Welcome to this week’s Fiction Friday. Today I will be reviewing the YA contemporary ‘Perfect Chemistry’ by Simone Elkeles.
The Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
3.5 out of 5.
I really enjoyed this book, it was quiet compelling and I found it hard to stop reading once I started.
Perfect Chemistry is told from the alternating perspectives of Brittany and Alex which really drew you in and helped you to connect with them and understand them. Both Brittany and Alex are fairly stereotypical on the outside, but have a complete other inner side which they hide from the world.
It is not common these days to have the ‘popular’ girl as the main character in YA fiction. Usually she is the nemesis, cruel and mean. Brittany is the popular head cheerleader who is obsessed with being perfect when she is around anybody, not letting anyone in to see the real her. She has depth and heart and will do anything for her disabled sister.
Alex is the stereotypical book bad boy, all tough on the outside but gooey on the inside. Underneath all his muscle there is a heart. He is a gang member and he plays the tough guy well. He feels trapped in the gang life and longs to get out and dreams of going to college, but he knows this is not a reality for him.
Alex and Brittany’s life suddenly collide when they are thrown together to work on a chemistry project. Neither of them are prepared for what happens next. As they slowly start to fall for each other, they have to choose whether they will finally put their own happiness first or continue to do things to please everyone else. They know a relationship between them would face a huge amount of obstacles, the questions is, are they too big to get over, or can love conquer all?
It was refreshing to see some racial diversity in this book, and to see a disabled character. It is a very positive book with a message that you can be whatever you want no matter where you come from.
Alex and Brittany where from two different worlds but they weren’t so different. I loved their chemistry. They go through a lot together and their love is tested to the limits. There is a lot of drama and at one point I just couldn’t see how everything was going to work out, but Ekeles ties everything up perfectly – it is a romance after all.
Perfect Chemistry has all the epicness of Romeo and Juliet with out the tragic ending. It is perfect for those who like their stories gushingly romantic.
Recommended for the mature teen plus as it has swearing, drug/drug dealing references and sexual references.
You can add it to your Goodreads here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4268157-perfect-chemistry