Author: Stacey Kade
Publication Date: April 2013
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Sci-Fi
Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One
Synopsis can be found here.
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Ariane Tucker follows the rules her father set out for her.
She's never had to deviate from them before. But a mean prank at school pushes her over the edge and before long, Ariane is pushing the boundaries on what's safe. That includes hanging out with Zane, the Chief of Police's son. That includes declaring mean girl war on Rachel, Queen Bee of the school. That means questioning and keeping secrets from her father, the only stable person in her life.
And then very suddenly, her world is not what she thought it was.
While I was reading The Rules, the pages slipping by easily, I started thinking that the storyline was somewhat predictable. The struggles of Ariane, who she is or rather what she is, her challenging the boundaries of authority, her falling for a guy she can never be truthful with. All of these things have been done before, but Kade does a good job at keeping it interesting. And this might be because of Ariane herself. She's super smart, hiding in plane site. She knows she's different. She used to have powers, and now can't control them. She, herself, is an interesting protagonist, and I think that's why this ride is fun, easy to lose an afternoon in. She's detached, yet longs to belong. She loves her father, but knows he can never love her like his real daughter.
Zane is kind of flat for me, sadly. I'm hoping he'll be more interesting in the next book, but I think he is currently suffering from Nice Boy syndrome. He, of course, has these layers that he doesn't let people see, he's misunderstood by Ariane and at home. But truthfully, all of these things still doesn't make Zane a full character for me. The chapters alternate between Ariane's POV and Zane's, but while Ariane is a more layered character, Zane feels a little forced like something is missing from his center. Or maybe it's because I didn't enjoy Zane's voice. It didn't feel like a guy's voice, more like a narration.
The mean girl, Rachel is so over the top bitchy (can I say that word on this blog- bitchy? oh, whoops. said it again!) that she is just a clique for most of the story. Yet, towards the end, something happens to Rachel and I find her to be more interesting and, dare I say it, a bit more entertaining. I want to know what happens to Rachel as well, not just as the obvious mean girl, but as a character too. I can see her growing into a full and complicated girl and that's exciting to see her development.
Like I said above, the story moves along somewhat predictably. And while I enjoyed the ride, it was a solid three stars for me for a while.
Well I'm not going to tell you. But something happens and it's a game changer.
And now I'm very interested in reading the sequel.
So interested in fact, I couldn't read anything else for the rest of the day.
I kept going through The Rules over and over in my mind, and even now, days later I'm still anxious about the sequel.
And you will be too.
Rating 7 Pretty Good, Would Recommend