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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…

416 pages, Hardcover

First published April 23, 2013

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About the author

Stacey Kade

13 books1,559 followers
**Stacey Kade also writes as S.A. Barnes. Her latest release is DEAD SILENCE, coming from Nightfire Books on 1/25/22.**

The daughter of a minister and a music teacher, Stacey Kade grew up reading Harlequin romances on the sly in the basement. Kade is the author of two young adult series (The Ghost and Goth trilogy and the Project Paper Doll series) and two young adult contemporary standalone novels. 738 DAYS and STARLIGHT NIGHTS, her contemporary romance duo for adults, both received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly.

Kade lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Greg, and their three dogs.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 637 reviews
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,543 reviews33.9k followers
April 10, 2013
3.5 stars In a season crowded with all kinds of YA sci fi thrillers, The Rules offers an unusual heroine: Ariane Tucker, a alien-human hybrid girl who must hide among humans in order to avoid capture.

*waits a beat*

Oh come on, you're going to have to just roll with this idea! If you can accept the premise and a story that focuses more on the characters than complex worldbuilding or non-stop action, this is a fun, enjoyable science fiction thriller that reads very much like a paranormal story.

The full text of this review appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.

Random side note: doesn't the girl on the cover look like Andie from Dawson's Creek? As you were.
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,947 followers
April 23, 2013
[Insert Random Political Name Here] Eats Babies

3.25 stars. Just a hunch on my part, but it would appear that this author has an axe to grind with conservatives after reading some of the snide commentary in The Rules. Hey, I'm all for everyone having the right to agree/disagree with whatever's going on out in the "real world," but I'd rather not read about what's distasteful to an author in my books. For a moment, I thought I was in the middle of campaign season and watching one of those "Campaign Opponent X is teh debil" ads.

This is a tough book to review. I can see why the sell might be a little difficult. I wasn't a big fan of the first half of this story and had to settle in for a while before it started to grow on me. Since we as readers are plopped down into the middle of high school drama right off the bat, I can see how some people might want to possibly bail out early on. Something about the writing style read as pnr-grade fluffy at the start, but it did breach the realm of sci-fi the further into the book we got. Unfortunately, you have to slog through a lot of the fluff to get there.

I really wish YA sci-fi would stop trying to be pnr. If I want gossip and dating woes, I'll just read a pnr or foamy contemporary. Yes, I know...I'm the one who loved Under the Never Sky for character development, even though the technology part of the world-building was murky. But that's beside the point. Even though I can find things to like about fluff sci-fi, this doesn't mean that I want all sci-fi to be fluff. I'm starting to feel like my intelligence is being insulted. YA READERS CAN ACTUALLY HANDLE A BOOK WHERE THE ROMANCE IS NOT LARGER THAN THE STORY ITSELF. I promise.

However, you readers who might be skeptical after reading my complaints - just go with me here. It does get better.

Okay, so if we're going to have the romance, at least I'm happy to say that I was not entirely opposed to what was being offered. Zane doesn't stand out as a "new favorite guy," but his role in all of this started to make sense the further we got into the story. While I'm sort of off-and-on when it comes to this new trend of rotating PoV's, I think that Zane's PoV was necessary, otherwise he would have blended into the woodwork.

When we got into the home stretch of the book, we got to get a taste of what these alien half-breeds could do. Some interesting powers came into play. I can see how there is big potential to turn this tale into a big struggle between those who want freedom and those who want to harness the power. There is the power to manipulate objects and the power to read minds. Who knows what else these people can do? I hope to find out more.

This author has a flair for humor, which is always welcome. Between the person having a fear of the Hamburger Helper glove, to the teacher thinking that she wanted to ride the chick's dad like a prize stallion (that would suck to have to hear someone thinking such a thing about your father!), there were several moments which had me chuckling.

If you're struggling with the first part of the book like I did, I'd encourage you to stick it out and see if you eventually latch on.
Most people didn't even think aliens really existed. And among those who did believe, "my" relatives had a bad rep. Little, gray, and creepy. Known for cattle mutilations, abductions, and an extreme fascination with probing of all kinds.


This book provided from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are from the pre-release copy and may not be present from the final copy.
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,363 followers
April 21, 2013
Meet Ariane: the alien hybrid that shares a similarity with my dear beloved friend, Carrie (yes, the evil one!). This is one heck of a fun book. Having been raised in a lab her whole life, Ariane now has to live among humans… in high school--how horrifying! Instead of concentrating on the alien conspiracies or sci-fi aspect, The Rules involves mostly a lot of high school drama where Ariane is trying hard to stay invisible, but a certain… she person… is making this incredibly hard. After digesting this book I think it will all depend on what you're expecting from it. Some of the Goodreads tags at the moment include Sci-fi, Dystopian, Fantasy, Alien, Romance. At once it's all, and none, of those things. If I had to tag it, I'd say it's best described as a high school paranormal novel. No matter, here is what you will be getting from reading it:

-- A mostly character oriented plot that does not really have that much sci-fi to it. Sure she's an alien hybrid and we do begin the novel in the lab she's being held in, learning where she was raised and what they made her do, but other than that we're thrown into a high school bully story where Ariane is simply trying to stay off the radar--but the high school Queen B gets in the way.This worked for me because, for one, I wasn't really expecting anything when I went into this book, and for another, high school mean-girl type stories are kind of a guilty pleasure of mine. Who doesn't enjoy seeing a bitch get what she deserves?

-- A semi-strong romantic subplot that is sweet and substantial. Ariane is not supposed to fall in love, nor trust anybody, so we do get a bit of the forbidden fruit kind of romance which I always find engaging. It may not be the most swoon worthy romance I've ever read but it does involve believable emotions, a likeable love interest, and a pacing that makes it possible to see their connection grow.

-- We're treated to two perspectives in this novel: Ariane and Zane. While it remains Ariane's story, it's fun to be able to experience and understand both sides. Zane is an interesting character that surprised me quite a bit by being very different from the type I was expecting. He's genuine and well-intentioned; I appreciated that about him. As for Ariane, overall, she is sweet-natured. She wants to do what's best and protect her friend, but because of her sticky situation she often has to put herself first. It's good to have someone who is loyal, but not all about self-sacrifice--because really that's just realistic. I also liked how she was smart enough to realize that this so-called friend is really not a friend at all.

-- Fast paced, fun, entertaining, but not particularly impressive as far as the complexity of the plot. The issues I did have with this book is not what we do get--the characters are fun, the plot is interesting, and the pacing is just right--it's what we don't get--intel on these aliens, history or world building, believable science, shocking plot happenings (though we do get one fairly good twist). I wanted to know a lot more about the aliens, especially. If you're going to introduce such an intriguing concept, it requires something to back it up: where they came from or the science behind it all for starters. As for the evil corporation behind it all, I was never really intimidated by them, to be honest. What they're trying to accomplish is unclear and I think this decreases their threat. Constantly mentioning a powerful, scary entity doesn't make one so.

The Rules may be technically a sci-fi novel, but its primary focus is on the entertaining factor of a high school contemporary with mild paranormal elements. Nevertheless, It's fast paced and easy to fly through, making it a good read if you're expecting the right story.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
May 14, 2013
More high-school teen drama than the anticipated bad-ass alien sci-fi I was expecting.

Ariane was created in a lab, with a combination of human and alien DNA. Her father is one of the scientists, and after a crisis of conscience, kidnaps and rescues Ariane where she was being kept as a lab rat. They lead a quiet existence, doing the blending-in thing quite well compared to some of the other books I've read (like the idiotic aliens in Lux, honestly...). Ariane doesn't look like a normal human being, but her appearance is not too far off that it can't be disguised. With the help of some makeup and contact lenses, and flat iron to cover up her grayish skin, outlandishly dark eyes, and oddly textured hair, she's good to go. She is described as average-looking, on the thin side, and quite short. She does everything she can to try not to stand out, including getting solid Bs in school as to not attract undue attention, negative or positive.

Against her will, Ariane accidentally causes a scene at school that places her on the mean girls' target list. Zach is the underachieving son of the alpha-male town sheriff, who is recruited to humiliate Ariane. The book revolves around their two voices, alternately telling the story, and it does get confusing.

