**spoiler alert** I actually liked this book more than the first one. The storyline was more interesting and funny, and there were a lot more romance...more**spoiler alert** I actually liked this book more than the first one. The storyline was more interesting and funny, and there were a lot more romance between Maggie and Caleb. I found that I liked the moments between them the most out of the whole story. Both characters have changed quite a bit over the two books. They’ve grown and become stronger and it’s because of each other that they have the courage to face what they otherwise wouldn’t have. I think they bring out the best in each other and considering their past and history, that’s pretty remarkable.
I loved all the new characters in the program they participated it. Matt, Erin and especially Lenny and Trish were really cool and they added a degree of fun and lightness to the story. Lenny was gross and crude, but I liked him. He was a nice guy underneath, and I liked the bickering and flirty relationship he developed with Trish. It was funny. I’m glad the truth finally came out in this book. After the first one ended, I wasn’t sure that anyone would ever learn the truth about Leah’s involvement in the accident. It shows a lot of strength on her part to finally face her actions and accept the consequences. Caleb’s whole family were destroyed after that accident, and yet I don’t feel he really had anything made up to him. He selflessly took the blame over Leah’s actions and people, including his own mother and father, treated him horribly over it. His life was destroyed and altered forever and still he will pay for that for a long time. I’m glad he and Maggie are going to have a future together though and I think the story ended well. (less)
**spoiler alert** Brilliant, simply brilliant! It’s no secret that my usual genre is paranormal romance. I tend to like and enjoy books that have a su...more**spoiler alert** Brilliant, simply brilliant! It’s no secret that my usual genre is paranormal romance. I tend to like and enjoy books that have a supernatural element about them, and I haven’t read a lot of regular, day to day non-supernatural books, however I LOVE the Perfect Chemistry series! Both this book and the one before it are stunning and I literally devoured this book reading it in less than one day. The storyline was gritty and real, the characters conflicted and flawed, while still being strong and entertaining. They were all fabulous characters, from the main two Kiara and Carlos, to Kiara’s dad and her little brother Brandon. Kiara was a pretty cool female lead. It was good to see that she wasn’t perfect.....that she had insecurities and issues within herself, and yet she was still strong and daring; always up for a challenge. Carlos was very hot, and I loved his cocky, sarcastic attitude. At first I was surprised to see how much he’d changed from the first book. In Perfect Chemistry he wasn’t as brutal and messed up. It was obvious from the very start of this book that’d he’d taken the dark road that his brother fought so hard to be free off. The chemistry and connection between Kiara and Carlos was wonderful. I thought it was really believable how they fell for one another. I loved in the beginning with the cookies in Carlos’s locker. That bit had me cracking up! I liked that they bickered and pranked each other, it was funny and entertaining. I thought it was really sweet how Kiara wasn’t really the typical girl that Carlos went for, and how in the beginning he didn’t see her as attractive or anything worth pursuing in that way. And yet, even from the very beginning he was lost......as she was everything he never knew he wanted, or needed, and in the end he couldn’t help but fall for her. One of the other things I enjoyed heaps about this book was seeing Alex and Brittany again. It’s always great when the characters you’ve come to treasure so much in the first book make an appearance in the second. I loved seeing Alex trying so desperately to save Carlos from destroying his life and that family still means a lot to him.
