Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
Series: Perfect Chemistry, #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Walker Childrens (Imprint of Bloomsbury)
Date Published: December 23rd, 2008
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.
Such a beautiful and romantic love story about overcoming all odds for the sake of love. I picked up Perfect Chemistry after seeing review after review absolutely raving about it. There haven’t been too many Contemporary Romance novels (YA or Adult) that I’ve really liked. Normally I just need something a little bit different than usual in order for the book to hold my interest. But this one certainly had that, and I loved every page!
First off, let’s talk about the two main characters. I adored both of them. I loved that as readers we got to see past both of the facades they used to create and maintain a certain image for themselves. I loved that despite these stereotypical images they purposefully would portray themselves as, both of them saw right through each other practically from the beginning.
Brittany was such a sweet, loving, and caring person. Despite the mask she feels she needs to put on, her brightness and love for others was always front and center, and I absolutely loved her for that. Even when she was afraid of shattering her fake outter self, she still pushed on when she knew it was worth it.
Alex was…sigh. How can you not love Alex? I can honestly say I never thought I would love a gangbanger as a hero. But the Alex we got to see as a reader was so sweet and passionate and when he loved, he loved with all his heart. Despite Alex’s situation, you really come to understand how he got to where he was and why it was so hard to get out of it. He’s just a boy trying to live his life the best he knows how, trying to survive and I really and truly felt for him throughout the story.
Now as for the story itself. It was perfect. I am normally a person that loves a clearly defined obstacle (outside of the romance) that the character has to overcome. However, this story needed nothing else. The fact that these two loved each other and where they came from was enough of a story to fill the pages and keep me from putting the book down.
Overall, I definitely recommend this one if you love a good young adult romance. Even if you’re not a big young adult fan, I think you’d love this one for the romance itself. It’s a great story about even better people and I can’t wait to read the next one!
P.S. LOVED the Epilogue. I laughed so hard! So cute and such a sweet ending!
Book Theme Song
I was listening to this song today after reading the book and although I’ve listened to this song many times, I noticed that some of the lyrics seemed to apply to Alex and Brittney’s life. So, I looked up the lyrics, and sure enough, to me at least, the words reminded me so much of them. They’re both forced and stuck in these stereotypical roles and don’t have much of a choice but to go along for the ride at this point.
So check it out while reading the lyrics below and tell me what you think. I’ve underlined the parts of the song I think most apply to one or both of them. The song is Helena Beat by Foster The People. Great song too! :]
Helena Beat by Foster The People
Sometimes life it takes you by the hair
Pulls you down before you know it, it’s gone
And you’re dead again
I’ve been places and I won’t pretend
Yeah I’d make it out just to fall on my head
Wake up strange and take the walk downstairs
Hit the pawn up on the corner and pay for my rent
You know that I could not believe my own truth
Just show them what I choose, got nothing to lose
Yeah yeah and it’s ok
I tie my hands up to the chair so I don’t fall that way
Yeah yeah and I’m alright
I took a sip of something poison but I’ll hold on tight
You know those days when you want to just choose
To not get out of bed, you’re lost in your head again
You play the game but you kind of cut
Cause you’re coming down hard and your joints are all stuck
I’ve tried to say that it’s not the only way
I never knew if I could face myself to change
You were pacing, I was insecure
Slip and fall, I’m dodging calls,
Hug the prison I’ve been living in
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