Angela's Reviews > Perfect Chemistry

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
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's review
Jul 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: coming-of-age, contemporary, library-book, romance, ya, summer-reads-2011
Read from July 14 to 15, 2011

First and foremost, Perfect Chemistry is an angst driven romance (a fairly steamy one at that). It's your classic Grease (is the word) story: boy from the wrong side of the tracks meets girl with money, social status, and a perfection complex. This story takes a Latino twist with Alex being mexicano.

The story alternates between the two perspectives of Alex and Brittney. While both characters are strong and independent of one another, their voices are similar which was a tad disappointing. Both protagonist have depth to them; they are not one-dimensional. They are extreme cliches, however. At first I found this to be a distraction, but as I moved further into the story, I got swept away.

The plot is gritty and somewhat realistic. Ms. Elkeles is tackling some hard themes and issues in her novel: poverty, gang life, mental abuse, and more. She does so with grace.

The love story had me hooked. I really believed these two people found commonality and friendship in one another, not to mention, a heavy dose of attraction that I freaking ate up like a kid in a candy shop.

My only issue was that the book lacked a sense of familia and was somewhat hollow in its description of the Latino culture. But I think this is because some of my best friends are Hispanic, plus I have grown up in the Southwestern United States. While Ms. Elkeles does try to infuse her novel with the colors and beauty of Mexican culture, I could tell she was doing so from an outsiders perspective and not from that of a partaker. This left the novel somewhat empty for me.

All that aside, I could not put this book down. I was sitting on the edge of my seat, hoping and praying that Alex and Brittney would find a way to make things work.

The rushed ending left me a bit wanting, but the sequel took care of that (sorta).

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. If you like yourself some angsty romance, this be the book for you. Alex is one hot tamale (oh, I went there).
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Reading Progress

07/14/2011 page 110
07/14/2011 page 208
58.0% "a. this book makes me want to rewatch Once Upon a Time in Mexico and FINALLY see Blood In, Blood Out. 2. It also makes me want to make some guac, like right now. Thirdly, I can't decide if this book is brilliant or based solely on stereotypes... Fin."
07/15/2011 page 305
85.0% "This books is such a guilty pleasure for me... *such a girl* <--that doesn't even make sense?!"

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Sandra do you like it so far????

Angela I do. I want to make Albondigas tonight for dinner with a healthy side of Sopapillas. nom.nom.nom.

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