Released: January 1, 2011
Bloomsbury: Walker Books for Young Readers
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.
I purchased Perfect Chemistry after reading so many good things about this series, and I am so pleased that I decided to read it (even though it isn't the most unique story I've read)!
I don't read much contemporary fiction, but I loved that Perfect Chemistry was a REAL story, and completely plausible. The ideas of racism and discrimination, and even just plain old prejudice against other individuals, is so prevelant and I'm so happy to see that Simone Elkes tackled this in such a way that she made an excellent book. I think the most important aspect to take away from this after reading it, is how Brittany and Alex learned that there's so much more to a person below their surface than what one might assume about them based off of appearances.
And Brittany, as an individual, appeared to grow so much into a strong, independent young woman who was able to fight for what she felt was right. Her relationship with her sister was endearing, and probably the most moving part of the entire book.
One thing that seemed a bit odd about Brittany: she didn't react the way I thought she would have after fighting with Colin. For someone who had been together with him a while, and though I understand she had mostly emotionally removed herself from the relationship, she still didn't seem very upset with him at the time which surprised me.
So at the end of Perfect Chemistry, I decided I better go order the next two books which are now (im)patiently waiting for me on my shelf ;)