Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading … The Rules by Stacey Kade

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Just Finished Reading … The Rules by Stacey Kade

The Rules (Project Paper Doll #1)
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!


29 comments:

  1. I really liked this book too! And I'm not usually a sci-fi girl. I read this book based on Kade's ghost series, and I had my doubts about The Rules. Fortunately, the characters are relateable and the story captured my interest.

    Are you ready to go see the movie version of The Host now?

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    1. Yes, but no one wants to go with me. Are you game???

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  2. I'm really looking forward to this book! I actually love science fiction but I don't really understand all the technical aspects of it, so I guess this is a book for me :)

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

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    1. I know -- I wish I understood the science stuff better. I'm a word person...

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  3. I like light sci-fi and romance so I'm hoping this will be a good fit for me. Also excited about the dual narration-love that! Haha at your Alien Love Week :)

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    1. I love dual narration if it's done well, and think it did work really well here! Can't wait to see what you think!

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  4. I haven't read this one yet but I do have an arc, I really loved the host, I just went and saw the movie yesterday. Now, I am definitely interested in this one!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

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    1. It's not exactly like The Host, of course, but both are really romance more than science fiction. So give The Rules a try!

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  5. Alien Romance Week...love it. I should declare one of those. :) Our discussion yesterday made me think I shouldn't be in any hurry to pick this up, but your review today makes me want to. :P I might just try to squeeze it in.

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    1. Well, I am not interested in getting to know aliens personally, but they seem to be everywhere in YA these days. It's a fun book!

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  6. YAY! I loved this book. Gosh the ending is crazy!

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    1. I guess it says right on the cover that it is the first in a series, so I should have been prepared!

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  7. This book sounds like one I would love. I am getting more into sci-fi and I love dual POV's too. Great review. I am looking forward to this book.

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    1. Well, the relationship is sweeter and less racy than the Lux books. And the characters are more vulnerable. But a very fun story!

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  8. I have not read any of them yet but I really like the sound of The Rules, its on my TBR, glad to see you enjoyed it <3 been a while since I read a sci-fi, maybe I should have a sci-fi week as well :D

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    1. I'm feeling that way. I read three sci-fi books in one week and I have an ARC of 5th Wave too :)

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  9. I LOVED the Ghost and the Goth series so I think I may actually have to get to this one. I'm just not sure about the aliens, though!

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    1. Try it if you're a fan of her writing. I think she's really good at the whole odd couple dynamic. Though this couple is different than Alona and Will, if you liked that, I think you'll like this!

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  10. Your review convinces me that I need to read this. :)

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  11. I didn't read your review because I'm in the middle of writing mine but I thought this was a nice sic-fi/romance/high school drama story (although lighter on the sci-fi than I expected)

    I adore her Ghost and the Goth series. Have you read it yet? I know you would love Alona!

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    1. Yep, we are on the same wavelength. It is possible that we'll get more science in subsequent books, but there wasn't much…

      I've read the first G and G book -- I need to get caught up.

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  12. Normally I'm hard on sci-fi novels without strong worldbuilding and scientific backbone, but this is the second rave review I've read, and I'm convinced the characters and the romance will be more than enough for me to enjoy this book. Totally picking this one up now (I do love The Host and Lux series :D). Great review, Jen!

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    1. I think authors either have to get the science right or just give us the bare bones premise and not try to make up something that will get all the scientists up in arms. I mean, I don't know if alien DNA can be mixed with human to make a person, but why not? If vampires can have babies, why can't aliens ;)

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  13. I enjoyed this one too, and thought it was a great mix of scifi and romance for my reading.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  14. My sister also told me to read The Host years ago and I didn't listen. I went to see the movie opening night and now I really want to read the book! The Rules is on my most anticipated list of April so I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it.

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