I found Ariane's character sympathetic. She just wants a life, but understands that she has to blend in. I like her little ways of rebellion, such as her love of designer jeans alongside of her typical Target wardrobe...understandable, and fitting, since it's hard to distinguish a $200 pair of Diesel when you are wearing a $15 top. I like her intelligence and instincts. She likes Zach, but knows something is wrong when he starts noticing her. She doesn't let her heart rule over her head, she has common sense, and I'm glad for that.

I didn't understand Zach or his motive; I still don't. His narrative voice is confusing and doesn't add much to the story. I know he is meant to be a sympathetic character, having a difficult father like that, but I just couldn't relate to him. His own motive for asking Ariane out was questionable, and unclear. I still didn't know whether he was pursuing his own method of exacting Rachel's (mean girl) revenge or whether he was really trying to rebel against her influence. His narrative felt very deceitful to me, and I didn't enjoy his part in the story.

The summary made the book bigger than it actually was. Much of the book dealt with high-school drama, of the mean queen bee versus her target variety. There were more about teen dating and Ariane's encounters with romance than there was actual heart-pounding sci-fi and survivalism like I had anticipated.

The major plot in the book was easy to figure out; I knew what was going to happen and who was involved before the first half of the book. The ending felt rushed the choices made were questionable. This is the first in a series, but I'm not sure I want to read the second.
Profile Image for Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}.
196 reviews153 followers
March 2, 2013
Oh... eurgh.

While looking through the numerous reviews for THE RULES, I came about a review calling this "THE HUNGER GAMES meets THE HOST". I found this hard to believe since pretty much every book is marketed as THE HUNGER GAMES nowadays. But, hey, she had to have come from somewhere right?

Yeah... no. Not at all. I don't think I'll ever get how this is close to THE HUNGER GAMES, or THE HOST for that matter, unless they suddenly morphed into a teen drama sitcom contemporary with alien elements. Ok, so I get THE HOST (well, not really). THE HOST has aliens and THE RULES has aliens. But what about THE HUNGER GAMES?

Did THE RULES turn into a book about an arena where teenagers kill each other for food fun because they're forced to? Yeah, must've missed that memo and obviously I didn't read this book very well.

The real plot has absolutely nothing to do with THE HUNGER GAMES or THE HOST. It's about a girl, whose DNA had been mixed with some alien DNA in a genetics lab, where she was created. She grew up in a very sheltered world (pun intended) and apparently took all our slang/phrases literally.

What I really hated about this book is that the summary gives the impression that the story is sort of like the Maximum Ride series. The beginning of the book was. Ariane's guardian was sort of like the kids' guardian in the first book (

Then, it stops being like that and starts to fall under the trap most of the books I read do. They turn into teen dramas, which is something I have very little interest in.

Maybe this teenage drama with a tiny hint of paranormal appeals to people, and at times it does to me. Yes, I know I'm contradicting myself but well done high school dramas with an awesome plot, characters and a hint of paranormal can be really good.

This book had neither a great plot nor an amazing cast of characters.

If there is one aspect of THE RULES that really stands out to me, it is Ariane and her lack of personality. She's so infuriatingly bland, it's crazy.

Ariane was so... BELLA. She doesn't ever do anything, well other than fawn over the love interest, Zane Bradshaw who she can't have because y'know Romeo and Juliet. Much of the book is her swooning over Zane and acting like a freaking idiot in front of him because that's what girls do.

Why does every author think this? I don't have much any experience with this but I'm pretty sure you don't fall on people when you have a crush. Stuttering every damn word? Probably not every word. Blush like your face is on fire? Maybe but I just don't see every girl doing that especially the "strong, brave" ones.

I don't even know why I try anymore. It seems like I can't find a well-rounded, badass heroine or hero anymore. It's either a meh or an I'm going to kill you one.

Why does this happen to me? What did I do to deserve all these terrible heroines and heroes? I demand an answer!


Alright, rant over...

Zane was pretty forgettable. It took me all day just to remember his name. He's that classic nice guy which basically means he's sweet but has no real personality. His POV was mostly him fawning over Ariane, who he can't have because apparently Ariane's dad (guardian) works for a place that Zane's dad hates.

No, I'm serious.

The plot is boring, very boring. I was not very attached to the story. It relied on the old plot ideas, some of which include evil mean girl who hates the main character, nice boy who everyone loves even though his BFF is evil girl, and loner girl with no friends.

Though the story wasn't really bad, it just wasn't either interesting or engaging. I didn't connect with the story except when which made me feel really bad for Ariane.

I wish that the whole "being half alien" thing was more prominent in the story. It was very much a side thing, something that wasn't too important other than being a reason for Ariane to be a loner. I just thought it would be a bigger thing in the book. FALSE ADVERTISING.

Likes and Dislikes

- Plot
- Characters

In conclusion
I was really disappointed in this book. I'm the black sheep with this book though, so maybe you'll like it but I can't recommend it to you.

*The writing segment has been skipped since this review is a month late and I don't remember :(
Profile Image for Katy.
611 reviews333 followers
December 31, 2012
Not exactly what I had been expecting, but I was sucked into the story - mainly because it kept me guessing from the beginning to end.

So why four stars? Well, if you were looking something of the sci-fi/dystopian genres, this wasn't exactly that. Because the concept pretty much disappeared for a good chunk of this book. Actually, let me back up…

My first thought after reading the prologue was, "Oh crap, this sounds a lot like Beta." A non-human was created to replace a dead girl. But then I realized that wasn't what the book was about.

As the story continued, I had an opportunity to learn more about Ariane - who she was, what she had to go through, who she is supposed to be now, and how she learns there is so much to the life of a typical teenager when you're not always trying to blend in.

For a while, I started feeling that Kade lost her way when the story strayed into this vindictive plot that involved ultimate high school drama. But despite the different direction the story started taking, I still felt really intrigued by the book. For some reason, I just thought of the He's So/She's So series, I guess because I read the last book around the same time I read the last book in Kade's The Ghost and the Goth series.

But then, Kade returned to the plot - as expected as the foreboding bad feeling kept looming over the situation - but the turn of events totally caught me by surprise. Kade got me so comfortable with expecting the expected that I was so unprepared to find out what had really happened.

Sorry, I can't really say more about it or analyze the characters or the plot because I don't want to ruin the story. (Muhahaha! A spoiler-free review! You know who you are.)

And I also liked the way the book ended. Kade didn't stop right at that "OMG! What just happened!" moment like how many, many other writers tried to leave readers with the cliffhanger. No, she threw in yet a few more surprises before wrapping it up, yet still in a way that makes you craving for the next book.

So my initial response was, "I'm so excited I got this ARC! I like Stacey Kade's silly stories, but this one doesn't seem too silly." Was it what I had expected? No, although I think some will hold that against this book. But did the book disappoint? Not at all.
Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
511 reviews299 followers
November 25, 2015
Fafa's Book Corner (Wordpress)
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I had first heard about this book back in 2013. I had finished reading the authors other series The Ghost and the Goth, and I was pretty excited that she was writing a new series! Before the release date I went through some reviews. According to the one that I read it said that our main character Ariane was a love sick puppy. After that I lost interest. Then a few months back I came across the book series again. Deciding to give it a shot I added it. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this!

This book is written in first person Ariane and Zane's point of view. Note that this is a light-hearted Sci-Fi. There is a bigger focus on the romance and characters versus the world building.

Ariane is half-alien and half-human and was created at Gen TexLabs (GTX) by Dr. Jacobs. It is assumed that the purpose for her creation was to work with the government in eradicating the enemy. When she was six years old one of the workers Mark Tucker saved her life and offered her a chance at freedom. Since then she has been living under the identity of Ariane Tucker, her adoptive fathers dead daughter. To make sure she stays alive her father has created all these rules so that she doesn't get caught and get taken back to GTX.

The rules have made her life quite difficult and she doesn't really interact with anybody. Except for her best friend Jenna. Since 9th grade Jenna had friends with Ariane. Ariane decided to keep in contact with her because she didn't really give her much of a choice and she likes Jenna. Although to stick to the rules Ariane does not interact with Jenna outside of school.

On the first day of school Jenna excitedly tells Ariane that she has been talking to Rachel Jacobs. Who is the granddaughter of the man that created Ariane. Ariane is very suspicious because the year before when Jenna tried making friends with Rachel it didn't end well. As Jenna continues talking Ariane gets a thought from someone in the school. She can't really tell who it is and what said thought is. She can only get an idea that it is very personal and someone is dreading doing something.

