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.
Rules of Attraction is the second book in Simone Elkeles’ trilogy about the Fuentes brothers. I read the first book and I liked it very much. So, I had high hopes for Rules of Attraction, but alas, I was disappointed in Carlos’ story. I have been trying to pin-point just what exactly I found wrong with the book; it boils down to the fact that I didn’t connect with Carlos. There was something about his voice/point of view that lacked the spark I felt when reading Alex’s book.
Carlos, oh Carlos. Why didn’t you do it for me? Your brother Alex was AMAZING. You, on the other hand, were kinda “meh”. I’m not sure how to explain what I thought was lacking. However, when I was reading there were several passages where I literally rolled my yes. What Carlos was expressing was, I assume, supposed to come off as profound and insightful but, to me, it came off as forced and insincere.
I like the alternating chapters with Carlos and Kiara’s points of view. I really liked Kiara, she’s a little out there, not your typical teenager always concerned about what others think of her, despite her stuttering problem. She really seemed to know who she was and wasn’t looking to Carlos to “complete” her, even though in the end he did. She seems pretty secure in who she is, and I found that refreshing. I also enjoyed her family especially her father and little brother.
While I found the transition from friends to boyfriend and girlfriend to be a bit abrupt and not as natural as I would have preferred, it was still a fun relationship to watch change. I also really enjoyed seeing Carlos find laughter and some comfort with his temporary family. He has strong ties to Alex, their mother, and their younger brother so there really wasn’t much doubt that Carlos would find his niche in Kiara’s family. He has deep ties to his Mexican heritage and to his family and those ties would carry over, no matter how much he would like to deny it.
It was, however, a great story and I enjoyed seeing how Alex and Brittany are doing too. Simone Elkeles writes a page-turning and romantic story. Teens, and fans of romance, are going to enjoy this story from beginning to end.