MelissaB's Reviews > Perfect Chemistry

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
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Sep 17, 10

bookshelves: kindle, young-adult, 2010-reads, first-person-pov, favorite-romances, best-heroes, bad-boys-like-good-girls, tattooed-bad-boy-hotties, motorcycle-riding-hotties
Recommended for: readers who like bad boy heroes and Romeo and Juliet type stories
Read on September 17, 2010

Perfect Chemistry is a wonderful story, I loved reading it. The story is about two high school seniors from two very different lifestyles who fall in love despite their differences.

Brittany Ellis has the perfect life from the outside – she is beautiful, rich and popular at school. However, her home life is not a fairy tale. Her older sister has major health problems which she helps out with as much as possible because her parents can’t seem to deal with her. Her mother has anxiety issues and expects Brittany to put forth a perfect image at all times while her father is always working. Brittany also has the perfect football player boyfriend to complete her image who she didn’t see over the summer only to find things strained when school begins.

Alejandro Fuentes is a Latino man from the south side of town. He is the man of his house, taking care of his two younger brothers and his mother. His secret wish is to get out of the violent lifestyle he lives and go to college but he knows that isn’t possible for him. He joined the Latino Bloods gang to protect his family because he had no choice, now he is stuck because you don’t just walk away from a gang – you either die or wish you would have died if you tried to leave. Alex refuses to deal drugs but he does have to collect money from people and resort to violence, which is all he has known on his side of town.

On the first day of class, Alex and Brittany get into a clash before school over a parking lot incident. Then they are both in the same chemistry class and are assigned to work together as partners. Alex thinks Brittany is a fake white b*tch, while she thinks he is a scary druggie gang member so they don’t exactly hit it off. Alex makes a bet with a friend that he can sleep with Brittany before Thanksgiving, so he decides to try to seduce her. As they start to get to know each other, Alex and Brittney find that despite outside appearances, they have a lot in common. They both hide behind a fake persona they created, Alex as a tough gang banger and Brittany as a perfect popular girl.

Alex and Brittany are both attracted to each other but Brittany has her perfect football player boyfriend. She is very attracted to Alex but doesn’t see how they could be together. She eventually gets the courage to go after what she wants in life instead of maintaining a façade, so she dumps her boyfriend and goes after Alex. Her feelings aren’t one-sided but Alex lives a dangerous lifestyle that he isn’t sure Brittney should be anywhere near. He starts to think maybe he can actually graduate and hope for a future but he doesn’t see a way out of the gang lifestyle he is stuck in. Brittany believes in him and thinks he can have a great future, but getting out just may kill him.

I loved this story! I was so engrossed in this Romeo and Juliet style romance. Alex was a very sexy Latino man, he was a good man despite his violent background. He didn’t want to be in a gang but was stuck because he lived in a dangerous place and needed to protect his family. I liked Brittany too, I was a little annoyed with her when she didn’t break up with her boyfriend right away when he was being a jerk then I remembered how long I stayed with my jerk high school boyfriend and realized we have all been young and dumb. I was impressed when Brittany threw caution to the wind and went after Alex, accepting the fact he was in a gang but wanting better for him because she knew he could do better.

I loved how the author didn’t water things down, the characters seemed very realistic. The gang lifestyle shown was gritty, dangerous and scary but she managed to show the different facets of it. She also showed the Latino culture in great detail which I enjoyed. None of the characters were two-dimensional, they all had layers to their personalities. Tough guy Alex had a vulnerable side and there was a funny scene where his buddy spilled something on his pants that made it look like he peed himself. I also like how the high school seniors drank alcohol at parties, had sex and occasionally smoked weed – because that is realistic for the setting, I hate when people act like it doesn’t happen.

I highly recommend this book! I loved reading about Alex and Brittany, it’s a story I won’t forget anytime soon and plan on reading again. Alex was a great character, who can resist a bad boy with a good heart and the good girl who won’t give up on him. Don’t be worried about the Young Adult label, these two are very mature for their ages. There is one love scene that is not very detailed but the story is full of sexual tension and hot chemistry between the leads. There is an HEA at the end of the book, we know they are going to be together and it makes sense for their age and place in life. The story is told in first person from both points of view, which actually worked wonderfully since the author is very talented.
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Reading Progress

09/17/2010 page 10
3.0% "I don't know anything about gangs so this should be interesting. I really like the Romeo and Juliet feeling." 1 comment
09/17/2010 page 25
7.0% "So chichis are boobs? I need a Spanish dictionary." 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-32 of 32) (32 new)

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Robin *loves sexy books* i read this probably 3 times. i really liked it. i'm reading the 2nd one nowand it's just as hard to put down. there are some sexy moments for a ya. nothing explicit but a little bump and grind! lol


MelissaB I never noticed these books before but I love a Latino hero and the thought of "different side of the tracks" romance. It reminds me of the hero in the movie Crazy/Beautiful (though I think Kirsten Dunst wasn't pretty enough for him)


Robin *loves sexy books* yes i agree with you on that.

it's the mexican gangbanger hottie/the blonde cheerleader type. i really liked it.


message 4: by Zeek (new) - added it

Zeek I was pretty much ignoring this one because of the ya aspect- but I cant resist a romeo and juliet! :P


MelissaB Zeek,

I'll let you know what I think. I too am hesitant about YA but I couldn't resist a Hispanic hero from the wrong side of the tracks, I keep picturing him as the hottie from Crazy Beautiful (the movie)


message 6: by Zeek (new) - added it

Zeek oh yeeah- he WAS a hottie! :)


message 7: by Dina (new) - added it

Dina Great review, Melissa. I can't believe you're going to make me read a YA book. You are eeeevil, LOL. *adds book to Wish List*


MelissaB Ohh you may know the Spanish words in it too. I had to look some up.