As the two approach Jenna's locker they see Zane. Jenna immediately starts a conversation with him. Meanwhile Ariane notices that there is something odd about him. She realizes that he was the thought that she felt. And that he has helped Rachel prank Jenna, by painting the words 'Pain In My Ass' on her locker. Ariane immediately tries to stir Jenna away from Zane and her locker. She claims that she hasn't had any breakfast and says that she'll go to the nurses office. Jenna says that she probably has something on her and for Ariane to wait until she puts her stuff in her locker. Once they reach her locker she is on the verge of tears.

Ariane shoves Jenna into a bathroom while Rachel and her cronies start approaching her. Ariane stars the rest of them down and tells them that they cannot go into the bathroom. Rachel gets defensive as Ariane is the first person to stand up against her. As Ariane starts to get mad the lights explode.

We are then taken to Zane point of view. He explains that ever since Ariane stood up to Rachel, Rachel has been making everyone miserable. Rachel tries to come up with a plan to get back at Ariane. She calls one of her friends over and asks whether he'll ask Ariane to Bonfire week. So that she can humiliate Ariane when she gets dumped in front of everyone. Zane offers to do it. The whole group is surprised by this as Zane hasn't been participating in any of their activities. Eventually Rachel agrees. Behind Rachel's back Zane plans on telling Ariane what Rachel is doing. He will then propose that the two of them work together to take Rachel down.

Here's some backstory on Zane. A year prior to the book Zane's mother left their family. Since then it has been him, his brother, and his father. He does not like his father or his brother because they are mean and treat him horribly. His father also happens to be obsessed with status and such. His mother and him had an understanding of each other as they were alike. Before she left Zane started acting like his brother and father. He used to enjoy the pranks Rachel played on people and was proud of the fact that he was friends with Rachel. That all changed when his mother left.

Part of the reason that Zane still keeps up with his 'friends' is because they are all he knows. He doesn't have to explain them his life and whatnot because they already know. Like Alona he doesn't have a good relationship with his remaining family. He blames himself that his mother left him and that she never took him with her. He thinks that had he paid more attention to her rather than pushing her off to the side, she would still be with them.

Ariane's relationship with Jenna was nice and slightly strained. Her relationship with her father is heart breaking and sweet. She has all these insecurities over the fact that she isn't really his daughter therefore he doesn't care for as much as he did he daughter. She is terrified of GTX finding her and what they would do to her loved ones. She constantly makes an effort to stick to the rules even if she doesn't want to. I truly felt bad for her.

Just like The Ghost and the Goth Ariane is a better developed character. Zane was nice but that's all there was to him. Ariane went through a lot in this book. With constantly trying to decide between her 'logical' side and her 'emotional' side. And trying her utmost not to get involved with Zane let alone developing feelings for him.

Similar to The Ghost and the Goth while there is only one author there is still a big difference between the point of views. Ariane reads like a robot. She thinks logically and tries to rule out options. Whereas Zane is more emotional. The relationship between the two of them was sweet. They had a good understanding of each other, connected, and were each others best friends. Also they didn't really think much of how the other one looked. They cared more for each others personalities.

I also liked how the author wrote Jenna and Rachel. The two of them do exist in real life. And while they weren't likable I understood why they were like the way were. All of the characters back stories coincided with the decisions they made and what they said in certain situations.

The twist was unpredictable. It actually had me trying to think off up a bunch of questions. In other words it got me thinking. It was also nice to read about Ariane trying to control her powers and how Zane got involved in everything.

I only had three problems with this book. In the beginning nothing made sense. You had to read a bit more to understand everything. It was a bit slow. And some of the dialogue was odd. There would be a paragraph in brackets. So in a way it borders on info dump. The only reason I am giving this a four star is because of the relationships and characters.

Overall this was a really good book! I would recommend it to anyone looking for a Sci-Fi book that focuses more on the characters and relationships, and contemporary fans. I will definitely be reading the sequel and I'm pretty excited to see what will happen!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Norah Una Sumner.
848 reviews447 followers
January 3, 2016
“That was, in fact, my life. A whole series of reasonable lies.”

Once in a while,I like the synopsis of a certain book with bad ratings,so I say "Fuck it" and read the book anyway.Sometimes it turns out that the reviews were right,but sometimes,like this time,it turns out that the book is actually really good and interesting.I really enjoyed reading this.I loved both point of views,which doesn't happen so often,and I really liked our two main characters.The story is so interesting,full of new twists and revelations.


I even kind of like Rachel,I mean,I like that the author didn't just put her there to be a typical mean bitch without any reason-she actually lets us find out more about her and her personal life,her family,her past. Jenna,on the other hand,I really didn't understand.Why would you want to be friends with someone who tortures you and treats you like garbage?Also,I get it that she's angry...oh,wait,I don't.Just because you have a crush on someone doesn't mean that they like you back and that they're not supposed to like someone else...Grow up,kid.


Overall,a good book.Can't wait to read the sequel.(The Hunt...asdfghjkl.)

Favourite quotes:

"You know those first few moments after waking from a bad dream, when you’re convinced that your nightmare is real, and there’s an impossibly large coil of dread in your stomach? But then slowly, details from the dream slip away and reality slides into place. You didn’t miss your bio final, you didn’t walk into school naked, he evil corporation that created you didn’t recapture you....

"If and when my dad found out that I’d gone to GTX without him, he’d be furious. As in, an all-consuming make-my-life-hell kind of fury.
So, in other words, he’d despise me only a little more than he normally did.
Totally worth it."
Profile Image for Ashley.
667 reviews716 followers
April 5, 2013
The Rules by Stacey Kade

BookNook — Young Adult book reviews

4.5 Stars

The Rules reads surprisingly like a contemporary book, and that's one of the things that made me love it so much. Although it does have sci-fi elements, they don't dominate the story at all. It's more about evil corporations, first loves, tender and hesitant romance, high school drama, and bullies, all with a small sci-fi twist.

The story is told from alternating points of view: Ariane's and Zane's. I didn't expect to get a glimpse into both characters' minds, so that was a pleasant surprise! Both of them were fabulous characters for different reasons, and in many ways they are completely perfect for each other. Both characters have demons from their pasts that they struggle to live with every day. Ariane is constantly fighting to stay under the radar, and Zane is trying to move past his old life of being a bit of an arrogant prick. But we quickly start to uncover Zane's sensitive, sweet side and realize that he's actually a nice guy running with a bad crowd.

The Rules doesn't have a ton of action in it, but I was okay with it. A large portion of the book is focused on the high school drama—dealing with bullies, figuring out who's a real friend and who's a fake friend, small revenge pranks, and just surviving in high school. Although it wasn't exactly riddled with intensity, I enjoyed it! I think mostly because Ariane and Zane had great chemistry and were so perfect for each other. They just clicked so well and I loved their witty banter! And there are some DELICIOUS kissing scenes! Swoon.

And then there's Rachel... God. She's the high school bitch that I wanted to rip to shreds. She's so awful that you just cross your fingers and hope that something horrible happens to her. You want to see Karma rain down on her ass.

There are a couple twists at the end that I personally did NOT see coming! They were a fun surprise and the last 50-75 pages of the book got super intense. Everything just started coming together and I was screaming for the annoying characters to get their comeuppance.

Overall, The Rules was a really pleasant surprise. I always thought it sounded good, but I don't think I expected to love it quite as much as I did. This is a very strong, interesting, and engaging book. I highly recommend The Rules to people who don't normally read sci-fi but are a little interested in the whole scientific experiment stuff.
Profile Image for Abida's Book Adventures.
111 reviews31 followers
November 14, 2013
Surprisingly I didn't give this book a 2 or 1 star, like I thought I would. I gave it a 3.5. It wasn't perfect or horrible. The book had great story line, but one thing that got on my nerves was the amount paragraphs and writing the author used to fill up the pages. Like I understand that detail and background information in a book is super important but that doesn't mean that we need pages fill of it. Another thing was the how slow the book went and, then at the very end the book suddenly everything starts to speed up. I did like the characters in the book. Ariane is this hybrid experiment mixed with alien and human DNA. She wants to be free and explore what the world has to offer her. Sadly she can't be free as long as she's following the rules. Who could forget about Zane. Big popular guy who is sick and tied of hanging around withe same group of people. Once they go out with each other they feel a connection The bound the two main characters had was great and special. The ending of the book was really good. I do want to continue the book and see what happens next. (but hope that the book isn't filled up with a bunch of useless paragraphs).
Profile Image for Mitch.
355 reviews605 followers
January 1, 2013
A lot of the time, reading a book is all expectations - and it goes both ways. In this case, I really liked The Rules, but probably not for the reasons you'd expect, so as a word of warning, I think anyone picking this up expecting a science fiction thriller will be sorely disappointed because it's actually mostly a high school revenge plot. That said, I recently wrote in another review that I'd pay good money to an author who can genuinely surprise me, and well, Stacey Kade surprised me. So because I'd like to think I'm a big enough person to be able to eat crow when that happens, well done Ms. Kade.

