Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: April 23, 2013
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1. Never trust anyone.
2. Remember they are always searching.
3. Don’t get involved.
4. Keep your head down.
5. Don’t fall in love.
Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane’s survival—and that of her adoptive father—depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans in a small Wisconsin town, to hide in plain sight at her high school from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) “project.”
But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts her in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief’s son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening—and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules…
I really enjoyed Stacey Kade's The Ghost and the Goth series, so when I heard about her new series I knew that I had to get my hands on it. And don't get me wrong, I really loved her G&G series. But that is literally nothing compared to how much I loved this book. I honestly adored this book so much I don't even know what to do with myself. It was gorgeous, a little bit heartbreaking, and so passionate with feelings and painful choices that it drew me in. I loved it, I adored it, it is easily a favorite.
Ariane is awesome from the very first page. Her entire life, she's wanted to follow the rules that her father set for her, and yet while she passes off normally enough for everyone else she can't seem to fool Zane. She has several quirks that I honestly find adorable, but Ariane is no fluffy cupcake. She's strong, kickass, and will do what she has to to survive. Despite that, she has a surprisingly kind heart. At the same time, she doesn't let people walk all over her. She has vulnerabilities, and she struggles, but that's what really makes her humanity show.
I love Zane. Saying that I am in love with him is probably more accurate, actually. He is gorgeous and wonderful and I love him. He's also really perceptive and stubborn but not to the point where he's too clever or dull. It's like the perfect, dream balance. Oh, and he is most definitely a charmer. He doesn't back down from a challenge, and though he hangs out with people who often find amusement at the expense of others he doesn't really actively participate, and in fact starts to break away from him. He's a little bit of a bad boy, but he was so well-written and not stereotypical at all that it was basically kind of perfect.
The Rules reads a lot more like a paranormal romance than the science-fiction it officially is, but that totally doesn't mean it isn't just as fabulous. It's not as fluffy as you'd think, and it actually gets really intense in some parts. It's unique and a lot of fun, but more than that it's something I can easily see myself reading again and again.
Ariane has never really had a problem obeying the rules. She knows what she can do and what she can't. She has one friend who really isn't a good one because it's easy and she doesn't really challenge anything. Zane changes all of that for her. With a few words, with one offered challenge and a little bit of a reward, Ariane is ready to break every one. Though, of course, she doesn't know that yet.
Sometimes I have to admit that I got frustrated with the pacing. For the most part things moved along smoothly and I really liked the even flow, but I cannot deny there were two or three times where it seemed to drag and I really wished whatever was going on would be over. I suppose those scenes were important in their own way but apparently I have issues anyway.
There were so many plot twists, too, and they always fit in nicely without creating plot holes. There were betrayals I never saw coming and certain spouts of knowledge that I definitely didn't expect. I loved that we were kept guessing while being teased with the truth, and yet it wasn't overly predictable.
The Rules was for the most part fast-paced, but overall a ton of fun and intensity. I loved it from the first page to the last and was definitely swooning by the last page.
Romance tends to be my favorite part of a book. In some ways I know maybe it should't be, but it's not like I can help it, so there you have it. I am a total slave to romance. I can never get enough of it. Anyway, this specific romance is seriously, seriously wonderful. The way both of them go from not really trusting the other to starting to fall in love really gets to me in a good way, and the best part is that there's no instalove. Yay. Of course, sparks fly from the very first time their eyes meet. They just don't know it.
Stacey's writing has really matured from her first book–it has always been loaded with tons of talent, but now it is even better. The dialogue is fantastic, and I love the way her characters describe the people and things around them. I love the alternating first person. I love everything about it. The book is also packed with tons of humor that just feels so perfectly natural that I definitely caught myself giggling more than once.
I loved the ending of this book. I mean, I kind of hated it too, because it was sort of mean. But, you know, I get why it ended that way. I appreciated that it was a cliffhanger without being a cheap trick and intriguing without resorting to tactics such as massive infodumps at the end or sudden nonsensical revelations. It really stuck to the facts and yeah, revealed some new stuff, but was honestly pretty much the best ending it could have been. So, yay!
I'm going to assume it's fairly obvious that I would recommend this book. I would recommend this book to pretty much everyone. There's really not much to not love about it, and it's so cute and yet surprisingly deep that it's sure to be a classic. I am very much in love with this book and totally think that everyone else should give it a chance, too. Not to be pushy. Anyway, I am eagerly awaiting the next installment of this series and I absolutely cannot wait! Yesterday is already too late.
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