Saturday, April 20, 2013

ARC Review: The Rules by Stacey Kade

The Rules (Project Paper Doll)
Author: Stacey Kade
Publication: Disney-Hyperion (April 23, 2013)

Description: 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, to hide in plain sight 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.

My Thoughts: Ever since Ariane was helped to escape from the genetics lab that created her from human and alien DNA and was training her to use her alien gifts to kill, she has been following a set of rules. Don't trust anyone, don't get involved, keep your head down, remember they are always looking for you, and, lastly, don't fall in love. She has been doing really well, too, until Zane Bradshaw notices her.

Ariane's only friend is a social climbing phony who will do anything to get into the social group led by Rachel Jacobs who happens to be the granddaughter of the scientist who created, tested, and tortured Ariane before her escape. When Rachel decides to humiliate Ariane's friend Jenna, Ariane needs to become more noticeable to protect her friend. Zane is in Rachel's social group but is not a whole-hearted member. When Rachel decides to get back at Ariane for defending her friend and, thus, making Rachel look bad, Zane steps in to be the one who is supposed to lure Ariane into a humiliating situation.

Zane's attraction to Ariane leads him to work with her to find some way to turn the tables on Rachel. Ariane is willing to go along because she hates Rachel for her bullying tactics. All of a sudden, the "don't fall in love" rule is getting harder and harder to follow.

While I liked a lot of the story and really liked both Ariane and Zane, I was unhappy with the way the adults were portrayed. Zane's father was a bully who was constantly belittling him and comparing him to his perfect older brother. He was obsessed with what the town thought of him and was determined to get some kind of on in with GTX—Dr. Jacobs' company. Zane's mother had left the family after his brother graduated from high school and on Zane's birthday leaving him with his father. Zane feels a strong sense of abandonment.

Dr. Jacobs is an evil scientist who is willing to go to any length and use anyone or anything to get his precious government contracts. He spent years torturing and abusing Ariane to try to turn her into a killing machine. Even the man Ariane has considered her father for ten years—Mark Tucker—seems to betray her. He is the one who established the rules that Ariane has been living by which keep her isolated and unconnected to other people.

Fans of science fiction will enjoy this exciting story about hiding in plain sight and will enjoy Ariane's conflicted nature between her human and alien self. The romance was nicely done too.

Favorite Quote:
Something about Ariane was off in some vague, indefinable way. No one would probably describe her as pretty, but there was something about her that drew me in. Maybe attractive was a better word, in that I couldn't define what caught my eye, but it was impossible to look away once I noticed her. Most people didn't seem to notice her at all, which seemed more than fine with her. Another oddity.
I got my eARC through NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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