My expectations were pretty low after the first couple of chapters though, because I really mean it when I say most of the book is a high school revenge plot reminiscent of Steven King's Carrie (which is even referenced in the book!!). We have Ariane Tucker, your average unassuming girl, well, except for the fact that's she's a half human half alien hybrid, her best friend Jenna, your insecure best friend who secretly cares more about being part of the cool crowd than being Ariane's friend, Rachel Jacobs, your everyday spoiled resident mean girl, and Zane Bradshaw, your standard jock who starts in the mean girl's circle but starts finding the unassuming girl more and more interesting as he starts exiting the mean girl's orbit. It's all standard romantic comedy material, and the only thing that really differentiated The Rules from an actual romantic comedy is Ariane living in constant fear of being dragged back to the lab she escaped from, all the Rules set out by her 'father' Mark Tucker she has to follow as a result, and occasional glimpses into her character and past about what exactly happened to her at the lab.

But for some reason, I just had to keep reading, because even though the characters were stereotypes, even if back stories like Zane dealing with his overbearing and unappreciative father or Ariane being sick and tired of hiding all the time powerless to do anything about Rachel’s clique are plots I’ve seen plenty of times before, there’s just something about Kade’s writing that had me sticking around. It’s a kind of wry humor that’s not laugh out loud funny, but no groan worthy either, so yeah, the writing kept me occupied and I probably would’ve liked this book anyway because there’s nothing distasteful, unlikable, or particularly bad about any of it, even if it’s not exactly original. After all, Ariane and Zane (who actually sounds like a guy) are likable enough, and their alternating points of view actually worked in this case, unlike in many other multiple point of view books. And ok, maybe a little part of me was still expecting a train wreck, like, how can all this high school drama possibly end well?

Except then, Kade surprised, I mean really surprised me. Just when I thought there’d be nothing to the story except high school drama, she brought back the alien hybrid on the lam plot hinted at in the summary. But not only that, she did it in a way that not only makes sense and fits with the high school revenge plot, but in a way that actually made that entire plot, heck with all the rules Ariane has to learn and all the faux fitting in she had to do, actually very relevant with the actual premise of the book - Ariane being in hiding from the people who want her back - and I don’t just mean because Rachel’s the granddaughter of Dr. Jacobs, the lead researcher of the project that created her. So amazingly, no, all that Ariane versus Rachel drama that spans most of the book wasn’t filler, it wasn’t a distraction, it was all important, it all made sense. Better yet, the climax didn’t drag at all, like despite how much Ariane was agonizing over whether her relationship with Zane would endanger him, that didn’t really come up much at all like I dreaded it would. And Kade still left enough wide open for a sequel.

I wouldn’t exactly say The Rules is a case of me having very low expectations that the book easily exceeded, because even the revenge plot wasn’t terrible, it’s more of a case of a good enough book being great because it turned out to be exactly what I wanted it to be when at first I didn’t think it would be. I’m definitely eagerly awaiting to see what the sequel has in store.
Profile Image for Gisbelle.
770 reviews218 followers
October 13, 2014
This book exceeds my expectation. There is nothing I want to change about this book since everything is just perfect. One thing though, I don't know why the series is called Project Paper Doll.

Both Zane and Adriane stole my heart. I loved Adriane's sense of humor and her inability to just stand by and watch when seeing someone being abused. She was cool like that. As for Zane, I LOVED him! I guess I enjoyed Zane's POV better than Andiane's, even both POVs were awesome in their own way.

When I first began reading, I was having trouble finishing just 10 pages. It did not start out that interesting. However, after a few chapters things became more intriguing and the pace was nicer as well. The twists made me breathless trying to catch up.

I can't wait to read book 2!!! I'm so ready for more time with Zane.
Profile Image for Jessi (Novel Heartbeat).
952 reviews606 followers
July 17, 2016

I don’t really know what I was expecting going into this one. But I was pleasantly surprised! I honestly didn’t think I was going to enjoy it as much as I did. First of all, it wasn’t as much about alien experimentation as much as it was a vengeance campaign against the high school mean girl. That’s what about 70% of this book consisted of. Not that that’s a bad thing – Kade’s writing style was fantastic and very engaging! Despite my aversion to high school drama stories, I found myself way more invested in the story and the characters than I thought I’d be.

The prologue grabs you right away! I knew from the first page that I would love this one. I mean seriously, the first line is ‘I have a dead girl’s name.’ How intriguing is that?! The story held my attention even in the slower parts because like I said, the prose is so engaging you can’t help but love it. This book was written in two different points of view…as I’ve said before, that can be hard to pull off, because if you don’t have two distinct voices it gets confusing. There was no problem with that here! I loved Ariane and Zane’s voices, and there was a clear difference between them.

I really, really liked Ariane! There were many times when I felt like she was more human than some of the full-blooded humans. She stayed true to herself, and even though she had some odd quirks (um duh, alien DNA) I think that her and I could definitely be besties! I felt bad for her, though, because of her past in the lab and the life she had to live. How horrible would it be to have strict rules to follow, to have to think carefully about every little aspect of your life before you act on it? Even something simple like doing math problems in ink (because she’s super smart yet has to appear average). Yikes.

I looooved Zane! He was damaged in his own way, but he wasn’t a jerk despite the horrible people he surrounded himself with. Deep down he was a good person, and the way he saw Ariane made me love him even more. He was intrigued by her, even though she was distant and everyone else thought she was a freak. He made the effort to get to know her instead of judging her like everyone else. That was what made him awesome. Plus, he was a sweetheart! There were so many times that I felt all warm and fuzzy over something he did/thought/said. Yet he wasn’t too perfect like many of the ‘swoony’ boys in YA are. He was perfectly flawed, and that made him feel very real.

I despised Rachel. With the fire of a thousand suns. Which was kinda the point, because she was the mean girl of the story. She was despicable, conniving, and cruel – basically, the spawn of Satan. She was a complete sociopath! It disgusted me how much she enjoyed others’ humiliation. I wished that someone would knock her teeth out, and I was proud of Ariane for standing up to her!

But you know who else I hated, that caught me by surprise? Jenna. In a way, she was worse than Rachel. At least Rachel was straightforward about being a heartless bitch. Jenna was passive aggressive, a liar and a fake. Her treatment of Ariane, her supposed ‘friend,’ really ticked me off. I wanted to throttle her! And what made it worse, Ariane felt guilty for the things that happened to Jenna. Ariane stayed true to the friendship even as Jenna was stabbing her in the back, worrying about Jenna’s feelings when it was clear her so called ‘friend’ wasn’t a bit concerned. ARGH. I mean really, what kind of friend ‘takes a break’ from a friendship just to get in with the popular crowd? Obviously one who is not a friend at all.

The characterization in this book is really something. Each and every character had their own personality, and they all had depth. By the end of the book, you feel like you really know all of the people in the story. They’re so real it’s like they exist somewhere outside of the pages!

If you know me, you’ll know I’m not big into heavy romance. Which is why this one was perfect! It developed slowly and realistically. But I think the main reason I liked it is that it was an unlikely romance. In the beginning, it was just an alliance made against the common enemy, for the sole purpose of vengeance. I loved to see the change in how they saw each other and how their relationship grew into something more gradually. They didn’t realize they were in too deep until they were six feet under (in the best way possible, of course). It was great! Believe me, it’s a great feat for a romance to give me warm fuzzies.

Which brings me to another great thing about this book – emotional investment. I actually cared about the characters and what happened to them. I felt various things while reading – anger, outrage, happiness, and the biggest one, shock. I do love a book that can surprise me, and this one pulled the rug out from under me at a certain point, leaving me gaping very unattractively at the pages. Yeah, it was that awesome!

All in all, there was absolutely nothing that I didn’t like about this book. If you haven’t read this, you should get on that!

