By Simone Elkeles
YA Contemporary Romance
Simone went to my little sister's school because I was a winner of her giveaway. She was one of the nicest and funniest authors that I have ever met, and I've met quite a few authors.
Simone and her books change lives.
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.
Brittany Ellis is the most popular, perfect girl at Fairfield High school. She has to project the image that she and her family is perfect but she and her entire family has plenty of imperfections. Her mother is mean, her father is never mentally present whenever he is home, and her sister has a mental slowness. So Brittany has to pretend to be the most perfect girl in town.
Alex Fuentes is the most thoughtful and loving gang member you will ever meet. He pretends to be tough and mean but deep down he has a huge heart. He's in Latino Blood to keep his family safe, and younger brothers away from gangs. He never did anything for himself.
Throw them together in chemistry and force them to become partners, this happens:
"'Miss Ellis?" Mrs. Peterson says. 'It's your turn. Introduce Alex to the class.'
'This is Alejandro Fuentes. When he wasn't hanging out on street corners and harassing innocent people this summer, he toured the inside of jails around the city, if you know what I mean. His secret desire is to go to college and become a chemistry teacher, like you, Mrs. Peterson.'
Brittany flashes me a triumphant smile, thinking she's won this round. Guess again, gringa.
'This is Brittany Ellis,' I sat, all eyes now focused on me. 'This summer she went to the mall, bought new clothes so she could expand her wardrobe, and spent her daddy's money on plastic surgery to enhance her, ahem, assets. Her secret desire is to date a Mexicano before she graduates.'
Slowly, the two of them realize there is more depth to the both of them than they allow anyone to see, and that they are more alike than anyone else they know. Brittany brings out the goodness in Alex and together they try to fight the odds even though they are from different sides of the tracks.
Alex takes a bet that he could get into Brittany's pants before Halloween. That is what starts his pursuit to the perfect barbie who he thought was as shallow as a kiddie pool. He didn't want ot lose Julio, his motorcycle he built by himself. They then begin to break down each other's walls and experience new things.
Simone brings to life two wonderful characters. This book teaches people to not judge a person based on rumors and appearance. It was beautiful to watch two unlikely people fall head over heals for each other. I felt their love as if it were my own.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves YA contemporary, forbidden love stories, or books that bring awareness about youth gang members and trying to find where you belong.