Sunday, January 2, 2011
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Tough guy Alex is primarily known by his classmates as a dangerous member of the Latino Bloods gang. He’s not exactly thrilled when Brittany Ellis, the school’s seemingly perfect beauty queen, is assigned as his lab partner—and the feeling is more than mutual. But Alex’s bravado works against him when he impulsively accepts a bet that he can get Brittany in the sack. The romance that follows will not surprise any reader, yet Elkeles gives it heart by constantly switching point of view from Alex to Brittany to provide dual running commentaries on their minute-by-minute insecurities and urges. Brittany’s controlling parents and sister with cerebral palsy are well drawn, but it is Elkeles’ rendition of Alex and his life that is particularly vivid. Sprinkling his speech with Spanish, his gruff but tender interactions with his family and friends feel completely genuine. An idealized epilogue drains away some of the book’s realism, but if the “romance” angle isn’t pushed too hard, this is a novel that could be embraced by male and female readers in equal measure. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus
Perfect Chemistry is the first in a series about the Fuentes brothers. It's a typical high school romance, where the cheerleader falls for the bad boy. It was well written, with amazing characterization.
I loved the characters in this book, and especially loved Alex. I think the author did an amazing job with these characters. I don't have a ton to say that isn't complete gushing.
I think that the way the story was paced was perfect. I love that the characters didn't fall in love immediately. It took time, with both of them getting to know the other's way of life. My only complaint was that it was predictable at many points, but hey, it's a high school romance.
Brittany and Alex hated each other at first, and slowly started to respect and trust each other. I rooted for them from the beginning. It was a great romance story.
Loved it! It was a great book. 4 Stars