This review was originally posted on Novel Heartbeat. To see a breakdown of my assessment, please visit the full review here.
Profile Image for Melanchallina.
193 reviews110 followers
April 6, 2017
Мне очень нравится серия Стэйси Кейд «Призрак и гот», это одна из тех серий, где интересный сюжет и действительно классные герои. Именно поэтому я решила почитать книгу «Правила».

К сожалению, данная серия меня не впечатлила. Она слишком типичная, полная штампов и плюс ко всему довольно скучноватая. Герои плоские и непритязательные. И если героиня в принципе мне понравилась, за исключением пары моментов, то герой не произвел совершенно никакого впечатления.

Но давайте по порядку. Сюжет книги вращается вокруг Арианы Такер. Она – произведение искусства, а точнее гибрид. Наполовину человек, наполовину пришелец. «Нечеловеческие» гены делают ее не такой, как обычные люди. Помимо сверхъестественных способностей, она так же выделается за счет внешности. Необычная кожа, тонкие кости, «особенные» волосы и черные глаза. Но благодаря некоторым хитростям, девушка легко может замаскироваться. Что она и делает. Она скрывается. Она выживает. Вот только один жестокий розыгрыш со стороны королевы школы все меняет. Теперь она в центре внимания и вынуждена объединиться с Заком, альфа-самцом школы, чтобы отомстить обидчикам.

Что ж… если убрать из сюжета все про наших друзей инопланетян, то вышел бы самый обычный роман. С запретной любовью, преодолением трудностей и тд. На самом деле в книге очень мало внимания уделяется мистической стороне, не знаю вышло это намеренно или нет, но больше склоняюсь ко второму варианту. Мне понравился Ариана, при прочтение ей действительно сочувствуешь и к тому же она определенно не дурра, как большинствонынешних героинь.

Но что касается героя? Нет. Это не сработало. Для начала, стоит отметить, что повествование в книге идет от двух лиц – Ари и Зака. И вот главы от лица Зака были непонятным, серым пятном. Данный прием в книге явно был лишним. При прочтении глав Зака сложно понять его цели, мотивы и поступки. Он не вызывает сочувствия, симпатии. Он как рассказчик сбивает с толку.

В общем, средненькая книга. Ни особо интересная, стандартная. Да под конец было два момента WTF, но книгу они не вытащили. Не уверена, что захочу читать продолжение, но подумаю об этом, когда будет готов перевод второй книги.

Моя оценка: 5/10
Profile Image for Ashlyn.
729 reviews34 followers
September 25, 2022
3.5 stars

You know when you read a book and then you go back to write your review after reading a couple of other books and forget what you thought about the book? Well, that's this book for me. So, just bare with me as I try to remember what I thought about this book. I remember the plot and what happened, just not what I thought about it.

So, this is a science-fiction book, and I honestly haven't read one of those in awhile. Maybe that's what my rating was from... I don't really remember.

Anyways, Ariane is not fully human, but she has taken the place of a human girl and is pretending to be her (the girl died). So she has these special powers and has to follow these rules to blend in. Of course, this book goes through how she breaks every single one of those rules and gets involved with Zane.

While I did enjoy this book, I feel like could have been better. There wasn't really anything special that I loved or hated about it. It did end on a cliff-hanger and kept me interested, so I might have to continue this series at a later time. But overall, I am glad that I finally read this one because it has been sitting on my shelf for about 6 to 8 years.
Profile Image for Amber Argyle.
Author 29 books1,092 followers
January 24, 2013
Hunger Games meets The Host.

Review posted on www.amberargyle.blogspot.com

The Rules by Stacey Kade captured me so completely, so perfectly, that I responded in the only way possible: turn back to the beginning and start again.

Readers read because they love it. There's a journey, an adventure waiting for us between the pages of a book. Simply put, some adventures are better then others. But for those of us who read a lot, it becomes harder and harder to find something truly great. Something that rises above average and better than average to become something you shove in your friends' and families' faces and demand they read, knowing full well they'll thank you later. You wouldn't even deny your worst enemy--the girl who hit you in the crosswalk and drove off (true story)--the opportunity to read it.

Also, I'm really hard to surprise. Most authors are, but Kade totally shocked me, which turned my love for The Rules up a notch.

Easy one of my favorite books of all time. Right up there with Hunger Games, Poison (Zinn), and everything Lauren Oliver. If I ever met Kade, I'd embarrass myself by turning into a complete fan girl. I want a signed copy!
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
August 5, 2013
Escaping the GenTex Labs (GTX), home to the Paper Dolls project where Ariane Tucker was created as a half-human, half-alien hybrid- her only source of survival, with the help of her 'adopted' father, depends on blending in with the humans and following 5 simple rules. But after a cruel joke that gets under Ariane skin, she snaps and loses control and get the unwanted attention of Zane Bradshaw. Zane, the police chief's son and one of the more popular boys at school, starts to see Ariane in a different way, starts to see the real her and after so long of being the invisible girl with her head down, Ariane is starting to enjoy the feeling of being noticed for the first time in her life but risks breaking all the rules and catching the notice of GTX once again.

I've read Stacey Kade's The Ghost and The Goth series, which were filled with fun humor and ghostly banter, so I was looking forward to seeing what she had up her sleeve for her newest release, Project Paper Doll: The Rules. I'm happy to say that not only did I enjoy this book, but I can't wait to see where Kade takes us next!

Wow! This story really impressed me. It has a pretty even mix between high school drama complete with your typical mean girl, pranks, plots, revenge, paybacks and unlikely alliances. Then we have the sci-fi edge to the story which fascinated me the most.
Now, I've never minded a good ole' fashion high school drama and angst in my reads, but I've never been a fan of the whole 'mean girl' thing. In fact, I find it quite annoying, and Rachel Jacob really puts herself at the top of the list. But for whatever reason, it seemed to work really well for this particular story line, specially at the end, so I had to push that aside. But if I'm being honest, the reason why I got along with this book so well is because I have a thing for sci-fi abilities, well developed characters with sass and fire and a love story that screams with chemistry but without all the instant-fluff that takes all the fun out of it. I also thought the flashback moments during the time when Ariane was in the lab was very cruel and inhuman to endure but it really puts an entirely different perspective to Ariane unique situation, gaining my sympathy and attention throughout the entire novel.

My heart really goes out to this girl. Ariane is a complex character but at the same time she feels down to earth and easy to like. I simple adore her personality and the way she stands up for herself and others. Beating down a bully always deserves a cheer in my book. I thought her lack of basic social knowledge was really very cute (French kisses anyone?) but it's her flare, heart and determination that really makes readers want to follow her on this journey right till the end.
Zane turned out to be good people, but I wasn't sure about him in the beginning. He's always had to live in his brothers shadow and will never be good enough for his father and has no real sense of control in his life. I think that's why he took to Ariane the way he did, he knows what its like to be bullied and understand her in ways no one else can. Their start may not have been the most conventional way to start a friendship, but it really doesn't matter come the end. This turned out to be a really sweet, honest and tender romance that made me want to hold on to those moments a little bit longer.
Rachel did her job well. Seriously could not stand this girl to the depth of my soul. Kade did extremely annoying and hated brilliantly.
The betrayal-character in the end was a really shocker. The first rule is, after all, never trust anyone, but still. I never saw that coming and thought it was a great, surprising and unpredictable move on Kade's part.

All in all, I really enjoyed this one. The writing is strong and these characters are fighters. The Rules is a promising start to what I think will be an amazing series. I have high hopes for the second book and I can't wait to see where Kade takes Ariane and Zane next. Maybe Rachel wont be apart of that book. One can only hope;)
Well done!
Profile Image for Josheka.
93 reviews1 follower
May 20, 2013
More of my reviews @ Reading 24x7

Okay,I'll be honest. I had some major expectations from this book, and maybe that's why I didn't find it as awesome as I hoped I would. However, I loved the concept. The Roswell incident has always been something I've been curious and intrigued about, so imagine my surprise when this book turned out to be based on that only. That was one reason I got immediately attracted to this book.

The concept was compelling and the way the story started off was awesome. I could feel myself connecting with the female protagonist, Ariane and it broke my heart to see her leading such a sad and lonely life to protect herself. Her character was sweet, helpful and protective of people she cared about and I really liked her for that. However, somewhere in the middle, it was like she suddenly started jumping into explosive situations. The risk that she was taking was always on her mind, no doubt but nonetheless, it made the story a little less believable when she spent more than half of her life hiding so carefully and suddenly becoming so....daring. I get the fact that paranormal fiction isn't exactly written for being believable but still.

