Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: December 23, 2008
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Perfect Chemistry series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 5/5 stars
“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 have had this book on my TBR pile for some time now. This started a bit slow for me, but once I got into the story I was absolutely unable to put this book down. I ended up completely loving it.
The chemistry (no pun intended) between the two main characters is excellent. The situations they are in are tough and you end up really pulling for them and getting engaged in their lives. I was surprised at how completely I was sucked into this story and pulled into these characters’ lives.
This is a retelling of West Side Story. Alex is in a gang and lives a completely different life from Brittany. Brittany is your typical high society girl with all the privileges that come with being white and rich. Except that as the story continues you find out that neither Alex nor Brittany are typical anything. Despite their very different lives and upbringing, they face very similar struggles and this is the area where they really connect.
Overall I absolutely loved this book. It was a sweet and romantic coming of age story, with an interesting story, and engaging characters. It was absolutely impossible for me to put this book down once I started reading it; the story sucked me in hard and fast. I would recommend to those who enjoy new adult contemporary fiction with a heavy dose of romance. I will definitely be picking up the next two books in this series to read.