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Khanh the Killjoy

The Rules (Project Paper Doll)

The Rules - Stacey Kade 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.