Saturday, February 7, 2009
Perfect Chemistry - Simone Elkeles
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.
The Simplified Version:
Rating: A, or five hearts.
I really enjoyed this book. It does have the same old, same old crossed lovers theme, but there is so much more to it. Brittany seems like the normal popular teenager, but she really isn't. She has lots of issues going on at home that she can't tell any of her friends - even her best friend. Alex seems like the normal gang member, but there's more than just looks here, too. He also has a lot of home issues to deal with. So, that's what I liked about the storyline - the author took a cliche star crossed lovers theme and changed it to make it an original story with meaning.
I also loved Brittany and Alex's playful banter. It was funny, and on many different occasions I found myself literally laughing out loud because if it. The writing never seemed to drag - though it was 300-some pages, it never slowed down for me. It seemed like there was always something going on that I wanted to figure out, so I had to keep reading until I finished it.
The last thing I want to point out is that the characters were real. I could picture them as teenagers going to my school, they were that real. It makes you wonder what you never know about some people; what they keep inside because they don't want the world to see.
Perfect Chemistry was the first book that I have read by Elkeles, but it definitely made me want to find others to read. It was a quick, fun, but serious book that many will enjoy.
Don't forget to enter the Wintergirls contest! It ends tomorrow at midnight.