Jordan_3, September 12, 2011 (view all comments by Jordan_3)
I finished this book in about a day and a half. One word that comes to mind for this book is PHENOMINAL!!! I just couldnt put the book down, and i didnt want to go to bed till i was done. I Need an Alex in my life! :) Now, i cant wait to move on to your other books and enjoy them also. I love this book and would reccommend it to anyone. LOVEDLOVEDLOVEDLOVEDLOVED IT!!!!!!!!! 8D XD
Stormy, August 15, 2011 (view all comments by Stormy)
The story is that Latino Blood member, Alex, makes a bet with his friends that he can get into the popular, rich, white girl's pants by Thanksgiving. During the process of him trying to seduce her and her trying to stay perfect they fall in love. His gang business gets in the way of their relationship because she doesn't want anything to happen to him. He's changed in this time of being with Brittany and decides he wants to better his life because of Brittany's influence and wanting to be with her. There is a lot of other drama and amazingly sweet encounters between them but I want you to figure these out for yourself.
I really liked this book. Its funny, sweet, and real. I could really relate to this story in some ways. I grew up in a bad neighborhood with all the drugs and gangs and though I never got sucked in, I've met people under the influence of those things and actually fell in love with one at one point and changed his life like Brittany did for Alex. So this story and its sequels really mean a lot to me and hit close to home every time. I can promise that you will love it.
The Eager Readers, July 22, 2010 (view all comments by The Eager Readers)
Set against the backdrop of a fictional Chicago suburb, Perfect Chemistry is the story of two teenagers from opposite sides of the tracks. As the first book in Simone Elkeles' trilogy about the Fuentes brothers, Perfect Chemistry introduces the eldest brother Alejandro (Alex) and his reluctant lab partner Brittany, a wealthy girl who tries very hard to maintain a 'perfect' image in order to please her parents and peers.
What I Liked:
- I am a sucker for stories about star-crossed lovers, so I liked the premise. Seeing two polar opposites who despise each other (but obviously belong together) forced to be chemistry lab partners is entertaining.
- I liked the way the protagonists gradually began to look beneath the surface to get to know one another. Brittany and Alex each face a lot of pressure outside of school, and I enjoyed seeing them both let their guards down to show each other a glimpse of what really motivates them.
- The fact that Alex's life seemed to be headed toward more and more dangerous territory kept me turning the pages in hopes that he would find a way out of the Latino Blood gang, and overall this book felt like a fast, compelling read.
- The novel's structure, with one chapter from Brittany's point-of-view and the next from Alex's, works very well for this story and makes it easy to connect with each character and to understand what lurks beneath the carefully-constructed images they each portray to the world.
- I have a sister with cerebral palsy, and I enjoy seeing characters with disabilities featured in YA novels. In this case, Brittany's sister Shelley has cerebral palsy. Although Shelley is not the main focus of the story, Brittany's affection for and attachment to her sister is central to her personality and to the challenges she faces in her home life.
- The difficult choices each of the protagonists struggle with are realistic and aren't necessarily black and white issues with one wrong choice and one right. I liked the complexity in their lives, and it made the sweet scenes sweeter and the heartbreaking scenes more heartbreaking.
What I Disliked:
- Most of the main plot points in this book can be anticipated from a mile away. While Brittany and Alex might be surprised to find themselves falling for one another, the reader will not be at all surprised by their attraction to one another or by the obstacles they encounter.
- Several over-used plot devices come into play in this book, robbing the story of a bit of its originality. Of the common plot elements, I thought Alex's bet was the one used least creatively and most predictably.
- A few scenes just did not ring true for me. At times I felt that a character's actions (or lack of actions) were inconsistent with their personality, and a couple of scenes seemed inserted purely for melodrama or for a sunshine-and-lollipops happy ending.
- The pacing of the novel faltered in the final inning. Time passes a day or a week at a time throughout the first fifty-five chapters, but the the last few chapters skip months ahead and feel more like an extended epilogue than a continuation of the story.
- I did not like the ending at all! I can't really elaborate without revealing spoilers, but UGH. :(
Fans of contemporary YA romance and good girl/bad boy stories will probably enjoy this book. Several reviewers whose opinions I value and respect have given this book glowing reviews, so perhaps my complaints about this novel stem partially from the fact that contemporary YA is not my favorite genre. Despite my complaints, I did enjoy some aspects of the story and I am tempted to pick up the second book, Rules of Attraction, to see if I find Carlos' story more enjoyable and believable than Alex's.
Parisa, August 28, 2009 (view all comments by Parisa)
Do you ever just feel like straight up contemporary YA about first loves and best friends and all that good stuff?
I do, especially with the influx of paranormal and fantasy the past few years. PERFECT CHEMISTRY was just the book I was looking for. A West Side Story-esque tale about the perfect preppy girl and the guy from the wrong side of the tracks. (I love it when the guy is from the wrong side of the tracks.)
This story has it all. Love, new friendships, old friendships, sex, drugs, violence, gangs, dysfunctional families, being yourself. Any issue a teen might want is in there. And the chemistry between Alex and Brittany is sizzling hot.
Usually in books like this the focus is on only one of the main characters, but the chapters in this book alternated POVs between Alex and Brittany. A great touch. Very satisfying.
Walker & Company -
Simone Elkeles' New York Times best-selling series—a unique urban twist on the classic star-crossed lovers story—is now repackaged with a fresh new cover.
When dark and stormy Gray meets light and lively Dylan, they fall easily into love. But love takes work--and sometimes having to say you're sorry.
Like his name, Gray is dark and stormy. Dylan, a girl always searching for what's next, seemingly unable to settle down, is the exact opposite: full of light and life. On the outside, they seem like an unlikely couple. But looks can be deceiving and besides, opposites attract.
What starts as friendship, turns into admiration, respect and caring, until finally these two lone souls find they are truly in love with each other.
But staying in love is not as easy as falling in love. If Dylan and Gray want their love to last, they're going to have to work at it. And learn that sometimes love means having to say you're sorry.
Get swept away in the first book of the sensational romantic drama that isRomeo and Juliet meets Justified.
WHAT HAPPENS when the teenage heirs of two bitterly FEUDING FAMILIES cant stay away from each other?
The Rhodales and the Whitfields have been sworn enemies for close on a hundred years, with a whole slew of adulterous affairs, financial backstabbing, and blackmailing thats escalated the rivalry to its current state of tense ceasefire.
ITS TIME TO LIGHT THE FUSE . . .
And now a meth lab explosion in rural Whitfield County is set to reignite the feud more viciously than ever before. Especially when the toxic fire that results throws together two unlikely spectators—proper good girl Victoria Whitfield, exiled from boarding school after her fathers real estate business melts down in disgrace, and town motorcycle rebel Mickey Rhodale, too late as always to thwart his older brothers dangerous drug deals.
Victoria and Mickey are about to find out the most passionate romances are the forbidden ones.
. . . ON A POWDER KEG FULL OF PENT-UP DESIRE, risk-taking daredevilry, and the desperate actions that erupt when a generation of teens inherits nothing but hate.
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