Walker Books for Young Readers, 336 pages
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?
— Amazon.com description
Oh, those Fuentes brothers. So tough and gangsta on the outside, all soft and mushy deep down.
This story picks up where Perfect Chemistry left off, with the focus shifting off Alex and Brittany and onto his little brother, Carlos. Those who recently read the first book will enjoy the quick peek into their lives a few years later, but I read Perfect Chemistry so long ago that this aspect wasn't a HUGE deal for me, and they definitely stand alone.
The books have similar plots (Bad boy Latino falls for clean-cut white girl) and vibes (HOT HOT HOT). In Rules of Attraction, though, I didn't love a lot of the plot resolutions, and the gang scenes weren't completely suspenseful.
But I don't really care, because "perfect chemistry" is Simone Elkeles' strong suit. That's what I expect from her books—totally awesome romantic chemistry—and on that front, she definitely delivered here. So yeah, not a life-changing read. But...yeah...HOT.
PS: Chain Reaction, featuring the THIRD Fuentes brother, comes out in May. I'm in!