Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
A modern tale of star-crossed lovers with a fresh urban twist.
At Fairfield High School, on the outskirts of Chicago , everyone knows that south-siders mixing with north-siders can be explosive. So when Brittany Ellis and Alejandro “Alex” Fuentes are forced to be lab partners in chemistry class, this human experiment leads to unexpected revelations – that Brittany ’s flawless reputation is a cover for her troubled home life, that Alex’s bad-boy persona hides his desire to break free from gang ties, and that when they’re together, life somehow makes more sense. Breaking through the stereotypes and expectations that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart, Perfect Chemistry takes readers to both sides of the tracks in a passionate love story about looking beneath the surface.
The pictures below are from the book trailers for the series – so, the actors are the ‘real’ characters!
I have covered this briefly before, but here’s a longer review.
This is one of the best YA romances out there, and it’s easy to see why it won a RITA Award. Dealing with a guy ‘from the wrong side of the tracks’ who is trapped in a dangerous gang, and his unlikely and therefore emotional relationship with the princess of the school, this is all Romeo and Juliet-y without the suicides.
This is the first in a trilogy and definitely the best, bringing fresh storytelling and an excellent plot with twists and turns. I love how the author smashed a thousand stereotypes. The scenes between Brittany and her special needs sister and Alex and his best friend were especially touching.
It seems that 99.9% of YA authors write ‘bad boys’ these days, but it isn’t often they pull it off this successfully. The characters are three-dimensional instead of cardboard cut-outs and there’s not the rampant misogyny that usually comes with the territory.
I do love this book to pieces and my complaints are few:
I’m not sure why so many YA books finish with marriage and children. To me, it moves the book out of the “Young Adult” realm. I’m also never thrilled when book characters use terms like ‘dumb blonde’. I’m blonde – it’s incredibly inaccurate and offensive!
This is one of those YA books that has fans of all ages, even people who claim not to enjoy YA. Everyone will be able to find a way to sympathise with the stories of the characters in Perfect Chemistry. If you’re like me, you’ll probably read this one more than once!
Posted on 03/05/2013, in Books, Young Adult Fiction, Young Adult Issues, Young Adult Romance, Young Adult Suspense and tagged Books, Simone Elkeles, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction, Young Adult Romance. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.