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Book Reviews
March 4, 2009 posted by Nikki

Perfect Chemistry – Simone Elkeles

Brittany is a picture of the perfect American girl. She’s blonde, beautiful and head of the cheerleading squad. She’s smart, too, and comes from a well-to-do middle class family. And just like the icing on an already piece of sublime cake, Brittany is dating the quarterback of the football team. Perfect, right?

Maybe, but maybe not, too.

Things certainly look perfect in Brittany’s life, but she’s harboring some deep secrets that she protects with her life. Her older sister is severely disabled and neither of her parents seems to care about her enough to do anything about it. The only reason they haven’t shipped her off to a nursing home yet is because Brittany flat-out refuses to let them do it. Through all her difficulties, Brittany loves her sister and can’t comprehend how her parents can be so cavalier about their first-born child. But her parents are all about appearances, you see, and having a severely disabled daughter contradicts the image they’ve built for themselves.

As if Brittany didn’t already have enough on her plate, on the first day of senior year her Chemistry teachers pairs her up with Alex Fuentes in class – and they’re bound to each other for the entire school year.

Alex Fuentes is not the picture of the perfect American boy. He’s Mexican, for one, and the biggest bad ass that attends Fairfield High School. Hot, right?

Totally.

But he’s part of a gang which is much more serious than just a schoolyard group of bullies throwing their weight around. His father was part of this gang, and so are most of the boy and men in his Mexican community. They’re involved in some serious stuff – like drug dealing, for example – and now that Alex is getting older, his superiors expect him to step up to the plate.

When Alex is paired with Brittany, his friends make a bet with him and set him a challenge he can’t refuse: Alex must get Brittany to sleep with him before the end of the school year. Not one to walk away from a challenge, Alex accepts and sets about wooing his new chemistry partner. The thing is, Alex actually starts falling for this wholesome, clean-cut chick and things suddenly become more complicated than he ever imagined. But Brittany is a smart girl, she’d know better than to fall for Alex’s charade, right? And what about Colin – her quarterback boyfriend? As she spends more time with Alex, Brittany realises that no one has ever made her feel more alive, made her feel more intensely than he does.

Simone Elkeles carves an intense, emotional roller-coaster ride for anyone who dares to step aboard. Her characters are real, alive and dynamic in every which way. I felt like I knew Alex intimately, even though I’ve never met a soul like him in all my years. Brittany is uniquely different from most typical American high school girls found in young adult fiction today. She might look like an American trophy chick, but she’s deeply sensitive and completely misunderstood by the rest of her classmates. The world could learn a thing or two from Brittany’s example.

They’re different in every way and they have many obstacles to overcome, but are they strong enough – individually and together – to run the gauntlet that becomes their lives?

Perfect Chemistry is a touching story that demonstrates that love knows no boundaries, but that humanity knows far too many. I adored every freaking minute of this book and would give my left little toe to go back and read it for the first time over again. A completely unputdownable read.

Rock on Simone, Rock on.

Rating:: ★★★★★

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38 Comments

  • This book sounds awesome! i really hope i win the giveaway!

  • We’re opening the competition on the main page today…

    Awesome

  • I know! i entered! i wanna win it!

  • This book sounds so amazing, and my best friend has praised it all the way to the stars and back again, so I can’t wait till they deliver it in front of my door in less than five days.
    I’m gonna rip the package open and I won’t do anything but read until I’ve turned the last page.
    I really love your detailed and yet excellent reviews, which are by far the most interesting I’ve stumbled upon.

  • Thanks Noelle,

    I try and put a lot of effort into all my reviews. I also try to be honest, which I think is important.

  • omg!!! i love this book, are you going to make a sequele? you know like have thier son Paco in it? i cried at the end! but it was happy!! i knew Alex couldn’t stay away from Brittany, even if his life counted on it, and the only thing that kept him alive when the were beating him is Brittany. Thank you so much for becoming a writer!!! I so support you. let me know if you make new books to this!!!

  • this book was truly amazing. it kind of reminds me of my situation alot! and my name is brittany too lol

  • this book is awesome! i love, love, love it! more than twilight!! it would be soooo cool if there was a sequel about alex and brittany in college. maybe some action happens. i love this book!!!

  • i deffinately think this should be made a movie. this would kick twilights ass. if anyone knows any movie producers you should deffffffinatellly consider it. this book gave me chills. i read it in a day, and i only read on occasion.

    i think i secretly fell in love with alex.

  • I agree, so much better then Twilight! Please make it a movie! I think it’s so perfect! I LOVE THIS BOOK! Best book ever! I just finished reading it today on the bus and I had tears in my eyes! It’s so touching and I so hope you continue the series, I would love to know what happens to Alex’s brothers, or Alex and Brittany!

  • yes!! yes!!! please continue the series!! and please not one where its different main characters!!

  • omg! i love this book! i cried at the end. i think theres a sequel to this book and i cant wait to read it! 😀

  • It’s not cheerleading. Pom squad.

