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  • ARC Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

ARC Review: The Rules by Stacey Kade

You have a name, but it is not your own. You live a life, but in constant fear that you will be discovered. Keep your head down, blend in, don't get close to anyone. These are the rules Ariane lived by, and for a while she was safe. But not anymore.

Title: The Rules (Project Paper Doll #1) by Stacey Kade
Release Date: April 23rd 2013
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Source: PBT Book tour
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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…

Ariane knew she wasn't human, and she's spent the last ten years making sure no one finds it out. But when you're sixteen, starting a new year in school, it's proving to be difficult. She's following the five rules set by her father to a tee, but when she stood up for a friend, the powers she had locked inside her for a decade came rushing back. Now the school queen bee is out to get her, and on top of it she had to battle her growing attraction to a human boy who's bad for her. How far is Ariane willing to go to protect her secret and how long can she run away?

I loved Ariane. She's awkward at times and she knew she's not quite human but she does her best to fit in, though her main reason was just so she wouldn't be discovered. I can't imagine how hard it was to live with the fear for ten whole years, having to settle for mediocre grades so she wouldn't stand out, having almost no other friends. Despite the fact that it's established how she's different, she still feels these confusing, wonderful emotions and gets herself in situations that makes her learn more about life and I wanted her to live more. It's amusing to see her react to situations she's used to and it felt so good to see her enjoy being herself at times.

It took a while for Zane to warm up to me, I was never one to like characters that run with the popular crowd and does a good job of showing everyone who's boss. But Zane's life wasn't particularly easy and those little details and short flashbacks about his life at home helped to get a better understanding of who he really was. I loved how Stacey took time to show us readers that there's more to Zane than being the son of the police chief and a jock. His moments with Ariane were such a delight to read because it always starts out so awkward and uncertain and ends up with those fleeting moments that will eventually lead to something sweet and romantic. I love the constant fluctuation of their emotions and actions when it comes to dealing with what they feel for each other. Who knew a prank could become something so much more?

The Rules story centers on the classic popular crowd versus the ordinary, but what gave it a good twist was the very origin of Ariane's character. An extraordinary girl living life in extraordinary circumstances facing such trivial problems. Stacey Kade injected that sci-fi edge in a typical high school setting and surprisingly it blended well. It's an odd combination that worked wonders. It's got those moments that makes you forget that you're reading a book with sci-fi elements and I am so fine with that because even if you take away what makes Ariane different (which you really can't) it's got drama and that wonderful contemporary vibe that makes it so good. But then a few pages later Ariane's real heritage and the complications it brings comes roaring back and you get a completely different but still an awesome feeling all over again.

How does a girl who knows she is not quite human live a life that pulls her on opposite sides? Do you have the freedom to become human or become a fearsome person possessing abilities surpassing those of humans? It's that struggle between living a human life and embracing her extra terrestrial side that makes Ariane's story so appealing. The Rules are there to protect her but what happens when she breaks all of them? The Rules is a wonderful smorgasbord of themes like friendship, betrayal, sweet romance and angst all happening in a setting that takes you in and out of a scientific experiment borne of a conspiracy of some sort. It's a gripping story that just sucks you in. It's an unexpectedly hooking read that is so enjoyable I just found myself wanting to dive into the next book as soon as I finished this one. I want more!

Content (plot, story flow, character):
It takes a while to warm up to the characters and it was all so awkward at first but there's a point in the story where it all changes and you have to get through quite a few pages to reach that point but other than that, the feelings Ariane and Zane coaxes from me is so worth the read. Even those little moments of hurt and pain of friendships shattered and Ariane's monumental confusion and struggle to accept what she really is. So. Good.
Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:
Love the cover! It's the perfect image for Ariane!


  1. The concept reminds me a little bit of Mila 2.0 - which I wasn't particularly fond of. That makes me a bit hesitant about this one. But since you like it so much, I might just have to give it a shot.

  2. I liked this book a bit more than you but I can see why it didn't quite work for you. I especially liked the dual perspective, which really added to the narrative.


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