Published: April 27th 2010
Publisher: Walker & Company
Details: Paperback, 324 pages
My rating: 3/5
Sequel to Perfect Chemistry which I loved!!! Following Carlos, the brother of Alex, who after some troubles moves into a professor’s house, where he meets the daughter Kiara. This book follows same plotline as Perfect Chemistry, but does not live up to the same standard. Good fun read but not fantastic.
My Full Review:
This is the sequel of Perfect Chemistry, following Carlos Fuentes, the little brother of Alex. Perfect Chemistry blew me away, with characters so alive and real that I kept thinking about them long after I turned the last page. So I can’t deny my expectations were pretty high when I started reading this sequel.
Ever since the traumatic end of Perfect Chemistry, Carlos, his little brother and his mom have been living in Mexico. Following some troubles at Carlos work in Mexico, he is sent to stay with his brother Alex in Colorado and go to school there. It doesn’t take long until he ends up into more trouble as a drug lord sets him up and he gets caught with drugs. Alex arranges for Carlos to stay at a his former professor’s home with his family to keep him out of jail. Kiara is the professor’s daughter who also happens to go to the same school as Carlos. They get off on the wrong foot at first but soon the attraction starts to grow.
Well, what can I say. Maybe if I hadn’t read Perfect Chemistry I would have loved this book. I couldn’t help but think that it was trying to be a new Perfect Chemistry but didn’t succeed. It’s still a fun easy read, but it didn’t touch me the way Perfect Chemistry did.
First of all I think it was because Carlos was so similar to Alex, that it felt as if I was reading about Alex again. Yet, while I totally understood where Alex came from and why he felt the need to shield himself from the world, as he had a bad-ass reputation to protect and was a member of the Latin Bloods in the area, I didn’t understand it with Carlos. He was plain rude and arrogant most of the time and I couldn’t grasp why he felt the need to be that way. Insecurities sure, and feelings of not belonging maybe, but it was not as clear to me as it was with Alex.
Kiara was a sweet girl but in my opinion a bit bland. Apart from her tomboy persona and her stuttering there was not much else that made her stand out. Brittany in Perfect Chemistry had a more complex and interesting persona, what with being miss popular who carried a family secret.
The attraction between Kiara and Carlos was well portrayed and steamy at places but I felt it came from out of nowhere. One moment they were bickering at each other and the next they were having an almost-kiss. In Perfect Chemistry I understood their mutual attraction better as both Alex and Brittany let each other in, revealing secrets they hadn’t told anyone about. That didn’t happen here and so it wasn’t clear to me why they felt drawn to each other. They suddenly just were.
Finally the climax at the end felt a bit forced, as if it was thrown in just for the sake of some action. In Perfect Chemistry it has more of a natural flow as if the whole story is leading that way, towards the climax. In Rules of attraction, not only did the gang member plot feel a bit forced, it also felt too unrealistic what with the professor helping out the way he did, putting himself in danger for the sake of Carlos who he has known barely a couple of months. It just felt a bit too “cookie butter sweet” for me. I love a happy ending but there are limits (even for me) to how cheesy it can be.
The Bottom Line:
So, final verdict? Well, having read Perfect Chemistry it is impossible not to compare it with that book as they are so similar plotwise. And I’m sorry to say Rules of Attraction does not come up to the same level. That being said, I still enjoyed reading it, and boy did I read it fast. So it is an easy fun yet somewhat fluffy read. But it’s not a book that will blow you away. A third book in the series has been released following the youngest Fuentes brother Luis, which I plan to read. My expections however have now been lowered as I expect a similar read there.