by Stacey Kade
To by published by Disney Hyperion
on April 23, 2013
Source: e-galley from the publisher via Netgalley for possible review.
Buzzwords: aliens, Roswell, odd couple romance, high school drama
Connect with the author: website : Twitter.
Synopsis (adapted from Goodreads:)
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…
My take: I just got back from vacation, which should have also been known as Alien Romance Week. I'd been meaning to read The Host by Stephenie Meyer forever (my sister told me I should read it years ago -- shows how much I listen to her!) and with the movie out, I knew it was time.
I also had The Rules on my Kindle. So I read both books last week, and enjoyed them. I think both would appeal to readers who enjoy light sci-fi with a heavy dose of romance.
I've read a couple books recently with non-human or part-human protagonists -- MILA 2.0, The Host, and now The Rules. Like MILA, Ariane has escaped from a lab and is in hiding. But while I enjoyed the action in MILA, I couldn't always connect with the main character. That was not the case in The Rules. Ariane is extremely sympathetic. For years she's been raised to stay under the radar and be sure to blend in. But a confluence of events -- the victimization of her friend Jenna by the high school mean girl and a prank (also instigated by the mean girl) -- force Ariane to step out of the safety of her comfort zone.
As a result, she gets to know Zane. He's the police chief's son, and has issues of his own. He knows he'll never be good enough for his tough, relentless father, and he's tired of trying to measure up. He's intrigued by Ariane -- she's not like the popular girls he usually hangs out with.
At its heart, I'd say that The Rules is an odd-couple romance. He's a popular kid, she's a nobody. He's a human, she's a lab experiment. He's completely intrigued by her, she's promised never to fall in love. And this mismatched, against-the-odds couple had me rooting for them all the way. If you've read and enjoyed Stacey Kade's Ghost and the Goth series, you'll be happy to know that The Rules is also told from the POV of both characters. As a result, I really felt Ariane's pain and isolation and Zane's frustration. There was one plot element that didn't really make sense to me -- the fact that GTX couldn't find Ariane. But that was explained by a revelation later in the book.
If you're a hardcore science fiction fanatic, you might find the science here a little on the light side. (Since I am not, it didn't bother me.) And, once you reach the end, you might argue that The Rules does serve as set-up for subsequent books in a series. But I have to say, I really enjoyed The Rules. If you're a paranormal romance fan, a fan of alien romances like The Host or the Lux series, or just a reader who enjoys books that tug at your heartstrings, I'd definitely recommend you put The Rules on your to-read list.
Tell me in comments: do you like science fiction? Alien romance? Have you seen The Host? I'm still trying to get caught up from vacation, but I definitely want to duck into a movie theater soon!