It’s the one PNR YA tropes I never get tired of. I think because there are so many ways you can go with it. Honestly, I’m usually not a hard core sci-fi fan for the most part. It’s true I like watching the occasional movie about aliens taking over the world and that I like to read about aliens and watch Ancient Aliens on TV, but…okay, I’m obsessed.
But aliens in YA?
Sort of mixed.
Sure there’s the Lux series which I liked (used to love up to the last installment), but really there haven’t been that many decent alien YA books released. However, I have always heard great things about Stacey Kade and decided to give her book, The Rules a try.
What’s it About: Take the plot of She’s All That, add in some Roswell conspiracies to it, and one mad scientist and you have this book..
I really do like this one, but I can see how people wouldn’t like this book. It’s something odd to think when you’re writing a book review since book reviews are generally opinions that one has. But as I kept reading this book I thought well, I like that but I can see why other people might not like this. So for the purposes of this review. I’m going to discuss what I really liked and what I think could annoy people.
What I Liked:
1. Dual narration:
Usually I hate dual POV, but it works here. Both characters seem like separate entities and I was able to grow to like both of them. It made me actually really interested to read The Ghost and the Goth where I hear that this feature is used as well.
The characters are very well formed. As I previously stated, both have a distinct voice. Kade was also very effective in creating backstories for both Zane and Ariane. I felt for both of them and I liked how their lives sort of were paralleled each others in a strange way.
Did I mention this book involves E.T. and he does not phone home.
4. Deeper than it looks:
While it might appear as all frothy and full of bunny rabbits and roses, this book actually does touch upon some deeper issues. I sort of liked how while the issues weren’t the main plot of the story, they contributed to the overall plot and not in a heavy handed sort of way.
5. A fun easy read:
Honestly, this book was sort of like endorphins in a written form. And we all know what Elle Woods has to say about endorphins.
What Could be Viewed as Annoying:
1. The fact that part of this book borderlines on hardcore sci-fi and the other half could’ve been an episode of Beverly Hills 90210:
It’s hard imagining an episode of 90210 with aliens. Okay, maybe not. Maybe that explains a lot of the actions of Tori Spelling’s character on the show, but still. Most of this book reads as teen drama and I was expecting that. But some people aren’t. And to be honest the fact that the alien thing remained background till the very last third where it seemed more like Carrie than Alien. Did I hate it, no? But it did make what else seemed like a frothy book seem disjointed.
2. Way too Much Melodrama.
As previously stated, a lot of this read like an episode of 90210. And while I like froth, this could borderline on too much fluff. The plot is similar to many movies you’d see in the 90’s melodrama included. A lot of the trivial things that the characters are arguing about just make you want to roll your eyes given the overall plot is a lot more sinister than what’s actually going on.
3. Plot-holes Galore:
If Ariane can read minds I had to wonder why a lot of things happened…I mean, all she had to do was read the thoughts off of certain characters heads and boom she should’ve known. The same thing goes with what happened in the lab, why not….yeah you sort of have to stop analyzing after awhile.
4. Too Cruel to be Real:
While I personally like an evil as sin character there were a few characters here that might be unrealistically evil. Which is fine, you know, if you’re name is Dr. Evil. However, since 99.9% of the world isn’t named Dr. Evil it probably doesn’t work here.
5. The fact it’s over four hundred pages long:
I like long books and for the most part this one didn’t drag. Except it did a little in the middle. A little cutting here and there might’ve made the book a little more enjoyable. Might’ve being the operative word. This con really is up to your own preference. For me I think about fifty less pages and it would’ve been the perfect length.
Overall Rating: I’m giving this one a seven out of ten. I enjoyed it, but I’ll admit it has its faults. It really was a fun read and I think I might grow to like it more than the Lux series.