I recommend this book (and the first, obviously) with my heart and soul and I CANNOT wait to read the youngest Fuentes, Luis story. I will be eagerly awaiting its release! (less)
**spoiler alert** This book was really heart-felt. When I began reading I found myself sucked into the story and I ended up reading it in less than on...more**spoiler alert** This book was really heart-felt. When I began reading I found myself sucked into the story and I ended up reading it in less than one day. The story was real and raw. It was set in a normal small town, and I found everything that happened to be believable and relatable. The pain and torment the two main characters felt really got to me. They were both two people who had their lives turned upside down by one moment. One second where a single action changed their lives forever, leaving them messed up and left to face how things had changed. I really felt for Maggie, and yet I wanted nothing more than for her to begin to move passed her past. She needed to move on from the accident and who would have guessed that the person who would help her do that....was Caleb. The boy who had spent the past year in jail over the accident that crippled her. My heart broke for Caleb from the very beginning. Even though you believed he was responsible for the accident, I couldn’t help but feel so terribly bad for him. He faced ridicule and alienation from the people in his life who should have loved him the most....his mother, his father, his sister. Despite what he’d been convicted of; they should have been the ones who stood by him and supported him in those moments when he needed it. Instead they didn’t. They pretended everything hadn’t changed and lived in a false world, where nothing was real and everything was perfect. They wanted to pretend....and you can’t pretend with something like that. They believed the worst of him without even considering that maybe he hadn’t done the things people were saying he’d done.
The relationship between Maggie and Caleb was a very interesting one. Here were two people who really should have hated and despised each other, and yet when push came to shove they were the only one who could have possibly understood what the other was going through. No one else could have possibly have come close. It shows a lot of inner strength for someone like Maggie to forgive someone like Caleb for his actions. And yet, despite everything that they’d managed to create and move on from they still continued to have real issues up until the end. There was a lot that Maggie was unwilling to let go of or face and it was that inability to face those issues that ultimately set in motion the events that would lead Caleb to leave Paradise..... I really liked Mrs. Reynolds. She played a big role in helping Maggie and Caleb come together and some of the things she both did and said went a long way in helping the two tormented teenagers.
My only issue with this book is that I feel the ending was kinda rushed and abrupt. I felt that Maggie's sudden acceptance of everything that had happened was slightly farfetched. While I was glad she was ready to move on I also felt that it came about rather suddenly. She seemed to understand that it was really Leah who had hit her and forgiven her rather quickly. It seemed like Simone Elkeles was in a rush to get over the story and when I would have expected to see a lot more anger and shock from Maggie over those revelations, she felt too much acceptance. Perhaps that’s in account that there is a sequel, I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to reading it and finding out. This was a good book and I enjoyed reading it. (less)
**spoiler alert** This was an exceptional book. I loved it. The author’s done an incredible job. The story was gritty and raw, yet beautiful and sweet...more**spoiler alert** This was an exceptional book. I loved it. The author’s done an incredible job. The story was gritty and raw, yet beautiful and sweet. I found the story to be both believable and realistic, while entertaining and captivating at the same time. This book showed us the harsh, dark role of gang members within their society. We catch a glimpse into their world through Alex’s eyes and their ideas of honour and family. And what it means to be a part of that. I really liked Brittany and Alex. They were two very different and yet somewhat similar people. Brittany was a very strong female lead. It may have seemed like she was the golden girl, with the perfect life and perfect world, but when we looked deeper and when she was willing to show things about herself to Alex, we saw that she was more than just a pretty face. What I found I loved about Alex the most, was that he saw things for how they really were. While he was part of a gang and while it was a necessity, he still understood that it wasn’t necessarily a good thing. And even though he portrayed the image to others that he was a hard-ass and didn’t care, he knew what being a gang member meant for him. And more importantly, what it didn’t mean......a future, a life free of violence and death. What I loved most about Brittany and Alex falling for one another was how it happened gradually, with each of them learning the others deepest secrets and coming to understand each other the way they did. Their relationship was beautiful and sweet. While they may seem like an unlikely pair, they appeared to connect with each other in a way that others hadn’t. And they saw each other in a way others didn’t. Even though things between them began due to Alex’s bet, it was wonderful to watch him actually begin to care for her and want to be respectful towards her. It was very sweet! I was sad to see Paco die. I really liked him. Other than Alex, he seemed like the only other gang member worth saving. However, I was happy with the ending of the book. I loved seeing Alex leave the gang and that old life behind him, choosing Brittany, and choosing to be a better person.
I loved this book, and I defiantly recommend it! (less)