Title: Perfect Chemistry
Series: Perfect Chemistry, #1
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Tags: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Hearts: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Note: Recommended for older teens
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.
The summer holidays are over and Brittany starts with her senior year. The day begins great with her mother not being happy with her choice of clothing and her sister accidentally drooling on her. What a great way to start a new school year! It gets even worse when she almost hits the school’s bad guy and his bike while trying to park her car. And that’s only the beginning of a very long day…
Alex’s first day of school is also no picnic. First he bumps into his ex-girlfriend who cheated on him. Then he’s almost hit by the Queen Bee’s car. When he confronts her about it, he gets called to the principal and gets a warning for it! What did he do except standing there? Okay he could have said it in a nicer way, but it was her fault, not his!
And then it’s time for chemistry… Alex and Brittany become lab partners and are stuck with each other for the rest of the year. In the beginning they can’t stand each other. Alex even makes a bet with his friends that Brittany will be in his bed in no time. Cause even when she’s a bitch, she’s still got a nice body. But that bet turns out to be a great mistake, because the more time he spends with her, the more he starts to develop feelings for her. Brittany isn’t the simple materialistic girl he thought she was…
After spending more time with Alex, Brittany also wavers. Alex isn’t as bad as he looks and it becomes very difficult for her to hide the fact that she’s starting to like him. Kids from the north side just don’t date with kids from the south side. What will her mother think??? But will Alex even like the real Brittany she tries to hide so hard??
Finally! I had a hard time lately with finding entertaining books that don’t disappoint me as soon as I start reading them. It doesn’t seem that hard with the large offer of books you have nowadays, does it? Yeah right… I’ve read a lot of books last month and the highest I could give them was a lousy OK. Even that was hard in some cases. Hence the absence of any sign of life on this site 😉
Enough about those books, now I want to talk about the book that got me out of the rut. What a great book Perfect Chemistry is! As usual this book has been on my long to read list for a while, but you’ll never know how much you’ll like or hate a book with just looking at the cover ;). But this one definitely belongs in the first category! I loved reading every minute of it, except maybe the ending, but I’ll explain that part later ;).
First of all I like it when there are two persons bickering in a book. Not fighting, but bickering and eventually fall in love. And keep bickering ( that last part is important 😉 ). Those are my favorite books to read, so I really liked the beginning of this one. It was also nice to not read about love or attraction at first sight. That was very refreshing to read. Nowadays you see a lot of YA were the story starts with the transfer of a new boy into the school. I’ve read enough of those books to start finding it annoying. It’s too coincidental. But none of that in Perfect Chemistry and because Brittany and Alex have heard rumors about each other it’s very fun to read which prejudice they have about each other and how they react when they start to see through them and learn the real person.
And now something about Alex and Brittany. I loved both of them, although Alex was a little too hot-headed sometimes and set on using violence to solve stuff. I’m not that keen on using your fists to solve things 😉 But I do admire him for trying to look after his family on such a young age. Brittany, too, hasn’t had an easy time with such parents and having to take care of her disabled sister. I loved seeing how she’s prepared to keep looking after her. I only had a problem with her choice of boyfriend, but that solved itself during the book 😉
As I mentioned earlier I didn’t like the ending very much. The book kinda builds to this scene, but for me it didn’t have to end like this. It also ended a little too quick and I couldn’t get my feelings into it. Otherwise I think I would have definitely cried. It was as if I could read between the lines and knew what was going to happen. So it wasn’t exactly thrilling. And what happened afterwards wasn’t really logical to me, but oh well there could be worse things 😉 Sorry for my very cryptic description of the ending but I don’t want to spoil it for the rest of you 😉 (I really hope I didn’t… )
Another thing that bothered me a bit was the Spanish. In the Netherlands you don’t use it, or receive lessons. Therefore I had a hard time with the Spanish/Portuguese used in the book, so I didn’t get a single thing what Alex and his family said at times…
My conclusion: 4 hearts. It was a very nice read with captivating protagonists. A little bit too violent at times and the ending wasn’t as good as the rest of the story, otherwise this book would have gotten 5 hearts ;).
What did you think of it? Please leave a comment 😉