Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles


Brittany has what you would call a "perfect" life in her city of Springfield, Chicago. She is blonde, beautiful, and rich. She is the captain of the Pom Squad and is dating a football player named Colin. Alejandro, or Alex, lives a completely different life on the South Side of town. He is a member of the Latino Blood, an all Mexican gang, and lives in a small house where he shares a bedroom with his two younger brothers. Everything changes for Alex and Brittany when they are lab partners in Chemistry class, after an incident in the parking lot at school. Throughout the months until November, (The time that Alex's friends bet he couldn't get into Brittany's pants by.) Brittany and Alex seem to be reluctantly drawn to eachother as they realize they have a lot in common, like wanting to get into college and provide a good life for their family, and their relationship turns down a scary and strange path.

In a short four word sentence, THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. Simone Elkeles, I applaud you. Simone Elkeles has truly mastered a complicated love story in Perfect Chemistry, a story well told in first person by Alex and Brittany. First of all, she can REALLY make you love a character. I loved Alex from the beginning, and hated Colin until the end. I'd never have thought I would like a "bad boy", but like many of my other favorite authors, Elkeles adds a soft side to her bad boy. It's endearing seeing how gentle Alex is with Brittany, and especially when he interacts with Brittany's disabled older sister. She also makes the characters" connection to family highly relatable, because both of the characters would do anything for anyone but themselves. Not only that, but the plot has the most amazing twists and turns, though I don't want to spoil the book for you :) And I love the dialogue Elkeles uses. The way she makes Alex talk makes him even more irrestible, and the Spanish slang that she uses throughout the book really makes it more realistic, and even if you don't know exactly what the words mean, by the tone she gives her characters you can somewhat understand them. In short, this is an amazing book. ALTHOUGH, if you blush with steamy scenes, you might have to skip over some parts. It's not explicit, but it's not innocent either.
Love Always,

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