The premise is based on the Romeo and Juliet, 2 different sides of the track idea. These 2 kids are too different to make it work. They have different backgrounds, different lifestyles; too different for them even to associate with each other in school, let alone outside of school.
The kids from the north side don’t really mix with kids from the south side. It’s not that we think we’re better than them, we’re just different. We’ve grown up in the same town, but on totally opposite sides. We live in big houses on Lake Michigan and they live next to the train tracks. We look, talk, act, and dress different. I’m not saying it’s good or bad; it’s just the way it is in Fairfield.
Alex is a bad boy gang member and Brittany’s a prissy ice princess. Can you see where this is going? Yeah, I could too, after about the first page. But that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a chance. Because getting there is very very fun.
They have a near disastrous meeting in the parking lot on the first day of school then of course they’re immediately assigned to be lab partners in Chemistry class (based on the alphabetical order of their last names, natch). Initially, they barely tolerate each other and try to outsmart the other with their witty banter and attitudes.
But are the attitudes covering something? Could there be more beneath the surface? Or are the stereotypes true? When a fellow gang member offers his car in a bet to see if Alex can bed the perfect Brittany by Thanksgiving, he figures she’s too lily-white for him to truly be interested in. She means nothing to him, so of course he takes the bet.
They are forced to spend time together to work on their Chemistry project and pretty soon sparks start to fly. They begin to see another side of each other. Ice princess with a not-so-perfect home life? Check. Gang member with a heart of gold? Check. Clichés abound, but they work here. Elkeles’ writing makes them seem new and different. You can see the development of their relationship and it happens in a very believable way.
There is plenty of sizzle as their dislike turns to lust, both of them insisting there’s nothing there. Once they get past the stereotypes, their relationship moves at a lightning fast pace. They fall hard and fast, as teenagers tend to do.
Each chapter alternates between Alex’s and Brittany’s point of view which I felt made it easy to get into the story, to know what they are thinking. Both main characters, and most of the supporting players, are very well-developed. You care quickly about them and understand why they do the things they do. They are flawed and gritty and real.
There is cussing a’plenty (in 2 different languages – bonus!) and lusty sexy scenes that made my heart go pitter patter. But again, it all felt very real and honest.
The sum up: Perfect Chemistry rocks. The premise feels new and fresh. The romance is raw and honest. Put this on your must read list right now.
Alex Fuentes is a gang member from the South on the outskirts of
Chicago. Brittany Ellis is a privileged and popular girl from the
north, who seems to have it all. They are total opposites who will
never get along. When they are forced to be lab partners in their
chemistry class, "the results are bound to be explosive." With
stereotypes, impressions, and misconceptions about each other comes a
lot of expectations -- hate, pranks, arguments, among many others. But
what happens is one that they least expected; they fall in love. Can
they break through the boundaries and the walls that separate them both?
Review: This is West Side Story and Romeo and Julietcombined
in a Young Adult novel. Bad boy and Miss Popular starts off hating each
other's guts, and ends up falling in love. Sounds stereotypical?
Overdone? Not one bit. Simone Elkeles takes a seemingly "overdone" premise, and adds a new and modern twist to it.
going to have to confess, I'm a bit of a sucker for love stories, and
when they're well-told, it makes me love them even more. The story of
Alex Fuentes and Brittany Ellis is just what I was looking for. Yes, I
loved Perfect Chemistry! In fact, I loved it so much I was able to read this in just one sitting. While
this is mainly about their romance, it doesn't entirely dominate the
story. There are other important themes covered as well. However, the
truth is, the best parts about this book are the romance itself and the
two main characters. I love them! They were very realistic and
believable, and I was able to empathize with them as if they were my
own friends. It's one thing to read about characters, but it's another
when you are able to actually care about them.
Sure, there were
a few cliche lines here and there -- including the epilogue, even
though I still liked it haha. I also don't know if I would be able to
call this book "amazing" (define amazing anyway!?) but honestly? I
don't really care. It was still good. At the end of the day, I was
entertained. I cared about the characters and their story. Sometimes
that's all you really want in a book. So as not to make this review any
longer, I'm just going to say that I fell in love with Alex and
Brittany. Period. If you love YA, I highly recommend this one. 5 stars,
OMG. I completely loved this book with a capital LOVE. Seriously. The plot was amazing; it seemed like a modern version of Romeo and Juliet but a lot more awesome and interesting. And you could actually understand the meaning unlike Shakespearean English. The characters were definitely well written and I felt that I really got to know them - inside and out. They both hid their identities to their friends for fear of being found out and together, they managed to uncover their secrets and find their true selves. I really, really REALLY enjoyed this book so I was tearful when I had to part with it and return it to Hope. Haha oh well. Maybe I'll go buy it. :) Oh, and a little confession: after reading this book, I now have this weird thing for Mexican gang members. ;] I mean, the whole bad boy act? Wonderfully intense. ^^
This is the first book I have read by this author, and I will say right now - she has completely won me over! I absolutely LOVED this book! Told in alternating point of views, Elkeles took the most stereotypical characters and turned them into so much more.