The middle part of the book became boring after a while. There was too much mental banter from Ariane and the story just wasn't moving forward. And then, when Ariane started with her I-will-put-Rachel-in-her-place mode, it was clear this wasn't gonna go well and I just wanted to scream and throttle her for being so stupid. Some of the things she did just didn't match up with her initial personality and that made my interest waver a bit from the story.

The last part of the book, however, made my breath hitch. Ms. Kade executed the final part brilliantly and flawlessly. It was a total OMG moment because I seriously didn't expect that THIS was how she was gonna go down. I actually cried after reading the betrayal. It was too damn sad. Just for that awesome ending, I'm giving an extra star to this book.

Zane's POV was always interesting to read. For some reason, I found him more captivating than Ariane as he spent less time thinking of the past and actually seemed to live in the present more. Ariane, on the other hand, kept going back to her past and sometimes it was super annoying to read her continuous mental banter. Not that I blame her. Someone going through that kind of torture and actually coming back with their humanity intact is something to be admired.
Still, I think Zane was my favourite character in the story. He was non-judgmental and accepted Ariane like she was from the beginning. He was totally adorable throughout the story and very, very charming.

Overall, the concept was intriguing and the story was good but I can't say the same about the execution. It kept fluctuating between interesting and boring. But the good thing is, the interesting parts were amazing. Like, can't-stop-reading amazing. I'm pretty sure I would've liked this book more if I already didn't have so many expectations from it, but oh, well. I'm still gonna continue with the series because I'm super curious about what happens next!
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,689 reviews1,267 followers
February 13, 2014
3.5 stars
(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
17-year-old Ariane is not 100% human. Instead she’s a hybrid – part human, part alien, and she’s constantly hiding from the lab that she escaped from.
Ariane lives by a set of rules that stop her from being discovered and taken back to the lab, but one girl pushes all her buttons – in totally the wrong way, and Ariane can’t help but lose control around Rachel and unleash her alien powers.
Is a plan to get revenge on Rachel really a good idea? And is pretending to be interested in someone bound to lead to the real thing?

This was an interesting sci-fi story, although I did think the pace let it down.

I liked Ariane, and I thought she did pretty well with all the rubbish that life had thrown at her. I thought she did well to stick to ‘the rules’ the way she did, but it also felt like her life was really stunted because of the restrictions imposed on it. Not being able to fall in love when you find someone to fall in love with must be difficult!
I did think that Ariane needed to be nicer to her friends though, she didn’t have many, and she really wasn’t very supportive when they needed her.

I liked the storyline in this book, but boy was it slow! I kept reading, and reading, and reading, and so little happened, and I seemed to have made so little headway! I really wanted the story to move on instead of focusing on the same old conversations and worries. This book felt about twice as long as it actually was, and the pace moved so slowly it made the story really drag, which was a real shame.

There was some romance in this, and I actually enjoyed it. I liked the relationship between Ariane and Zane, and their first kiss was seriously hot!

The ending to this was alright, and there were a couple of surprises. Again the pace was way off though, and even though I enjoyed the book, the pace really put a dampener on things.
Overall; a good story, but the pace was too slow.
7 out of 10.
Profile Image for Becky.
190 reviews15 followers
August 28, 2013
I started off not having a clue about this book. I didn't really know what in the world it would be about or what the "Paper Doll Project" was. All I knew was the rules printed on the back of the book jacket... I will also confess to being a MAJOR cover snob and if I hadn't agreed to read this with some of my GoodReads friends, I never would have picked this book up - because I HATE the cover. But that's not the Author's fault and I am SO GLAD I did the "buddy read"!

The book started off kind of bland, but once I figured out it was a Dual POV book and that I LOVED Zane's POV, I committed to finishing it. It was more than a few chapters and I knew that Ariane's character was developing in front of me and that I was completely and utterly HOOKED!

I love Dual POV books, especially when one POV is male and one female. I love to see the difference in perspective between the sexes for the same events. I think I secretly hope this will help me understand men in some weird way, lol!

In this story we watch Ariane, our main female character, branch out and eventually break every rule her "father" ever set down to keep her safe. She does this to protect someone she mistakenly believes is a friend... Zane is part of the "game" and quickly becomes WAY more than that. It is sweet to watch the 2 of them develop a real relationship and grow beyond the terrible home lives they each have.

This is a paranormal book, with a romance, and a "bad guy" corporation. It was actually a really fresh perspective on the depravity of the human condition and the things we talk ourselves into a being acceptable losses on the road to scientific discovery.

I would HIGHLY recommend this book! Just ignore the cover!

Profile Image for StarMan.
616 reviews17 followers
October 29, 2022
[Adult reviewer, YA/Juvenile book]

IN SHORT: Sort of like.... Mean Girls + Carrie + .

VERDICT: 3+ YA stars, or 2+ Adult stars. Passing grade. A bit juvenile, with emphasis on feelings & inner thoughts & a budding romance (instead of action)--but a good concept overall.
Profile Image for Jenni Arndt.
438 reviews331 followers
March 28, 2013
I’ve never been a big fan of sci fi, I have to admit that up front. When I look back at movies that I have watched and liked in the genre it’s more so the ones that come across as predominantly horror more than sci fi. There’s something about other beings living out there somewhere that absolutely frightens me. Then when you add in the fact that they are possibly much more advanced than us and could be lurking in places we don’t know, yikes! What I am trying to say is that I am fascinated at the idea of aliens. With The Rules, Stacey Kade has taken that idea and created a circumstance that made it feel more real than I could imagine and she did so quite well.

Ariane has known for the last 10 years that she isn’t really Ariane. She was rescued from the lab in which she was created and living in disguise out in the open, blending in with the population. I hadn’t known going into this that she was part extraterrestrial so as I found that out it was pretty exciting (had I just read the blurb I would have known, but you know how that goes.) I really liked Ariane. She was snarky and willing to defy people for what she believed was right. Her strong need to protect people who are being bullied made me respect her. I also loved how funny she was as she pieced together what it meant to be human and compared those things to daytime soap opera’s & cartoons that she had seen. I also came to really like the boy that she falls for, Zane. The story hops back and forth from Ariane’s POV to Zane’s and I think the method worked really well here. Each voice felt unique to themselves and I never had to question whose chapter I was reading at the time. Zane was the hot boy at his school, but he had so much going on inside that he became so much more than that. He was so sweet with Ariane and he had a lot to deal with at home with his not so great father.

One thing I wish that we got more of here was backstory. I was told that Ariane was half human, half extraterrestrial but I never got information on how that experiment came to be. Roswell is mentioned in passing but I would have liked some more detail into what GTX was and how they managed to get away with as much as they did. While I did appreciate that The Rules had a more contemporary feel with sci fi elements in that much of the focus was on the drama at Ariane’s school, I don’t think the balance was achieved very well. Much of the story is focussed on petty high school pranks (which was fun to read about, don’t get me wrong) but I think there should have been more focus on what led to Ariane’s existence and instead of constantly mentioning GTX I wanted to know exactly what the company was.

Reading through this review is funny, because in the beginning I said that I like sci fi that doesn’t really focus on sci fi but then I say I wanted more in the book. I’m someone who likes to have all the details and have my questions answered. Knowing that this is the first book in the series I know that those questions may be answered as the series progresses and I hope that is the case. If you are looking for a light science fiction read that comes across as more contemporary then this could be the one for you. I had a fun time reading it and am excited to read more in the series.

An Advanced Reader's Copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.
376 reviews352 followers
April 14, 2013
This review and others are posted at Read, Rinse, Repeat.

The Rules has pretty much everything this sci-fi fan could want. A human/extra-terrestrial hybrid? Check. The hybrid, named Ariane, was locked in a top-secret government laboratory and subjected to inhumane experiments? Check. Ariane breaks out and now must attempt to blend into society to avoid detection and capture? Check.

