January 1, 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.
Wow. This was such an awesomely amazing book. I love everything about Perfect Chemistry. The main characters are fleshed out and through the first person point of view, I was able to make a deep connection with them. The side characters have their own stories to tell and they weren't just glanced upon but added to the complexity of the novel. I also enjoyed the realness of the story. Elkeles doesn't shy away from the realities of being a teenager and that includes sex. Perfect Chemistry is a highly addictive read that I will remember for years to come.
I really felt for Brittany. She puts up the facade of perfection for others around her to see so they won't see the problems in her life. Her parents are overly concerned with outward appearances and that influences their interactions with each other. Brittany adores her sister Shelley, who had cerebral palsy. She keeps up the perfect act so her parents have more time for Shelley and so they won't send her away. Brittany is a very complex character who goes through so much and her interactions with Alex changes her for the better. Their romance is forbidden which makes for an even crazier ride! There is so much chemistry between these two that I can practically feel the smoke coming from the pages! Their bantering with each other adds to their complicated relationship and makes for a wild romance.
Alex is as deep and complicated as Brittany. He puts on the tough gang member act so he can protect his family. He doesn't want his younger brothers to get involved in the Blood so he gets involved for them. Alex cares deeply for his family and will do anything for them. When he is assigned to be partners with Brittany in chemistry, he is upset that he has to work with Miss Perfect but takes advantage of it to tease her. Through their times together, Alex begins to see thaat Brittany isn't so perfect after all and even shows a little of who he really is to her. Though their relationship is not an easy one, they find that they cannot be without each other.
Through the character building, Elkeles weaves a fantasticly complex story. I enjoyed every moment of the novel and wish that I could have savored it more. I wasn't even 100 pages in when I had to go out and buy the sequel, Rules of Attraction! Elkeles is a superb author whose work is breathtaking! I can't believe it took me this long to try Perfect Chemistry but i'm glad that I finally did. If you're like me and have waited this long to read Perfect Chemistry, don't wait any longer. You won't be disappointed and will find yourself craving her other novels!