Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Perfect Chemistry Trilogy #1
YA Romance, Published 2008
Challenges: YA, Series IV
Read Oct 2010, 357 pages
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.
LOOOOVED IT! I read this one in 2 sittings and just could not put it down. I can’t help it, I love me a bad boy! hehe I can definitely see what all the Simone Elkeles rage is about. As soon as I finished this one, I immediately picked up the second in the series, Rules of Attraction, which is not a direct sequel, but rather based on Alex’s younger brother, Carlos. The third in the trilogy will be based on the youngest Fuentes brother, Luis, entitled Chain Reaction and comes out May 24, 2011, according to Amazon. I think I have since collected all of Simone Elkeles’ works to read in between now and when Chain Reaction is released.
The story flips back and forth between Brittany and Alex’s view points, which keeps the tension and flirting at a maximum level. Brittany is the most popular girl in school, on the pom squad, and is dating the most popular boy in school, the football jock. But she has her secrets that even her best friend barely knows about. Then there’s Alex. He lives on the other side of town, you know the bad part of town. He’s earned his way into the Latino Bloods gang in order to protect his mother and two younger brothers. His only retreat from the hard gangbanger life is attending school. When Alex and Brittany are paired up in Chemistry class, they initially hate each other for who they think each other is. But they soon start to see glimpses into each others’ true selves and sparks begin to fly between the forbidden couple.
I love Alex. That’s all I can say. Overall, I loved it (if you can’t tell already), but I’m not sure how I feel about the ending and epilogue. I think it was a little too sappy for me, but it didn’t stop me from picking up Carlo’s story.
If you love the bad boy turned good story, I would recommend Tara Janzen’s Steele Street series. It’s not YA though. I’ve currently only read #1 and #9 in the series. Here’s my review for #9 – Loose and Easy.