Title: Rules of Attraction
Author: Simone Elkeles
Genre: YA, Romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library
Summary (from the inside flap): Carlos Fuentes idolized his older brother, Alex, when he was a member of the Latino Blood. So when Alex chose to get jumped out of the gang for a chance at a future with his gringa girlfriend, Brittany, Carlos felt shocked and betrayed. Even worse, Alex forced Carlos to come back from Mexico to join him on the straight and narrow path. Trouble is, Carlos just wants to keep living on the edge. And ties to his Mexican gang aren't easy to break, even hundreds of miles away in Colorado. In Boulder, Carlos has to live with one of Alex's college professors and he feels completely out of place. He's even more thrown by his strong feelings for the professor's daughter, Kiara, who is nothing like the girls he's usually drawn to. But Carlos and Kiara soon discover that in matters of the heart, the rules of attraction overpower the social differences that conspire to keep them apart.
Review: Good job again Simone Elkeles! Though this book has a similar storyline as Perfect Chemistry (see my review here) I really enjoyed this book. Hey, I stayed up until midnight (way past my bedtime) to finish it. Yes, it's a Latino male who is in a gang and wants to live the rough life falling for a white rich girl. Yes, they try to stay away from each other at first. Yes, there is sexual tension. But, this time her family is pretty great and accepting. In fact, they want to help Carlos (and they do). I liked the twist that creates an interesting ending (not giving anything away here!) and made me see many of the characters in a different light. It also gives the book a different feeling from Perfect Chemistry.
I liked how the author showed Carlos's distrust for people, but that with work that can be changed (at bit). And, though this book is a romance, it's also funny, a social commentary, and a great look at high school relationships and drama.