- Hardcover: 357 pages
- Publisher: Walker Books for Young Adults, 1/1/08
- Bookmarks: 5
- Brittany Ellis for all intents and purposes is perfect. Well to those who see her on the outside. She's pretty, she's got the blue eyes, the blonde hair, the perfect body, and a hot boyfriend everything a high school senior could want. But all this is going to change when the chemistry teacher decides to pair up students, rather than allow them to pick their own partners.
- Alex Fuentes is a gangbanger, he's got tattoos, he carries weapons and he does certain jobs that most people would call criminal. And he is now partnered up with the hottest girl in chemistry. She's afraid of him, he doesn't care for her, so what it there to do but start falling for each other.
- Yes, this book is Romeo and Juliet-esque, West Side Story-esque, Beauty and the Beast. But I found more depth to it.
- Brittany has a controlling mother who wants Brit to be perfect because her older sister, Shelly isn't. Shelly was born with Cerebral Palsy and is the Ellis' family failure. But Brittany adores her older sister, is able to communicate with her and play checkers with her. Mom would rather send her away to a nursing home so that she is out of sight. A way to pretend that she never happened. Nice mom. Brittany also shields what people see inside of her house, so not many people know about Shelly. To them, Brit lives a normal life.
- Alex is the main male figure in his family and will do anything to make sure that his two younger brothers and his single mom are safe. Even if it means his life to do it. His path is not to cross with Ms. Ellis, and it's certainly not to develop feelings.
- My only issue with this book was that Ms. Elkeles included a dare that Alex would eventually make love to Brittany. I understand the plot device, but as their feelings for each other grew, I found that device would be used to pry them apart and it did. But not in a way you would think it would've.
- I really liked Alex a lot. For all his faults, he was really a good guy and we get to see that early on. The introductions in chemistry class by Alex/Brittany is hysterical and I really laughed out loud. There was some typical typecasting of the best friends, frenemies, hot boyfriend, who went away for summer and got laid.
- It also addressed, that the grass isn't always greener in the other yard. Brittany really struggles with her parents and their need for her to look pitch perfect. Brittany's life was just as messed up as Alex's was, but in a different way.
- Each chapter is told in the POV of either Brittany or Alex, so you really get a sense of what they are struggling with and how their feelings evolve. It makes life easier than if it was in third person and you just base the feelings on what is being said or done.
- This story does end on a happy note and the epilogue was kind of heavy-handed, but it was what it was. I still enjoyed the story, even if it was a tale as old as time. I still think it deserves the 5 bookmarks I gave it.
- The second book in the series RULES OF ATTRACTION, comes out on April 13, 2010. Perhaps a birthday present for myself!
25 March 2010
Perfect Chemistry, Simon Elkeles
Reading Level: Young Adult
Posted by Laura Benson
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