The Rules (Project Paper Doll #1) by Stacey Kade

Posted on July 20, 2014 by Regina | 2 Comments

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 think The Rules is secretly dedicated to all those Smallville Clark+Chole fans out there.

 

Judging by the cover of this book, I would have never guessed it was a Sci-Fi novel with an Alien- hybrid protagonist. Good thing I actually read the back blurb after my bestie lent me a stack of books because I was ready to pass on it. But, as any regular reader of this blog knows, I LOVE me some Alien/Human romance and action. The Rules alternates between narrators Ariane and Zane, providing a well-rounded reading experience.

Ariane Tucker is dealing with a lot more than teenage-angst and keeping up her grades. On top of being in high-school, (which is hard enough) she’s trying to hide any trace that she has extraterrestrial DNA by blending in beyond blurred lines. She needs to be invisible.

Ariane was created in a genetics lab for a government agenda and has been hiding in plain sight, just miles away from the facility that created her, with the man that helped her escape.

Forced to abide by a set of rules that will help her stay off the radar, Ariane has been forced to keep people at arms-length and has not had the experience of true-friendship or a romantic relationship.

Previews for the movie Lucy, starring Scarlet Johansson (bleh) totally remind me of Ariane Tucker, the protagonist from this book, even though Ariane is supposed to be extremely petite and pale, barely able to fill a ”B-cup”.

Ariane opens up a can of whoop-ass of telekinetic powers when she’s pushed to defend those she grows to care about in this story, and it was either imagine her as Carry or imagine her as Lucy, so I went with the latter.

Lucy/Scar Jo as Ariane
Lucy/Scar Jo as Ariane

Despite the monotony of Ariane’s life, she was a vividly imagined character whom I was able to empathize with throughout her daily struggles, painful memories, and new experiences. She may have been hiding from ”The Man” but in no way was she a coward.

After further reading, the mental image I had of Ariane switched to Chloe from Smallville, not only because Ariane is extremely smart and resourceful, but also because Ariane admits to having a thing for Clark Kent and casting him in a virtual reality game she plays to pass the time that she should otherwise be spending socializing with other kids her age.

Chloe/Allison Mac as Ariane
Chloe as Ariane

Now, let’s get to my favorite part about this book: Zane Bradshaw. Talk about INTENSE swoony-feels for Zane. He starts off as that guy we love to watch in teen movies- the one that runs with the popular kids and falls for the dorky-girl who’s like an enigma to him. But as much as I personally LOVE cliches, the relationship that unfolds between Zane and Ariane is beyond that. It’s unique and so, SO good.

Clark/Tom Welling as Zane.
Clark/Tom Welling as Zane.

Stacey Kade swept me off my feet with Zane in all of his six-foot-four, Clark Kent-esque glory. She really gets into his head and shows us everything that makes him tick. The romance that is kindled between him and Ariane starts out awkwardly but lands firmly on it’s feet by the end of the book.

The Rules started out slow but the pacing allowed for wonderful, thoughtfully crafted main characters. The author’s use of Deep Point of View was masterfully executed and really made me forget I was reading the book and not actually living the life of Ariane.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Rules and I am currently reading The Hunt because I couldn’t wait to continue Ariane and Zanes story.

Here’s a sneak peek of an intense moment between Ariane and Zane from Zane’s POV:

Her hands were cool and tentative at first, at the back of my neck and then moving with more confidence over my shoulders and through my hair.

Reaching up to touch her face, I could feel her delicate bones beneath soft skin–she never seemed fragile or small except for when I touched her. Her personality made her seem bigger, more powerful.

I slid my hand beneath her hair, which was heavy and soft and held the heat of her body, making me want to touch more. I tipped her chin at a slightly stronger angle and tasted her mouth, and she let out a gasp, her hands clutching tighter at my collar.

 

Excuse me, while I go reread that chapter. *Fans self like a hefty woman in a church pew on a Summer Sunday in Texas*

 

 

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Classical music nerd by day, freelance writer and blogger by night. When I review books, I don't dish out and rehash every character and detail. What's the point of reading a book if you give most of the deets away in a review??? My reviews are more about my impressions and over all experience with the book. I am also a world-renowned armchair psychologist, and love to psychoanalyze authors.
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