Ariane's attempt at a normal life begins at home with the laboratory's security guard who helped her escape. He poses as her father (his own daughter died of an illness, a fact he has kept hidden) and instructs her in The Rules that Ariane must follow to protect both of their lives. She must blend in, especially at school; never over-achieve, never under -achieve; don't be early, but don't be late. In short, she can never draw attention to herself. This becomes increasingly difficult when Rachel, the malicious bully at school sets her sights on Ariane and Ariane's only friend, Jenna. Ariane has supernatural abilities, courtesy of her alien DNA, and she struggles, not always successfully, to not use them to retaliate against Rachel's tormenting.

Ariane's origin is touched on very briefly. Too briefly for me. I'm hoping that this will be explored in much greater detail in the sequel, in part because I'm a total geek for this stuff, but also because I'm imagining how the still-mysterious parts of her origin may come into play. So many possibilities!

As a narrator, Ariane is sharp and funny, pointing out oddities of humans, like how frequently we discuss the weather. While locked up in the lab, Ariane's knowledge of the outside world came from the movies and television shows she was permitted to watch. She doesn't wish to be human, but she has a certain level of resentment for the relative ease with which most of us live our lives. She knows her "father" cares for her, but she also knows she can never truly replace his real daughter in his heart. While he tends to her needs, he maintains a safe emotional distance.

So far, I've only discussed Ariane, but the book actually splits POV's with Ariane and Zane, one of the popular guys at school and a part of Rachel's crowd. He knows how detestable Rachel can be, and he attempts to stand up to her, but I wondered why such a nice guy is a part of this crowd. He's intrigued by Ariane, and Rachel is less than thrilled by this. Zane, as likable as he is, was just not as exciting as a narrator. Then again, how can anyone compete with an alien hybrid? Stacey Kade writes very well from the male POV, but when his chapters started, I found myself looking forward to getting back to Ariane. Near the end of the book, however, Zane's narration became much more exciting as we headed towards the conclusion that completely took me by surprise. That twist...I did NOT see it coming. I'm hoping to hear from other readers on this point in the comments, but just be careful to prominently note if your comment contains a spoiler!

The Rules ends on a perfect cliff-hanger. It successfully wrapped up the previous events and conflicts, and it sets the stage for a complete change of pace in the sequel. I was a bit distressed that Goodreads did not list the sequel, but Kade wrote on Twitter that she is revising it now.

Note - I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for review.
Profile Image for Damaris (GoodChoiceReading).
611 reviews227 followers
March 6, 2013
So good!!!

One thing I love the most about Stacey Kade’s writing is that she can create characters that seem very believable, and that readers can relate to in one way or another. I am a huge fan of her GHOST AND THE GOTH series because of this and she pulls it off again in The Rules.

Ariane isn’t exactly human and she knows it. She’s been trying to live a normal life as a human for years. She has it all down pat and follows every rule that her father gives her. She’s been off the radar for a long time, but all that changes when Ms. Popular at school decides to bully one of her friends. Her life begins to crumble immediately, and to top things off, Zane enters the picture.

Now I really liked Zane as a character, but there were sometimes I wanted to just reach in the book and yell at him to grow a pair. He just annoyed me at first, but I think that was Stacey Kade's goal because it was the same for Ariane. She can't stand him and pretty much thought the same things I did about Zane. But somewhere near the middle of the book I began to fall for him. The relationship he builds with Ariane was both beautiful and heartbreaking. He pushed her buttons and made Ariane question everything. Her struggle to follow rules or let go and fall in love was just so sad. I was so emotionally lost in the book while reading.

I won’t share a spoiler, but there is one scene where Ariane is talking to her father about Zane, and it broke my heart. I really felt for her. Zane's story is just as sad as Arianes, too. The more I learned about him, the more it helped me fall in love with him.

Anyway, The Rules covers a bit of everything from bullying, parental issues, romance, and more. Stacey Kade took real life issues and mixed it with a sci/fi feeling, and she pulled it off perfectly. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next in the series. It has a great opening and action packed ending.
Profile Image for L.C. Perry.
Author 7 books190 followers
April 11, 2018
This book has been on my TBR list for a LONG time, so when I found it at a bookstore, I had to buy it for myself. And I’m glad I did.

Spoilers ahead – Read at your own risk

This story, in many ways, did feel too familiar. I didn’t expect the high school setting to play such a large factor in the story. We had the typical bullies that seemed so cliché (I was laughing more so than actually being irritated with them like I should be). We had Jenna, the only friend to the main character. We had the typical popular boy who ends up becoming a love interest. We had either the absence of parents or the total lack of good, quality parents. We had the students who were intimidated by the “popular squad.” There were many tropes in this story and I wasn’t expecting there to be so much more focus on the social cliques and school crushes than the kickass powers and scheming. There were many things pointing towards an average story with way too many tropes and not nearly enough sci-fi, which was disappointing. Even though more of that came through the further I read, a great portion of the book was dominated by the ordinary and the blending in, which could deter other readers from continuing the story. There were two main reasons that prompted me to continue reading: The engaging and simple writing style and the main character, Ariane.

Sometimes, just for a few minutes, when Jenna and I were busy talking about school or boys or whatever, I forgot myself. Forgot that I wasn't the Ariane Tucker everyone thought I was, a regular human girl. And in those moments it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from me, the ever – present boulder of dread I hauled around. Of course, when I remembered myself, the burden felt ten times as heavy. But it was worth it for those few seconds of escape.

People are more than welcome to disagree with me, but I LOVED Ariane. She felt so real to me, definitely realer than most of these ordinary human characters, which I guess can be seen as ironic. For the most part, I enjoyed the writing style and the metaphors and analogies used to demonstrate Ariane’s situation. Can you imagine living in fear for ten years, trying to blend in while the people hunting you down are right in your backyard? I surely can’t, and I commend the author for convincing me of how horrific Ariane’s life had been and has continued to be. Her voice felt authentic, her decisions often logical rather than rash (and I often find the opposite in YA novels). There were times where she had made bad and reckless choices, but she always acknowledged that and carried them out knowing the consequences.

She was such a strong character – someone who didn’t hesitate to stand up for herself and refused to let anyone walk all over her. I do think her relationship with Zane wasn’t developed enough and because of that, her choices dealing with him weren’t as powerful as they could have been. Another aspect I appreciated in the novel was these concrete examples. Zane also felt very real to me along with Ariane: I got to see their hobbies, their likes and dislikes, what specifically they had in common, and their way of thinking was very clear to me. I loved that Zane was an actual teenage boy and not some typical “bad boy” or “good boy” cutout. He had insecurities, he made mistakes, he actually acknowledged his fear for Ariane and stayed with her rather than being an unrealistic saint, telling her that he could care less what she was and follow her anywhere. I also loved that neither of them thought that what they felt for each other was strong enough to be love. They are nowhere near that and I’m glad the author didn’t try to tackle that so early in the series.

My whole life I'd been caught between two sides – emotional against logical, human vs. other – warring inside me. And as I sat there, I realized that for the first time ever, they were dangerously close to agreeing.

One of my favorite scenes was when Jacobs offered Rachel to be the one Ariane would have to kill. It was a great twist that I began to wonder would happen at some point, and I honestly didn’t know if Ariane would go through with it or not. I was able to relate to her so much that I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised by either choice – and I would have been satisfied with whatever decision she made.

Some other issues I had with the story however, was that there were some instances where the other characters came off as unrealistic or unnatural. Jenna asking if Ariane could get her into Rachel’s party just as she’s storming out? I know Jenna is insensitive, but I would think she’d be able to pick up on the tension by now and not even bother asking that. At that point, she seemed more like a character and not a real person. I also thought that Rachel came across as too callous at times. Putting one of her childhood friends in the hospital and not feeling anything about it? Leaving Ariane and Zane to deal with the guns without so much as trying to help them out? And even smirking about it? I liked that Rachel had a neglectful past and complicated feelings for Zane because that added substance to her character, but none of that justified these extremes. She was written as someone with no redeeming qualities, but even the worst kinds of people have instances that make them feel so raw and human. For Rachel, that was coping with being distant with her family, but I would have liked to see that she genuinely cared about her friends. Maybe she treats them like trash, but is there to support them when they need it. Maybe she humiliates them just to see if they will stay by her side, but I need to see what she does for them in order for me to believe that her friends would stick around her for so long (they seemed too much like cutouts). There’s so much to be explored here in the friend group dynamic, but given where the story is heading, I don’t know if that will ever be explored further. I honestly thought at some point, Rachel was going to be an ally or even an unexpected friend to Ariane. It disappointed me greatly to see nothing had changed about her – I feel a life or death situation would change a person, even a little bit. I do enjoy the fact that pretty much everyone is greatly flawed in this story; that was probably the strongest aspect of all and one I greatly appreciated.

