Rules of Attraction
On his first day of school, Carlos is assigned a peer guide named Kiara to show him around for the first week. She is "not hot" (Carlos' words) and dresses like she could go mountain climbing at any minute. This is irritating to Carlos because he doesn't want a babysitter and he's all about the "hot chicas", like Madison. He soon finds out (just like Alex did) that looks can be deceiving.
The hot chicas can be trouble in more ways than one and the ones you aren't looking at can be hiding some pretty interesting things under those big baggy T's of theirs. Things like, how to fix cars, play an awesome prank (cookie anyone?) and how to kick your butt at soccer but the best things might be how they see right through your bull and are full of unconditional love.
While in Colorado, the Fuentes brothers discover that they still can't escape the Latino Blood Gang and in order to protect Carlos, he is sent to live with Kiara and her family. While there, he learns what real love is, the kind that has no boundaries and no limits. He struggles with being able let his guard down enough to be loved by this family and the one girl who can help him change his life and heal his heart, maybe forever. (sigh...)
I think Kiara is my favorite of all the girls that come in and out of the Fuentes boys' lives. She may not be the most beautiful outwardly but her inner beauty shines through in her willingness to love those around her fully and without conditions. She is strong in her weakness and despite her disability, she doesn't let it hold her back. I also LOVE that she doesn't put up with Carlos' bull but gives it right back to him! TEAM KIARA!
I admit, the main reason I wanted to read this book was because of the awesome book trailer.
The author left a link on MySpace and I just had to get this book and review it! Simone was totally sweet and had her publisher send me a copy. I couldn't wait to read about this romance that fought against social differences that stood in this couple's way.
I wasn't disappointed. I loved the banter between Kiara and Carlos. Kiara isn't the stereotypical airhead Anglo. I loved how multilayered her character was. The chemistry between these two is very hot. Also the way the author used Spanish in the dialog worked. You don't need to understand Spanish to get the gist of what is being said. I also loved how Carlos reveals some of his vulnerabilities that make you love him too.
The only problem I had with this otherwise very engaging story had to do with the plot between Carlos and a big drug boss which was a tad bit predictable. But it's the romance and how both Kiara and Carlos beat the odds that makes this story a must read.
I thought Alex Fuented was hot, but I think I'm Team Carlos right now. There's something about these brothers that is addictive. Okay, so the story is predictable, but I knew it was going to be before I started reading it, so no quarels there. I was looking for something fun to read and not necessarily an original concept. So the middle of the book was great. I was glued to my seat and didn't want to stop reading. The latter half of the book was a little boring and lost my interest slightly. It was also very corny. It just lost its spark towards the end.
Overall, there was enough adrenalin and hot romance to satisfy my appetite, so I very much enjoyed the book. Happy Days!
SERIES: Perfect Chemistry Series
SYNOPSIS: Carlos is being forced to move to Colorado and in with his brother, Alex, “for his own good.” Figuring everyone expects the worst of him anyway, he figures he might as well act the part as well. The school he now attends is filled with mostly rich kids who don’t know what it means to live a hard life. His brother is consumed with thoughts and life with his girlfriend, Brittany. Everyone he has ever known has either left him, sent him away, or died on him. Kiara is determined to change a few things her senior year. Having gained some control over her stuttering, she does not intend to be the shy girl anymore, and while she’s not shooting for popular cheerleader or anything, she hopes to at least be able to hold her head high. Kiara and Carlos’ lives begin to collide right from the first day, when Kiara signs up to be Carlos’ peer guide, but neither one of them figured the relationship would last beyond the first week.
REVIEW: I really enjoy these books. They are opposites attract, boy meets girl…boy hates girl…boy loves girl. Can’t go wrong there. Plus, Simone Elkeles knows how to write some of the best steamy scenes! Kiara was a little surprising to me as a character. She was sort of shy and standoffish, and at the same time very bold and outgoing. It’s a strange mix, and not one you would find very often. She only really seemed shy or overwhelmed when she was put on the spot or being made fun of. She mostly just had a strong personality of a normal teenage girl in my opinion. Carlos was no surprise at all. He was exactly what I was expecting, tough, arrogant and a teenager who thinks he knows everything; but also there is a very vulnerable part to him, the part of himself he tries to hide at all costs.
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Told in alternating narratives, Perfect Chemistry portrays a romance between two unlikely lab partners. Brittany is her Chicago high school's "golden girl" but few of her friends know that her parents are totally dysfunctional and that she is highly invested in caring for her physically and mentally disabled older sister. Alex is a member of the Latino Blood, but he wishes he could leave gang life and pursue a college career. The plot thickens as Alex accepts a bet from a friend that he cannot bed Brittany by Thanksgiving. Smoldering doesn't quite do justice to the romantic banter that sparks between them. As the story unfolds, Alex is incarcerated and later hospitalized. Raw language and Spanish phrases that Anglo readers might feel obligated to investigate further are peppered throughout. The pace picks up too quickly at the end, leaving readers wondering if they missed something as time that has previously been marked day by day begins to clip along in five-month increments. Overall though, this is a solid romance that's suitable for reluctant readers.Leah Krippner, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, IL
Sizzle, spice and everything muy beuno! Gosh, I just lost myself in this book, the clichÃ© characters were given new voices at the hands of Simone Elkeles who executed the culmination of the two worlds seamlessly. Alex and his friends carry their own male personas without being overtly crude, or A-typical. Brittanys character will surprise most people, not the fact that she doesnt really have a perfect life, but the way she interacts with Alex is daring and bold.
The subtle interweavings of Alex allowing Brittany to loose her perfect faÃ§ade are something to watch for, it really authenticates their love story and makes it much more than a high school fling. You will laugh at least once a chapter, and Mamacita will become your new favorite word. Pick it up, you wont put it down.
The climax rushed past me and I couldnt really put two and two together until I gave the situation the benefit of the doubt. The events that transpire after the climax are the real heart-tuggers.
A word on the cover: the two models they used are perfect for the story, I couldnt get this duos look out of my head!
Notable names: Isa, I love Isa, its on my name list as a nickname for Ireland, not Isabel, as it is for the character in the book. Alejandro, I agree with Mrs. Fuentes, Alex should use his proper name more often and Ive sure the popularity of this name will only spike now that Lady Gaga has crooned his name in her pop-culture fashion.
This book was really good but to me it wasn't as great as Perfect Chemistry. Brittany and Alex are no longer the narrators instead they get replaced by Kiara and Alex's younger brother Carlos. After Carlos gets caught with drugs in his locker (which isnt his) Alex has no choice but to make Carlso move in with Kiara and her family. In Perfect Chemistry Brittany was seen as perfect...well Kiara is far from perfect. Good girl Kiara has a stuttering problem which intensifies when Carlos is near and her sense of style could use some improvement, but besides all their differences they end up falling in love.
Carlos may have a big ego but underneath it all he is actually pretty sweet, but Alex will always be my favorite Fuentes. All in all this book is really cute and the romance is fantastic