Claudia's Reviews > Perfect Chemistry

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
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Jun 04, 11

bookshelves: 2011-book-challenge-150-books, ya-books, chick-lit
Read in June, 2011

Totally predictable. Every woman alive hopes and believes SHE can 'save' a bad boy. We all love bad boys. But we never change a bad boy. Told in two voices, this novel tells of two high school seniors, each 'perfect' in his or her own way. Brittany is a perfect good girl. Beautiful, a Pom...dating the football star. Both the 'Golden Couple.' She must worry so much about appearances, because under them, her life is not at all perfect. Her parents' crushing disappointment over her older sister's disabilities has led them into deep denial of what really matters, what's really important, and Brittany plays along.

Alex, the perfect bad boy...gangbanger, mess-up...but is he any more the perfect representation of his stereotype either? Elkeles has done a really good job of creating character we care about, characters we feel like we know. Even in the midst of all the cliches, she still pulls off surprises...the mystery of Alex's dad, his mother's complicity in their gang-life. Brittany's devotion to her sister and her unconventional friendships with Isa and Paco. Even the teachers, especially Mrs. P, the chemistry teacher who pushes Brittany and Alex together, seem to escape hackneyed portrayals.

And the question is, does Brittany change Alex? Or does she encourage him to be who he really is?

Better than I expected.
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Reading Progress

06/03/2011 page 88
24.0% "An interesting look at living up or down to others' expectations."

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