Paperback, 360 pages
Published December 23rd 2008 by Walker Books for Young Readers
0802798225 (ISBN13: 9780802798220)
Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1)
Chicago, Illinois (United States)
Romance Writers of America RITA Award for Best Young Adult Romance (2010), An ALA/YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers for Top Ten (2010), Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award YA Nominee (2011), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2011)
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
At first I wasnt really sure as to whether I was going to really get on with the book because it appeared to be the normal cliche romance novel of two completely different people falling in love with one another. But actually there was a lot of things here that made it very different and unique, in that you could see the reality within the story and could see that it was something that could actually be happening around us. usually you find that the girl is the most perfect girl in the world, that everything about her life is perfect and that nothing could go wrong. But I liked the fact that the author took the time to show that this was not the case that this was merely an image that she painted because she didnt want people to see the struggles and battles that was going on within the write. I did find myself actually sympathizing with Brittany and connecting with her because she showed just how hard it is to meet the expectations of everyone else. But at the same time you could see that Alex was not who he was just because he could be, but that it was a choice that kept him safe and sound, that made sure his family was not in any sort of danger at all. the piece in this case was expressive because the characters had the personality that was needed in order for them to be more than just words. they came alive in front of your eyes.
The imagery was done wonderfully, in the sense that you was pulled into a whole new world, to envision what it was that was occuring, living the life with them. you could sense all the different emotions, confusion, love, anger and fear. you really just found yourself connecting with the piece and of course that makes it amuch more enjoyable novel to read because its not just words, its actually something! the story was well developed and although it was based of off the theme romeo and juilliet I honestly would not have thought it, merely because of how unique it just seemed to feel as I was reading it. I think that if I had to pick my favorite part its probably the bit where she is upchucking her guts, simply because you see that sneaky feeling of empathy from Alex, you get to see the sweet natured boy that he really is despite the fact that he is still trying to act macho and strong in front of everyone else. My worst part though was probably the prison scene, merely because this for me did not seem as well developed as it could have been but however in my opinion it was still written well.
I do enjoy books that touch on the taboos of life, that challenges the reader to think about how we all need to stop pushing people aside just because they are different races, ethnicities, hobbies to us. we have to accept that sometimes destiny chooses who we are meant to be with. Im not sure how the next book in the series will go but can only hope that its as good as this one and that if its not, then well... at least I got something from the series right?