Monday, July 26, 2010

Book Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Release Date: December 23, 2008
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Length: 368 pages

A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.

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 love the original story of Romeo and Juliet. I'm a romantic at heart, and I find the idea of star-crossed lovers beautiful. Plus the fact that it makes for a really, really good story. And Perfect Chemistry is the Romeo and Juliet story, essentially, a reimagining I enjoyed reading about.

The characters of Brittany and Alex were far more interesting than the stereotypes it would have been easy to make them. Even Alex, who is practically the definition of the "bad boy," had a lot to his character, and I could see exactly why he was who he was. I think having the story told by both Alex and Brittany made this possible--we got both back stories and were able to understand each character's motivation.

Something about this book, though, just didn't do it for me. I think it might have been the pacing of the action and how it was spread across the course of the novel. Some parts felt a little rushed ("Wait, they're in love? Already?") and some parts dragged on. It wasn't enough to prevent me from enjoying the book, but it did put me off a little.

Overall, this was a fun, sweet book that I loved reading. I think practically every fan of young adult romances would enjoy this story like I did, and I would definitely recommend it.

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1 comment:

  1. Aw, this book sounds so good! I've been wanting to read it since forever, but haven't gotten the chance yep. Thank you for the honest review! :)