Needless to say, even with the typos and excessive parentheses and heavily cliché high school setting, I enjoyed this story a lot and I’m very interested in the sequel.
Profile Image for Al_Lina.
9 reviews
October 16, 2014
За что я люблю Стейси Кейд, так это за абсолютно нормальных, адекватных героев. Во время прочтения этой книги у меня ни разу не возникла мысль "что за бред, почему подростки так себя ведут?".
Это история о наполовину инопланетянке, которая оказалась вне лаборатории и в течение длительного времени жила срди людей. Она верная подруга, которой, к сожалению, пренебрегли. Хорошая "дочь", которая старается, пусть в последне время и безуспешко, следовать правилам.
Это история о парне, который рос в тени идеального старшего брата. История о девушке, которая привыкла получать все, что захочет, и неважно, каким путем. История об еще одной девушке, которая всеми силами пытается попасть в школьную элиту.
Основных героев не так уж и много, и они все многогранны. У них есть и положительные, и отрицательные стороны. Они живые, как будто настоящие. В подростковой литературе не часто удается встретить таких.
Очень обрадовало то, что автор не вынес на передний план любовную линию.
В общем, книгой довольна. Если продолжение не утонет в розовых соплях, как часто бывает в книгах о подростках, думаю, эта серия станет одной из моих любимых.
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,614 reviews160 followers
July 23, 2016
This one was okay - not amazing but not bad.

I didn't think anything stood out. The love was a little close to instant love. Ariane didn't sell me on her uniqueness or her selflessness. She's fiery and fierce but only in ways that made her feel very squeaky clean and not necessarily added depth or personality to her.

Rachel was way over the top and Zane....well, Zane was a little too good to be true. It was okay. I might keep going on the series.
Profile Image for Nasty Lady MJ.
1,057 reviews16 followers
September 18, 2013
To see full review visit Howdy YAL!


It's the one PNR YA tropes I never get tired of. I think because there are so many ways you can go with it. Honestly, I'm usually not a hard core sci-fi fan for the most part. It's true I like watching the occasional movie about aliens taking over the world and that I like to read about aliens and watch Ancient Aliens on TV, but...okay, I'm obsessed.

But aliens in YA?

Sort of mixed.

Sure there's the Lux series which I liked (used to love up to the last installment), but really there haven't been that many decent alien YA books released. However, I have always heard great things about Stacey Kade and decided to give her book, The Rules a try.

What's it About: Take the plot of She's All That, add in some Roswell conspiracies to it, and one mad scientist and you have this book.

I really do like this one, but I can see how people wouldn't like this book. It's something odd to think when you're writing a book review since book reviews are generally opinions that one has. But as I kept reading this book I thought well, I like that but I can see why other people might not like this. So for the purposes of this review. I'm going to discuss what I really liked and what I think could annoy people.

What I Liked:

1. Dual narration:

Usually I hate dual POV, but it works here. Both characters seem like separate entities and I was able to grow to like both of them. It made me actually really interested to read The Ghost and the Goth where I hear that this feature is used as well.

2. Characters:

The characters are very well formed. As I previously stated, both have a distinct voice. Kade was also very effective in creating backstories for both Zane and Ariane. I felt for both of them and I liked how their lives sort of were paralleled each others in a strange way.

3. Aliens:

Did I mention this book involves E.T. and he does not phone home.

4. Deeper than it looks:

While it might appear as all frothy and full of bunny rabbits and roses, this book actually does touch upon some deeper issues. I sort of liked how while the issues weren't the main plot of the story, they contributed to the overall plot and not in a heavy handed sort of way.

5. A fun easy read:

Honestly, this book was sort of like endorphins in a written form. And we all know what Elle Woods has to say about endorphins.

What Could be Viewed as Annoying:

1. The fact that part of this book borderlines on hardcore sci-fi and the other half could've been an episode of Beverly Hills 90210:

It's hard imagining an episode of 90210 with aliens. Okay, maybe not. Maybe that explains a lot of the actions of Tori Spelling's character on the show, but still. Most of this book reads as teen drama and I was expecting that. But some people aren't. And to be honest the fact that the alien thing remained background till the very last third where it seemed more like Carrie than Alien. Did I hate it, no? But it did make what else seemed like a frothy book seem disjointed.

2. Way too Much Melodrama.

As previously stated, a lot of this read like an episode of 90210. And while I like froth, this could borderline on too much fluff. The plot is similar to many movies you'd see in the 90's melodrama included. A lot of the trivial things that the characters are arguing about just make you want to roll your eyes given the overall plot is a lot more sinister than what's actually going on.

3. Plot-holes Galore:

If Ariane can read minds I had to wonder why a lot of things happened...I mean, all she had to do was read the thoughts off of certain characters heads and boom she should've known. The same thing goes with what happened in the lab, why not....yeah you sort of have to stop analyzing after awhile.

4. Too Cruel to be Real:

While I personally like an evil as sin character there were a few characters here that might be unrealistically evil. Which is fine, you know, if you're name is Dr. Evil. However, since 99.9% of the world isn't named Dr. Evil it probably doesn't work here.

5. The fact it's over four hundred pages long:

I like long books and for the most part this one didn't drag. Except it did a little in the middle. A little cutting here and there might've made the book a little more enjoyable. Might've being the operative word. This con really is up to your own preference. For me I think about fifty less pages and it would've been the perfect length.
September 3, 2016
Sorry I haven't been reviewing or anything lately! I've been really busy, so I don't have a lot of time to check Goodreads.

The Gist: Ariane, an experimental hybrid between human and alien genetic material, follows "The Rules," restrictions to keep her head down, at great personal cost, because if the lab she escaped from recaptures her, she'll be forced to use her powers to kill for the highest bidder. She struggles to regain her telekinetic powers, which she lost in a traumatic test in the lab, and hatches a plan to trigger them, but it'll require getting close to Zane Bradshaw, a popular boy at her school, to get back at the cruel queen bee. However, when her plan starts going off in ways she'd never have predicted, it brings her close to doing one of the few things she thought she'd never do: breaking the Rules.

The Review:
This book took me a while to complete, since some of the middle section was a bit boring. Although it sticks to conventional YA content, it's surprisingly well-done. Stick through the slightly-boring middle and you'll find a pretty enjoyable, if a bit standard, ride.

Ariane proves herself to be a likeable heroine, and she acts like one would expect her to act based on her traumatic childhood. Understandably, she's got some baggage- she's afraid of being touched, she's on constant watch against agents of GTX, the organization that created her, and she always has to appear "normal" but also keep people from getting close to her and suspecting. Also, being a hybrid isn't easy. Unlike most alien books, where the extraterrestrial characters just look like really, really hot humans ( Lux and I am Number Four, I'm talking to you), she faces realistic problems, like her too-gray skin, black eyes, and fragile bones. Well, we're talking about aliens here, so I'm not sure about "realistic," but seriously, isn't it just our luck that out of all the lifeforms in the galaxy, the ones that make it to Earth in YA always look like supermodels?

Zane, the love interest, was actually a nice guy, and I liked his perspective, but I always wondered about the purpose. His family problems were realistic, but perhaps belong more in a contemporary than in a Scifi. I mean, we're here to read about a psychokinetic alien assassin, not a morally-conflicted popular guy with daddy issues.

At first, I was super nervous the author would turn the whole "the Rules" thing into an excuse for Ariane to become a "rebel" and start acting really stupid, but thankfully, she didn't go TSTL, and when she did something against the Rules, she felt conflicted and took necessary precautions. I appreciated that.

The problem with this book is that the author sticks too close to classic YA tropes. Rachel, the "mean girl," is basically the same character copypasted from another YA book (she's promiscuous, she's obsessed with high heels and makeup, she loves torturing unpopular kids, etc.) except she's a brunette instead of a blonde. Also, they make her character too black-and-white, especially because her grandfather is the ruthless scientist that created Ariane. Also, the whole "girl fakes being in love and then ACTUALLY FALLS IN LOVE WITH THE GUY" trope is visible from a mile away. Nice try, but The Hunger Games did it better. The twist in the end was mildly surprising, but not quite the huge bomb the author thought it was going to be.

Conclusion: surprisingly good and not-stupid, but a tad too unoriginal.
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