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…
Publication Date: April 16, 2013
I’ve had a lucky run with YA books lately and The Rules continued this streak. I loved the story and what at first started off as a book about petty high school drama became so much more. Ariane was an amazing character and despite her alien DNA, I found her very relatable.
The Rules had a bit of a slow start for me. It’s told from dual POVS: Ariane and her human love interest Zane. I think my lack of initial enthusiasm stemmed from finding Zane uninteresting and weak. But in the end, I’m glad the author chose to use his POV because he grew so much as a character and definitely won me over.
The initial drama centers on a showdown between Ariane and mean girl Rachel. Rachel plays a cruel prank on Ariane’s best friend and instead of usually fading into the background Ariane becomes the target of her high school’s popular crowd. Zane is sent by Rachel to pretend to date Ariane and the plan backfires as he starts to fall for her.
The second half was much stronger than the first. I felt for Ariane, especially during flashbacks in a scientific lab as a young girl. Her humanity is at constant war with her alien side and she’s constantly trying to do the right thing although the people in her life don’t deserve her kindness.
The love story was very sweet and Zane and Ariane complemented each other well. Zane and Ariane’s father Mark Jacobs were the strongest secondary characters. The villains could’ve been fleshed out more, but not a major issue since this is a series story.
The Rules was very good and it had a few twists thrown in to keep readers guessing. The ending is the perfect setup for the next book and I’m eagerly looking forward to reading it.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this novel for review!