Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rules of Attraction

Rules of Attraction
By Simone Elkeles

Rules of Attraction is the second in the Perfect Chemistry trilogy by Elkeles. Although there doesn't seem to be a deep attraction between Carlos Fuentes (Alex's next younger brother) and Kiara Westford at first, they seem to grow on one another. One of the intriguing details of Elkeles' narrative is the switch from the point of view of the girl to the guy and back again. I thought that Carlos showed how he was slowly falling in love with Kiara, while her heart was more guarded.

What is also different between this book and the first novel is the setting is Boulder, Colorado. While the Latino gang is not a threat, Carlos' ties to a violent Mexican gang pops up and he finds himself in even bigger trouble than his brother.  In addition, for much of the book, Carlos lives with the Westford family which gives him time to get to know Kiara who has a surprising sense of humor and fun.  What was fun for me is that I actually began to like Carlos although I got tired of him trying to do everything himself.

I think Elkeles really wanted to highlight the drug problem among teens and the adult suppliers who make fortunes from their sales. She also subtly points to racial profiling in our society, especially among the police. Also interesting in this book is that an adult -- Kiara's father -- ends up stepping in and saving the day.

What did this book have to do with my faith? In our churches, we have members who are college educated and others who never graduated high school. For the most part, these folks get along. However, I have noticed that individual churches do tend to attract one or the other of these groups. This is something that even the earliest churches tried to overcome. The rich people of the Corinthian church ate in front of the poorer members who did not have as much. Instead of sharing, they created a societal divide -- the same divide that Jesus came to break down. There is no longer rich nor poor, Paul states boldly to the church members. Rules of Attraction shows that even educational and socioeconomic divides can be broken down to create new families. Why can't we do this in our churches today as well?

I recommend Rules of Attraction.

Happy reading!


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