Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles is told in two separate points of view: Kiara and Carlos. Kiara, a senior at Flatiron High, has had a nervous stutter her entire life, and it is in her senior year she is determined to become less shy and overcome her stutter. Carlos, a transfer to Flatiron from Mexico, wants nothing less than to have to attend school. With gang affiliations in both Mexico and Flatiron, he just wants to carry on a family tradition that was broken by his older brother Alex, when Alex decided to leave the gang life behind and pursue his girlfriend and his dreams of going to college.
Carlos is perfectly fine finding his own way, and only finds his path impeded by his student aid, Kiara. She was asked to help him around his first week of school and in that first week, they form a friendship that is more than slightly dysfunctional. In trying to shake the attention of one of the most popular girls at school, who has friends who may be part of a gang rival to Carlos' he asks Kiara to become his fake girlfriend. After major internal battling, she agrees, only to find herself falling in love.
Carlos does not believe he can ever fall in love. Being stalked by, and then unwittingly jumped into, a new, more powerful gang, means dating Kiara would be putting her and her family, whom he had come to live with after being falsely accused of possessing drugs, in danger. But he did not want to stay away from her.
1.) Carlos and Kiara try to battle the odds by being a couple...her the quiet, unsocial introvert and him the gang-related bad boy. Realistically, would there relationship be able to survive? Explain.
2.) Kiara's best friend, Tuck, has never liked a boy she dated, until Carlos. Carlos is mean to Tuck, but by trying to protect Kiara, they form an unlikely friendship. Should Tuck have held a grudge against Carlos for all the times Carlos had been mean to both him and Kiara, or should he be as forgiving as Kiara, if for nothing else than for her? Explain.