The Rules by Stacey Kade

The RulesThe Rules by Stacey Kade
Series: Project Paper Doll #1
Published by: Disney Hyperion on April 23, 2013
Genre: Aliens, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 416
Source: ARC From Publisher
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★★★½

1. Never trust anyone.
2. Remember they are always searching.
3. Don't get involved.
4. Keep your head down.
5. Don't fall in love.

Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane's survival—and that of her adoptive father—depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans in a small Wisconsin town, to hide in plain sight at her high school from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) "project."

But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts her in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief's son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening—and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules...

The Rules reads surprisingly like a contemporary book, and that’s one of the things that made me love it so much. Although it does have sci-fi elements, they don’t dominate the story at all. It’s more about evil corporations, first loves, tender and hesitant romance, high school drama, and bullies, all with a small sci-fi twist.

The story is told from alternating points of view: Ariane’s and Zane’s. I didn’t expect to get a glimpse into both characters’ minds, so that was a pleasant surprise! Both of them were fabulous characters for different reasons, and in many ways they are completely perfect for each other. Both characters have demons from their pasts that they struggle to live with every day. Ariane is constantly fighting to stay under the radar, and Zane is trying to move past his old life of being a bit of an arrogant prick. But we quickly start to uncover Zane’s sensitive, sweet side and realize that he’s actually a nice guy running with a bad crowd.

The Rules by Stacey Kade

The Rules doesn’t have a ton of action in it, but I was okay with it. A large portion of the book is focused on the high school drama—dealing with bullies, figuring out who’s a real friend and who’s a fake friend, small revenge pranks, and just surviving in high school. Although it wasn’t exactly riddled with intensity, I enjoyed it! I think mostly because Ariane and Zane had great chemistry and were so perfect for each other. They just clicked so well and I loved their witty banter! And there are some DELICIOUS kissing scenes! Swoon.

And then there’s Rachel… God. She’s the high school bitch that I wanted to rip to shreds. She’s so awful that you just cross your fingers and hope that something horrible happens to her. You want to see Karma rain down on her ass.

There are a couple twists at the end that I personally did NOT see coming! They were a fun surprise and the last 50-75 pages of the book got super intense. Everything just started coming together and I was screaming for the annoying characters to get their comeuppance.

Overall, The Rules was a really pleasant surprise. I always thought it sounded good, but I don’t think I expected to love it quite as much as I did. This is a very strong, interesting, and engaging book. I highly recommend The Rules to people who don’t normally read sci-fi but are a little interested in the whole scientific experiment stuff.

The Verdict


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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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  1. *eyes my galley longingly* SOON I will make time for this one. I keep forgetting it’s dual pov, which is cool, because then I’ll be surprised too, when I started reading it. I’m glad you were pleasantly surprised, Ashley! I’m really looking forward to this one. Zane sounds pretty awesome.

    Molli recently posted: Anna RAL – Giveaway of Awesome
  2. I’m really glad you liked this one! I love how you said the sci fi elements of the book didn’t dominate and that it felt a lot like a contemporary, and how the chemistry between teh character’s was present! Officially want this one now!

    Lily @ lilysbookblog

    lily recently posted: Eleanor and Park: Review
  3. So many people have been commenting on how surprised they were that this had such a contemporary feel to it, which immediately interests me; a contemporary with a sci-fi twist?! Who thinks of that?! Haha

    But you had me at delicious kissing scenes!

    Kelly recently posted: Book Review: Switched
  4. Oh wow… I was already sort of interested in this one, and assumed it would be mostly scifi with maybe an element of contemporary. Knowing it reads mostly like contemporary with an element of scifi – that actually makes me even more excited! I can’t wait! 🙂

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