Monday, May 12, 2014

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

Book Title: The Rules (Project Paper Doll #1)
Author: Stacey Kade
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Supernatural, Romance
Publication Date: April 23rd 2013
                             by Disney-Hyperion


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…

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My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

My Review:

OhmyGod! If I knew it's going to be this good, I would have picked it up long long ago. Luckily it wasn't too late!

The Cover.

The cover is not gasp-worthy, I admit. But it fits the context pretty well. It's possible to miss out one of the most prominent thing on the cover at the first glance. Being the kind of cover glutton I am, even I had missed it at first. All I would say is that look carefully and you may get a hint about the female lead, to a little extent.


She is the girl with a past. No. No cliche here. Her past is way different then what you may guess at first in general. She lives with her Father. And even if the doom falls upon earth, she is to remember and strictly abide by five Rules. She has a name which isn't her own, leads a life which is not hers, and even if she seems to live an apparently free life, she is caged by a continuous fear of getting trapped, of being dragged to the place from where she had escaped.

I love her character really. Now this is becoming a real cliche. I know I know, I always like the female characters. But seriously, it looks like lately I've been into such kind of books that are full of butt-kicking heroines. Literally though, Ariane isn't exactly butt-kicking, because you know..."Keep your head down" and all that. But I like how the author portrayed the variation of her emotions and the way she struggles to control them. She is supposed to live a totally out of focus, objective life where nothing except her being under cover matters. She tries, hard. But it's not long before she gives into her rage and power that she hasn't been training on for very long, out of the obligation she feels for her one and only friend Jenna. (Huh, friend! See what she does to Ariane -.-)

I loved the way her human and foreign sides show conflicting emotions often. She knows the human species can't be trusted. But it's not really very long when we see her breaking that Rule of not trusting. In her words and actions, it is often clear that all she wants is a simple, normal teenage girl's life. But that's something she can't even dream to afford. Be it her Father, Jenna, Zane, Dr Jacobs or even the anger-triggering Rachel, she is to consider each of her step to remain a 'normal' girl. But how long one can keep being something that's out an out fake?


It's rare for me to love a male character's name in a book. But here I do. I really like Zane's name. His introduction, even before he appears in person in the book, is made in such a way that you may get a feeling it's just some random guy who is going to be a complete tool. But not until Rachel starts to work out her vile plan to get back at Ariane that we get to see 'Zane', from Zane's pov. Let me mention that I don't always read book blurbs, it's just another weird habit of mine that I can't help. I hadn't read the full blurb of this book, which is why I missed out on Zane's reference. Lucky I guess, since his narrative pov came as both a shock and a pleasant surprise to me.

Zane is human, but his life is no less messed up. Zane, who tries to be at a safe distance from Rachel's actions and plotting, can't help himself volunteering for Rach's next plan to get back at Ariane. But he has different plans for this weird, intriguing and quite feisty girl who makes him really curious, and soon what started out as a mere act turns into something more...but Ariana can't risk breaking yet another Rule, because then it would not only mean her capture but also danger to Zane, something she cannot afford for the world.

The plot. The narrative.

Started out really well. There is a point from where it focuses mainly on Ariane and Zane, and the former's struggle to stop herself from feeling what she is never supposed to. I liked the flow of the story, it moves smoothly from one part to another. You get the proper amount of information and development from both Ariane and Zane's pov. Their feelings, Ari's struggle, the constant fear, all the other problems. It's really easy to connect with them. There are romantic moments, but the author never overdid them. The book seems more character driven after a point, which you can consider either a bad or a good thing. Since the author carries it out so well, I can't complain too much on that really.

One thing I would like to point out though. I would have liked it more if the ending was a little more action packed. Even I could guess the Rachel-Ariane segment. On the plus side though, I am happy Zane got at least some trail of his past to follow ;) (you'll know once you read the book)

The second book was published in April, and guess what? I've already got my copy! Woot! So I am going to be back with its review after I have finished reading and hopefully, it'll be all the more wonderful :D


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