Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Publisher: Walker & Company
Pub. Date: December 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: paperback
Source: contest prize

A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of 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 Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

If you're like me - one of the girls who are crazily in love with bad boys, you'll surely enjoy this book. And even if you're not, trust me, you'll join my clan soon after you finish Perfect Chemistry.

This book is truly a page tuner. Everything was exciting from the very first pages, and only got better in the next. The point of view switched between Alex and Brittany, so you'll get to know both of them immediately. Their first few encounters did not sound very original, but I adored how they flowed perfectly, paving the way for more and more interesting meets.

Brittany and Alex came from different worlds, even though they inhabited in the same town. While Brittany's neighborhood was luxurious and full of people with class, Alex's life on the opposite wasn't any close - he had to share a room with two little annoying brothers, carried the responsibility of the family man and had to join Latino Blood so as to keep his loved ones safe. On the outside they looked nothing alike, but there was something they both shared - their true selves were always hidden. Brittany was not perfect and she was scared that fact would upset her mother and everyone around. As for Alex, witnessing his Dad's death left him in a prolonged grief and fear of losing someone he loved. The characters developed through certain circumstances, with their thoughts showing the deep side; conversations, on the other hand, showing the goofy, lovely or playful, scary side.

I loved Brittany and Alex's love. It came unexpectedly and naturally. It was attraction at first but then it grew into something stronger and more beautiful. They did not only have crushes on each other, but also shared understanding and real affection. The relationship encouraged Brit to do stuff she didn't dare to or just helped Alex get along with people he always thought he couldn't be with. I really really admired how Simone wrote their love making part. It was simply breathtaking and touching, making something stir inside me.

The ending was perfect. After everything they'd been through the couple finally had their happy ending, with realization of true love, friendship and what family really was. The epilogue cracked me up and I was really hoping there would be a story about little Paco and some poor (or lucky) girl.

If you love the kind "when two worlds collide, facade cracks and true love invades" of book, Perfect Chemistry won't disappoint you. And I have to add, best way to learn a little bit Spanish too

just so you know, i really think my week of spamming at books boys buzz to get Perfect Chemistry is really worth my while : )

Rating: 4/5

Did you know? If Perfect Chemistry was to turned into a movie, Simone thinks it'd be nice to have Hayden Panettiere as Brittany


prophecygirl said...

Great review, Thao! I agree with everything you said. I absolutely loved this book, and I REALLY want a sequel!

Bookworm said...

Yay, I'm glad it was good, I recently won it in a contest!