The Rules (Project Paper Doll #1)
by Stacey Kade
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Format: Arc received from Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for my honest review.
Midnight Minute: Hiding in plain sight from a corporation that wants her for unspeakable deeds, half alien Ariane is constantly on the alert and dealing with bitchy high school girls.
Expected Publication: 04.23.13
1. Never trust anyone.
2. Remember they are always searching.
3. Don’t get involved.
4. Keep your head down.
5. Don’t fall in love.
Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane’s survival—and that of her adoptive father—depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans in a small Wisconsin town, to hide in plain sight at her high school from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) “project.”
But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts her in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief’s son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening—and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules…
~ I’ve read and loved the first two Ghost and Goth books, but I’m almost afraid to read the last one, since then the series will be over, but I was super excited when I heard about this series, even if I missed the whole alien aspect of the plot. I really thought it was going to be a YA version of Joss Whedon’s canceled tv show Dollhouse.
~ I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi, and even a less fan of aliens, but I trusted Kade to write a story I’d like. She did not disappoint!
~ The Rules has a duel narrative, flipping between Ariane (how is this pronounced? Because it’d be weird if it’s pronounced like Aryan) and Zane. I really enjoyed this style because I really think it helps move things along and it’s a good way to really get to know the main characters.
~ There’s no love triangle! Not that I mind a good triangle, but I’m kind of tired of useless ones- A’s got enough to deal with right now. That said, this is only book 1, and who knows what can happen in book 2!
~ So, Ariane is living in the place of her “dad”s real daughter, who died. I thought at first that this was one of those books- clones born to take over the original’s life, but thankfully it was just an identity that was easy to slip into when Ariane gets out of the facility that made her.
~ Sadness: for the first five or six years of her life, she thought her name was Wannahseven (not sure I spelled that right), because that’s her number: 107. Jesus, even the mice and chimpanzees get real names.
~ So, Ariane is a half-human, half-alien hybrid that this shady corporation has cobbled together. I don’t know if she just assumes that her alien half comes from the aliens that reportedly crashed at Roswell, or if that’s really where her poor alien ancestor came from.
~ Even though Ariane has got some cool alien powers, she has enough kyrptonite weaknesses- include very fragile bones, that keep her from being some Mary Sue super alien.
~ Because she was raised in a facility, most of her knowledge of the “outside world” came from tv and cartoons. You can only imagine what a crazy, warped world view she had before getting out of the facility- afraid at that any time an Acme safe could come raining down on her head, or expecting animals to talk. Actually… I wish life were a bit more like cartoons. It’d be awesome to wear the same outfit every day. Only my luck I’d end up stuck in a huge mock turtle neck sweater and a skort like Velma from Scooby Doo. ~ So Ariane and her dad are living in the same town as the evil facility, GTX, that she escaped from, because that’s the dad’s plan for outsmarting the company. But then GTX “donates” a security system, complete with video cameras, to the school and pretty much Ariane’s playing Frogger, but for reals.
~ Also, the small town setting within powerful reach of the GTX means that the relationships between people are tricky and complex. The meanest girl in school, Rachel, is one of Zane’s besties? Also the granddaughter of the head GTX honcho. And now she’s locking horns with Ariane.
~ Ariane keeps her head down and only has one friend, but she’s got a virtual online life, which I thought was going to figure in more with the story. I do love the fact that Ariane chooses to date Clark Kent, a computer generated character, instead of finding a hook up in Dreamlife, the site she plays on.
~ GTX made Ariane do some awful things, leading her to put a self-imposed block on her powers. Which sucks, because she needs them now.
~ I have to give props to Stacey Kade for explaining why Mark Tucker too Ariane out of the facility in a non-creeper way.
~ GTX totally reminds me of The Shop in Fire-Starter by Stephen King. Although, I suspect Charlie McGee could kick Ariane’s butt… at least for now. Perhaps book 2 will change my mind. 😉
~ Kade is good at writing complex characters- even the evil teen queen Rachel has some depth to her.
~ In order to take down smug Rachel, er, I mean, help her moronic, Plastics worshiping friend Jenna, Ariane has to break all of her careful stay-under-the-radar rules. It seems reckless, because it is, but we break rules all the time. We still gloves from the hospital, we run red lights (this pertains particularly to Virginia drivers), we talk loudly in libraries. Humans are rule breakers by nature, even if it puts our lives in danger. This is apparently true for human/alien hybrids too.
~ The ending guarantees I’ll be there for the rest of the series. Well played, Kade.
Zane Bradshaw– Kade creates some of the best guys in YA, and Zane does not disappoint.
Mark Tucker– works security for GTX, despite having stolen their unique creation. Which is the definition of balls of steel.
Jenna– Ariane’s only friend, desperate to be in Rachel’s circle.
Rachel Jacobs– she reigns supreme in the halls of Ashe High, she ain’t no hollaback girl.
Arthur Jacobs– Rachel’s beloved grandpappy and head of GTX.
Cami and Cassi– twins, happy juice drinkers in worship of Rachel.
Trey– completely worships Rachel, who treats him like a baby, unless it’s a day ending in a y, in which case she treats him like a baby with a stinky diaper.
Sheriff Bradshaw– actually, maybe he’s the police chief? I forgot to write his title down, but he’s Zane’s snobdouche dad. Hates Mark Tucker, wants to be all up GTX’s butt because he’s, well, a snobdouche. Zane will never be good enough in Poppa Bradshaw’s eyes.
Maybe science-fiction isn’t your thing. That’s cool. But this book is also a thriller, with some contemporary romance thrown in with a whopping side of humor. So, if that’s your thing, then you need to read this book. In fact, just put Stacey Kade on your list. You know what list I’m talking about. The list of authors you go out of your way to read. She’s that good, ya’ll.
Stacey Kade — Website |Stacey Kade
The Rules (Project Paper Doll #1) gets a Midnight Book Rating of: