Sunday, March 31, 2013

Review: THE RULES by Stacey Kade

Title: The Rules (Project Paper Doll #1)

Author: Stacey Kade

Publication date: April 23, 2013

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Source: an ARC from the publisher for an honest review and for interviewing the author

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…


Back in February, I interviewed Stacey Kade after I read the last book in her series The Ghost and the Goth. At the end, we talked a little bit about her coming soon book: The Rules which is the first in a series. I knew I had to read it because not only do I love Stacey's writing, but I also thought the synopsis sounded great. Well, during my basketball tournament, guess what landed on my doorstep? This ARC! I unfortunately didn't have time to dive right into it, but when I did, I finished it in two days.

Basically, for me, I could describe The Rules as this: A The Host and A Walk to Remember baby that sucks you in and won't let go.

The Rules is actually told in a dual character POV, between main Ariane Tucker and Zane Bradshaw. I should have expected the multiple POV considering her other series, but I was still surprised to see Zane had a perspective. At first, I wasn't crazy for it. I soon began to love it though, interested to see what both of their thoughts were. 

Ariane is half alien, half human. She has powers (dangerous powers, that I might add) and an ability to read snippets of people's minds. For the first six years of her life, she was kept in a lab with cultural classes and training. After a traumatic event and a big night, she was whisked away by a security guard and pretended to be his daughter (who was now dead thanks to cancer). She has always lived by five simple rules, as stated in the synopsis, so that GTX, the lab, couldn't find her in their own backyard. Ariane has to analyze every choice she makes and wears a simple disguise so that she can blend in. And fortunately for us, she goes back to explain what happened in those years in the lab and it gives us more depth with her story and character.

The trouble then starts with Ariane's one and only friend Jenna. Jenna is obsessed with being popular, pressured by her mother. I even liked her in the beginning, not finding her to be annoying (oh, how I was wrong). When Rachel Jacobs, the school mean girl and granddaughter of the GTX owner, publicly humiliates Jenna, Ariane's powers unexpectedly come back. She hasn't been able to use them since she built an inner wall around them, fearing to become what Dr. Jacobs wanted her to be. 

Enter in Zane Bradshaw. He has family issues and has the common fictional boy disease called Stupid Spineless Syndrome where they think their friends are idiots, but stupidly have no spine and whine about it. When we were first introduced to him, I didn't like Zane. I thought his POV wasn't my taste since I felt it was too crass. However, if you at all feel like me, keep reading! He gets so much better, believe me. When Ariane and Zane devise a plan to get back at Rachel, we all know what will happen. There's some chemistry and looooove in the air, people...also some curiosity. 

How quickly they start to like each other made me a little peeved considering that I'm not a big fan of when characters go too fast. But the plot was sucking me in so much that I simply did not care. The only thing I started to worry about when it came to the plot was that at one point, it felt like it started to become a high school drama story. Thankfully, Stacey started steering it back into control. Unfortunately, I can't say what I really loved due to spoilers. 

Seriously. For me, there were two scenes in particular that were shocking and so...twisty. 

The thing is, though, that it doesn't end there. Lately, I have been reading series where an author will reveal something and just cut it off there or leave a huge cliffhanger with lots of questions. Stacey reveals...then keeps writing! I had time to process everything before we were suddenly left with the dreaded feeling of "I WANT THE SEQUEL!" I felt that the story was well-developed along with Ariane's character. Ariane was strong, determined, and someone that strikes your curiosity. As for Zane, you felt bad for him and soon became to love him too. 

So here's the recap: 

The parts I disliked: 
  • The beginning of Zane and his Stupid Spineless Syndrome.
  • The later Jenna...but we're supposed to. 
  • The seemingly rapid pace of Zane and Ariane's relationship. 
The parts I liked:
  • The loops Stacey gave us. Oh my gosh, I felt like I was a cat that was failing to land on my feet. 
  • I personally liked the sort-of flashbacks to GTX, it provided more depth. 
  • Later Zane minus his behavior with Rachel. 
  • Ariane in general because I loved how tough she was. 
  • The plot...and the ending. 
Verdict: A wonderfully engaging story that left me with a book hangover. 

Do you think you'll read this one? YOU SHOULD! 

Comment below :)


  1. I am so glad to hear you liked it!! So far, the reviews I've read were a little mixed. It looks really good so I will probably pick it up sometime.

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

  2. Stupid Spineless Syndrome! This. But applause to Stacey Kade for not just dropping off after a huge reveal; I don't have a problem with abrupt cliffhangers, but the alternative seems harder to do well. I'm glad you liked this one and I'll have to keep it in mind!

    1. Ha, I thought it fit. You really should ;)

  3. Wow, this book sounds interesting! I do hate characters with, as you put it, Stupid Spineless Syndrome. However, I am used to it.
    Great review!

    Emily @ Counting in Bookcases

  4. I was so tempted to request this copy when I first saw it up, but I resisted, but oh your review has made me want to buy a finished copy and also start her other series too! Lovely review Sunny! :)

    1. You really should and I hope you love it! Thank you, Jasprit :)

  5. Okay The Host meets A Walk to Remember? Right there I am intrigued...except for the part where the girl dies of cancer at the end. Hopefully that doesn't happen. I've seen this around and wasn't all that excited about it. However, you make the book sound quite interesting. I like dual POVs if done well, and I'm pretty curious about these plot twists. I also like that this author doesn't cut the book off right at the crazy cliffy. Thanks for telling me about this one!

    1. Haha! No cancer involved :) Thanks for commenting, hope you enjoy!

  6. I think I might like Zane' crass POV. :) I want to read this, but I kind of want to read her other book first. Maybe I should get on that soon!

  7. I'm getting ready to start this one. I'm hoping I like it as well as you did! Great review. :)