Apr 28, 2013

Review: The Rules by Stacey Kade

Title: The Rules
Author: Stacey Kade
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: 4.23.2013
Pages: 416
Genre: SciFi
Series: Project Paper Dolls #1
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: A

Summary (from Goodreads):
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…

I’ve been itching to get my hands on The Rules by Stacey Kade since I heard about it in late 2012. Genetically engineered characters are a fascination of mine, and this book was a bright beacon on my radar for a long while. I’m so glad it was as good as I was anticipating.

I loved Ariane from the beginning. I loved her heart and the way she internally battled with following the rules and protecting those she loved. She is a character with so much heart and integrity, it’s hard to believe she isn’t completely human. Then again, maybe she’s as kind and protective as she is because she isn’t human. Regardless, she is fantastic and one of the better YA heroines I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in a long time.

Zane was another matter. His apathy and willingness to simply accept what his friends did infuriated me. Yes, I understood some of the rationale behind it later on, but it took a while for my initial distaste to quit lingering. He may not have been a big participant when it came to the cruel pranks his “friends” engaged in, but he let things slide and sometimes that’s just as bad. The “we’ve been friends since kindergarten” excuse was thin and pathetic. It took a while for him to earn my (and Ariane’s) trust.

It would have been so easy for Kade to slip into the insta-romance trap here, but I love that she made Zane work to regain the respect of Ariane and the reader. Ariane is no one’s fool and she made sure she knew where Zane’s loyalties lay before engaging in any sort of smexy shenanigans.

Of which there were plenty.

Be prepared to get annoyed with yourself and your inability to read any faster. The story moves quickly, pushing to a stunning climax that I just couldn’t get to fast enough. There are still so many unanswered questions I cannot wait to get to in the next book, but if the rest of the series is half as good as The Rules, I’ll be more than satisfied. SciFi fans won’t want to miss out on this book.

Reviewer: Hannah


  1. I was excited but a little worried about this one because it seemed like it could go wrong easily. Glad to see it didn't disappoint (and thank goodness for no insta-love)!

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed this! and how it isn't insta-love. Yeay, I want to see how Zane regains our respect for him!

    awesome review,
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  3. Science Fiction + No insta-love = The type of book I surely will enjoy! Seeing this around lately and heard great thoughts about it. Thanks for the review Hannah!

  4. Ooh I enjoyed this one so much!! I just loveddd Ariane and Zane separately, as well as together. I liked that we got to see from both their POVs, and, like you mentioned, that it's not some insta-love situation. It's a situation that slowly becomes mutual like and respect, and then a little something more.


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