Friday, July 2, 2010

Book Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: December 23, 2008
Hardcover, 368 pages

My Review:
I am not sure I can write a coherent review for this book without sounding like a major gushing fangirl of Simone Elkeles (which I have become).  So I'll start by saying Perfect Chemistry is just an amazing book.  The plot, the characters, the writing, it all comes together beautifully in this tale of upper class meeting lower class and finding they have more in common than they ever thought.

On the surface it seems like such a simple plot, but in Perfect Chemistry everything comes together so well to make this simple plot so much more.  It's more than the class distinction, it's more than the self-discovery of both main characters, it's more than the look into gang life.   It just becomes an amazing story when you mix all of these together with two explosive characters like Brittany and Alex.

I loved both characters, though Alex made it tough in the beginning.  But with Brittany and his hidden desires for his future, Alex was truly redeemed and grew so much in my eyes.  Brittany seems a little spoiled in the beginning, but she becomes so much more through her interaction in Alex's world and her own self-discovery process.  Both characters have so many different facets to them and Ms. Elkeles does a wonderful job in their development.

I read this in about a day.  I found it hard to put down.  It's not a glossed-over book, there are rough situations, it has gang involvement and alcohol and drugs.  Neither character has it easy.  One would expect Brittany to have it easy, but Ms. Elkeles shows that even when someone looks like they have a perfect life, those looks can be deceiving.  A real page-turner and eye-opener, I enjoyed Perfect Chemistry from the first page to the last and look forward to reading Rules of Attraction (love it's cover) very soon.  Also on one more note - the Epilogue of this one is so awesome I put the book down smiling!

My Rating:  5.0/5.0

About the Book:
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.

About the Author:
SIMONE ELKELES has written three young adult novels, including Leaving Paradise, a Book Sense Pick. Simone was recently named Illinois Author of the Year by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. She lives in Illinois with her family. 

FTC Information: I checked out this book from my wonderful local library for my reading pleasure.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.