  • goodness where can i get a copy of this??!!!! oh and how long is it because i think the suspense for a sequel would kill me if this bok was too short!

  • This was one of the most amazing books I have read, I will never get tired of reading it I HIGHLY recommend this book

  • Omg I love ur book so bad this is the secon time I read it omg n pleas make another book about what happends with alex n his son paco o and realy think about making it into a movie I would be the first one to buy it and I think I fealt in love with alex pleas make it into a movie

  • From 1 through 10, I would give this book a 1000000000000000000000000000000000000…..
    Perfect Chemistry is really good! The characters are so fresh and their dialogue is so witty and funny!

  • Omg I love this book! It’s my favorite! It’s gonna be a trilogy and the second one called Rules Of Attraction will be out 4/13/10 and is about Carlos, Alex’s little bro. (:

  • when I read this, I didn’t know what to expect.
    I have enjoyed it from start to finish, I couldn’t stop reading it.
    I instantly fell in love with bad boy Alejandro and enjoyed reading his story more.
    The book it’s self is so original, it’s no fantasy book, like Hush, Hush or the Immortals, just two teenagers.

    one chapter Brittany tells her story and how she feels her life is going, and how much she hates Alex. The struggles she goes through with her home life, and being seen as ‘perfect’ to the world, and her poor sick sister.

    and the other (which I enjoy more) they alternate turns, is Alejandro and what he plans to do with Brittany. How his past took over his life by his fathers death, from the age of * right in front of him, and how dangerous it is for the two of them to be together, while he’s in the Latino Blood gang.

    The writing is very small, but I wanted to them to be smaller so there’s more book, cause there’s only 300 pages all together, but I can’t wait for the sequel I will read it if there is.

  • A-m-a-z-i-n-g!! I am soo in love with simple “chemistry” between Alex and Brittany and i was also in love with there images and the way they are written! Alex’s Mexican lifestyle was so different to any book i had a read and i instantly fell in love with the connection they share as a family. And i also fell in love with poor Brittany and ofcourse Shelly because you can’t not love shelly!! A great read from start to finish and i can’t wait to read Carlos’ book!!!! :))

  • this book is the best prfect emotions and gangs
    i couldnt get over it people read this book

  • im 20 pages in. cant stop reading. buy this, download this, whatever you want JUST READ THIS BOOK!

  • I agree with Amber, this book have to become a movie, It’s so amazing…
    I love the book, and I fell in love with Alex too (L), I really like bad boys, they are kinda special! I just love them..! And alex is not the exception, he is so sweet and charming with Brittany, It’s sooo…Where can I get an Alex???
    *sigh* 😀
    Well, the thing is that I loved the book since the very first time, and now is one of my favorites books, well is the favorite (:
    °°Sorry for my bad English, I speak Spañish°°

  • Omg the book was amaziiin i cried at the end but serious a definate read xxx

  • I have to stay, Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction are one of my favorite love books. Its hard not to fall in love with Alex and Carlos, they are just so sexy and amazing. <333. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys forbidden love and such. :]gosh, i cry reading each of these books, not from sadness, buh from happiness. :] I strongly recommend anyone who has read perfect chemistry to definitely read rules of attraction . <33 im very excited to read more of her other stories. :]

  • Superb review, Liz. I thought this book was hella fun and passed it on as much as I could. What a good read it is. And thanks for the heads up on the sequel! Can’t wait.

  • Loved This Book! x
    Great Review!!

  • this book is freakin awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MAKE IT A MOVIE ………… I LOVE IT :)

  • I love this book! No words can describe how just truely amazing this was written. I really hope this becomes a movie because it would be a completely different story to all the other movies out there and it would be a major hit!

  • loved it

  • This book is just soo amazing , alex is soo <3 ! Lls !
    I feelas if alex is a real person , but yet he isn't . The sequel to this book is amazing (: ! I read both and I'm reading onther book by her she just and amaxing writter

  • this book is amazing… i finsh the book in one day cause it was so interesting

  • Perfect Chemistry is PERFECT. I love Alex and Brittany. Best YA romance I’ve read in a long time. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

  • I really liked this book as well! I love how Brittney and Alex’s characters were both shown to be pretending on some level… except when they were allowed to be together. :)
    – Alyssa of Redhead Heroines
    Book Review of “Perfect Chemistry” by Simone Elkeles

  • this is the most amazing book i have ever read
    ive read it about 10 times and i’ll probably read it again :)
    i love the characters especially alex and watching them change and see who they truly are as the book goes on
    AMAZING book simone elkeles :)

  • ugh this book, and the series, is too incredible for words. I couldn’t put any of them down. I think id cut my little toe off too..lol

  • Any books of the same genre which are as incredibly awesome as this trilogy?

  • This book is amazing! The most romantique book I’ve ever readed! It’s so real. This is the best book I’ve ever read seriously. Everyone must read this book.
    I promise you, you won’t have regret.

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