Brittany is determined to be perfect. Its the only thing she knows how to do. She cant let anyone down or ruin the image she has worked her butt off for. Alex is a member of a Latino gang and has to be tough. He has toshow the world he doesn't give a crap. Both of them have embedded this image of themselves to live by, and think nothing will change that. They cant escape their lives, they were born to be who they were. But theyre not. Once these two characters let you into what is really going on with their lives. You see something different. Sure there is the perfect girl that isn't so perfect and the bad boy who wants more than life, but they sucked me right in and wouldn't let me go.
This book was a lot different read than most young adult I have come across. Simone does not sugar coat the character's feelings or what flies out of a character's mouth. This being said, if you don't like a whole lot of language or crude guy comments, (didn't bother me any, I use to roommate with three boys, I've heard and seen it all) - this book might not be for you. (Although I hope you can get over that because it really is a great story!)
It has the moments where I wanted to smack a few characters, (Colin and Darlene), laugh out loud, (the whole Was Paco in the bathroom? scene had me rolling!), and then bring me to the edge of my seat. There were times where I felt extremely nervous for Alex and Brittany because I wasn't for sure what the heck was going to happen next.
But the main thing I loved about this book was what I assume the author was getting across. Showing that even though there is diversity, and some people are born into this world rich, others born into this world poor - at the end of the day we are all still human. We all have our own set of dreams, disappointments, problems, and fears. I was surprised by the epilogue. Maybe because I haven't seen them that much in YA. I've read that some people weren't too fond of it, but to me, it was the perfect way to end the story.
In this Romeo and Juliet story set in modern time, Brittney, a pretty white girl from the upper side, begins to fall in love with Alex, a rough Mexican involved in the gang that killed his father. After being pared as partners in their chemistry class by a teacher who refuses to listen to their pleads to get new partners, Brittney and Alex soon discover that there is more than just words between them drawing each other together. As the pair of them fall into a romance that is sure to make the readers smile, each reveals more secrets that they themselves have been carrying, though this easily leads to problems.
A beautifully written story of a couple who, by social boundaries, can never be together, is sure to make any reader fall in love with the characters who come off of the page and simply seem real. All teens can relate to the emotions of wanting something they cannot have, and "Perfect Chemistry" drags these emotions to the brink where another person is the coveted object.
As view points alternate, the story goes deeper and reveals more to the reader than the characters know. As the reader is allowed into the minds of not one but two characters, the story winds with twists and turns that were never expected. A great read for any time of the year, "Perfect Chemistry" has something for all readers.
Perfect Chemistry is a story about finding love in the most unlikelist places.Britney is a rich ,perfect popular girl in the northern part of her town. Then teres Alex a poor gangster that lives down town. The beginning of the book the absolutly hate each other, then the are paired up together in biology class and start a budding romance. This book was fantastic. the plot was well drawn out.the romance is very unusual but very sweet.
From back cover: "At Fairfield High School, on the outskirts of Chicago, everyone knows that south siders and north siders aren't exactly compatible elements. So when head cheerleader Brittany Ellis and gang member Alex Fuentes are foreced to be lab partners in chemistry class, the results are bound to be explosive. But neither teen is prepared for the most surprising chemical reaction of all - love. Can they break through the stereotypes and misconceptions that threaten to tear them apart?"
I'm so so excited about this book! I just finished it today and it is one of the best books I've ever read. The romance between Brittany and Alex is so intense, as are Brittany and Alex's lives. I really liked this book because it is real; bad things happen to the characters... not only good things. Simone Elkeles is an other that I'll be watching closely... I definitely won't miss her next book!
Where do I begin? If you have read Romeo and Juliet, this is somewhat relating to the same characters with different situations, subsequently confronting eachother, which will eventually ruin the reputation of the venerable character, then they will figure out a mutual understanding by spending time together, which will collapse their relationship in the end, then they reconcile and greet one another with warmth and live happily ever after. But wait, what happens when the guy you're falling hard for turns out to be of Mexican blood. Step in the shoes of Britney Ellis, a popular majorette in the cheerleading squad, holding a strong position in leadership, currently dating the most handsome quarterback on the surface of the planet. All's well, that doesn't end well. Why does shakespeare always has to ruin the happy, jubilant moments of each soul's life. The novel takes twists and turns that reaches a climatic point in both of the characters lives. So typical love story, with an amazing passionate relationship. You will come across some explicit profanity in Alex's Dialogue, so this is an admonition for those who refuse to read stories that include elements of that sort.
Perfect Chemistry was honestly a book I thought I wouldn't like when I took it out at the library although after I finished the book....OMG!!! I couldn't put it down, I kept reading it over and over again. That helps me know NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER. Brittany and Alex had absolutely amazing chemistry and it honestly made me cry for like one whole minute. I really recommend this book.