I really enjoyed it Dina. I am reluctant to read YA but this was great.


Jasmin Nice one Mel!

I imagine Alex as Jay Hernandez toO! :D


message 10: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Great review Melissa


MelissaB Thanks Jasmin and Agent Scully!


Quinn Great review Melissa - will be adding this one


MelissaB Thanks Quinn! Hope you like it too!


Miss Kim Great reveiw! I can't wait to pick this one up.
A lot of girls here are are raving about it.


MelissaB Thanks Kim! I really enjoyed it.


message 16: by Fani (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fani Great review Melissa! I've already ordered this one and I'm glad I did after reading your review:)


MelissaB Fani - hope you like it too! I am still thinking about it a few days later.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) Great review, Melissa. I love, love, love this book!!! I'm glad you enjoyed it!


message 19: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Love this review! I just checked, and my library has it. *happy dance* :) Thanks for the rec!


MelissaB Audrey wrote: "Love this review! I just checked, and my library has it. *happy dance* :) Thanks for the rec!"

Enjoy Audrey! It was cheap on Kindle as of last week if you have one of those.


message 21: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Hrmm...technically I do (well, I have an iPad with Kindle app), but I prefer to read DTBs. :)

That said, I was wondering if it'd be okay to borrow one of your kindle-books-available-for-loan books one of these days...? They don't have Lisa Marie Rice's books at my library, and I'm super curious about Midnight Angel. Actually, I've never read her books before, so maybe you'd know if this is a good place to start?


MelissaB I would recommend starting with Midnight Man, it's just as good as Midnight Angel. Also, I have Midnight Man available to loan but already loaned out Midnight Angel (I forgot to update my shelf).

PM me your email address and I will send it!


message 23: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Thanks, Melissa! I didn't realize it was part of a series. I have too many library books to churn through right now, but maybe after I finish those? I will PM my email, anyway. Thanks so much!


message 24: by Mo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mo Great review Melissa - we seem to have the same taste in books so downloaded this one - FIRST YA book - was never interested but am liking it so far.


MelissaB Mo wrote: "Great review Melissa - we seem to have the same taste in books so downloaded this one - FIRST YA book - was never interested but am liking it so far."

Mo,

I don't normally read YA either but I loved this one. There is an HEA here, you fully see it in the background of the next two books (since it's hard to have an HEA with two graduating seniors)


message 26: by Ryanne4 (new)

Ryanne4 When u said he tried to seduce her in ur comment does that mean theres like 'scene' if u know what I mean im he story?


MelissaB Ryanne4 wrote: "When u said he tried to seduce her in ur comment does that mean theres like 'scene' if u know what I mean im he story?"

Are you asking if there is a love scene? Eventually but if I recall correctly (keep in mind I read this three years ago) it was not explicit at all.


message 28: by Ryanne4 (new)

Ryanne4 MelissaB wrote: "Ryanne4 wrote: "When u said he tried to seduce her in ur comment does that mean theres like 'scene' if u know what I mean im he story?"

Are you asking if there is a love scene? Eventually but if I..."


is it like detailed or anything cause im more interested in the book not the love scene. sSo is there one?


MelissaB Ryanne4 wrote: "MelissaB wrote: "Ryanne4 wrote: "When u said he tried to seduce her in ur comment does that mean theres like 'scene' if u know what I mean im he story?"

Are you asking if there is a love scene? Ev..."


Yes but it was not detailed if I remember correctly


message 30: by Ryanne4 (new)

Ryanne4 MelissaB wrote: "Ryanne4 wrote: "MelissaB wrote: "Ryanne4 wrote: "When u said he tried to seduce her in ur comment does that mean theres like 'scene' if u know what I mean im he story?"

Are you asking if there is ..."


So is it like here about to, you know, but dosent say anything about it?


MelissaB Ryanne4 wrote: "MelissaB wrote: "Ryanne4 wrote: "MelissaB wrote: "Ryanne4 wrote: "When u said he tried to seduce her in ur comment does that mean theres like 'scene' if u know what I mean im he story?"

Are you as..."


I don't remember exactly


message 32: by Ryanne4 (new)

Ryanne4 MelissaB wrote: "Ryanne4 wrote: "MelissaB wrote: "Ryanne4 wrote: "MelissaB wrote: "Ryanne4 wrote: "When u said he tried to seduce her in ur comment does that mean theres like 'scene' if u know what I mean im he sto..."

Oh okay thank u though for putting up with all my questions ;)


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