Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Published: April 21st, 2010
Publisher: Walker Books
Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge, 350 Page Books Challenge, YA Series Challenge
Other: First book in the Perfect Chemistry series. There are currently three books in this series; the third installment, Chain Reaction, was published on August 16th, 2011.
Buy the book: Bookdepository
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.
Perfect Chemistry was recommended to me a lot of times. I heard that the series was good, so I decided to pick up a copy and ended up reading it in one sitting.
The story isn't that original - good girl with a boyfriend and steady school life gets paired with dangerous latino gang member and they don't want anything to do with eachother in the beginning - but Elkeles knows how to write her story to keep you reading. Like I said, I read it in one sitting and to be honest, I just didn't want to put the book down.
I liked Alex' cockiness, his cheek and his wit, and how he just kept going even though Brittany made it clear she was not interested. The bet that Alex places brings them even closer together and I really liked seeing how the story developed. Elkeles did what I like in love stories: she actually builds the relationship. No insta-love, but instead a carefully woven bond and connection between her characters. Thumbs up!
But that epilogue.. Jeesh, that was cringe-worthy!!
My overall rating:
A four minus for Alex and Brittany, and a promise to pick up Rules of Attraction.