Author: Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary Romance
Release date: December 23rd, 2008
Pages: 360 (Paperback)
Pages: 360 (Paperback)
Rating: 5 of 5
When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of her senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created "perfect" life is about to unravel before her eyes. She's forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for- her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes that Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.
Originally, this book wasn't on my list, although Elkeles' book, Leaving Paradise, was. Perfect Chemistry was the best on-a-whim-purchase I've ever made. I'm a total girl, which means I'm a sucker for romance. If given the option, I'll pick romance over just about anything. I didn't realize that this book also does exactly what I love in any book- it changes point of views. The story was very easy to get into and it kept me interested to the point where I didn't want to put it down and I was constantly tweeting and telling my boyfriend about it.
Brittany seems like the ever so popular rich girl, but deep down she's harboring a lot of emotions. She hates feeling out of control and she has to be the perfect child, since her sister can't be. Her mother has breakdowns, her dad's always at work, and she constantly feels the pressure- not only from her family, but at school as well. On the outside, she has the ideal life. Expensive clothes, new car, perfect boyfriend, huge house. Sometimes the outside is the only thing people want to see.
And then there's Alex Fuentes. He lives on the poor side of town. That's all people want to see, as well. His exterior is tough and he feels that he has to be in order to protect his family- to protect them from what happened to his father 11 years ago. When he's paired up with Brittany, the goody-goody, he and his friends make a bet that he may regret accepting. Eventually, outside of school, Brittany and Alex begin to let their guards down and realize that they're not as different from each other as they thought. In fact, what they thought was the feeling of hatred for each other was flipped completely upside down.
Admittedly, the book made me cry twice (for the first time ever, I believe). Perfect Chemistry was the type of book that made want to read it over and over again, just to get more of Alex Fuentes. ¡Muy caliente! Oh, did I mention that I loved the use of Spanish in the book? I've never been proficient in the language, but it felt great to read the words and actually know what they were talking about. Although the next books in the series are about Alex's brothers and the women they fall in love with, I'm really looking forward to reading those, because this one definitely made it onto my list of favorites.