Sunday, March 25, 2012

Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

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.

My Review:
Perfect Chemistry was an amazing contemporary romance that is reminiscent of the musical West Side Story.  The book accurately portrays the dangers of being in a gang, and the thrill of first love.  Both Alex and Brittany are well-developed characters that any reader will like.  

Brittany seems like she has a perfect life on the outside since she is the cheerleading captain and dates a popular guy.  Truthfully, her life is not as perfect as everyone thinks.  She has a sister with cerebral palsy and I loved how sweet she was to her sister.  She really tried to convince her parents not to send her sister, Shelley, away to a special home.  The one part of her story that I was not a fan of was the subplot with her boyfriend, Colin.  Sometimes, in young adult books, a girl will have a boyfriend who is portrayed as a great boyfriend, but once she meets the main love interest, the former boyfriend becomes portrayed in a much different light.  Unfortunately, the story with Brittany and Colin fell into that trap.  Despite this, I enjoy reading about Brittany and Alex as a couple, and I did want them to fall in love.  

Alex was a great guy character.  His relationship with Brittany started because of a bet with his friends in which he said he would be able to convince Brittany to sleep with him.  Once he actually got to know Brittany, he found himself falling in love with her.  I also liked his gang plot.  He really had only joined the gang to protect his family.  He was so sweetly protective of his two younger brothers, Carlos and Luis.

If you want to read a contemporary romance about people from different sides of town falling in love, pick up this book.  I guarantee you will enjoy this book.