Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~*'s Reviews > Perfect Chemistry

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
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Sep 01, 11

bookshelves: young-adult, series, reviewed, owned-read, favourites
Recommended for: YA Romance readers, Young Adult-Mature, and those who love stories of star-crossed lovers
Read from March 12 to 14, 2010, read count: 2

5 Stars!!! - Also reviewed at: Lady Jayne's Reading Den

(This is an Adult-who-enjoys-reliving-the-stirrings-of-first-love-and-self-discovery-during-the-teen-years-through-YA books review)

**CONTENT WARNING - Since this is a YA book I will include a warning that this book contains some Sexual, Drug and Alcohol, Course Language and Violent Content - Recommended for Older Teens**

I LOVED this book!!! Perfect Chemistry is an urban story of star-crossed lovers from “different sides of the track” – Brittany Ellis, from the "North side", a picture-perfect rich girl who is captain of the pom squad (ie. a cheerleader), and bad-boy Alex Fuentes, from the "South side", a member of the Latino Bloods Gang.

At first, I wondered how I could fall for a gang member, but Alex totally stole my heart. The fact that my Alex Fuentes, while I was reading, looked like Steven Strait in my head didn’t hurt either. ^_^

I was drawn into this story from the beginning and spent an enjoyable weekend reading it. I felt a connection to both Alex and Brittany, who wear masks every day and hide their true selves and fears from the world. But behind those veneers are two people who are struggling in their own worlds, and they find they have more in common than they thought. What starts out as a forced seating arrangement in a Chemistry lab turns into so much more, and starts an elemental change and pull that neither of them can resist. They must fight expectations, duty, prejudice and other chains that drag them apart.

The story may be one that has been told before, but it is how Simone Elkeles paints the story of Alex and Brittany through a blend of both their perspectives, with what I feel are very authentic voices, that brings an honesty and depth to the characters, and thus, the story. I loved how each chapter alternated between Brittany’s and Alex’s POVs and yet the story flowed well. I couldn't help but feel immersed in their world and to care about what happened to them.

I loved Alex's friends, Paco and Isa, and Brittany's sister, Shelly.

The scene near the end left me in tears, and there’s a violent scene in here that was very difficult for me to read because it brought back the pain of a violence that touched my own family’s lives. As I closed the last page, though, I was left smiling and actually wanted the epilogue to keep going.

Alex and Brittany will hold a very special place in my heart.

This is the first book I've read by Simone Elkeles and I look forward to the sequel, Rules of Attraction, and reading other books penned by this author. Definitely HIGHLY recommended!

These are some of my favourite quotes:

" ‘The reason I want you to put a shirt on is, well, because, um...'
'You've never seen a guy with his shirt off?'
'Ha, ha. Very funny. Believe me, you don't have anything I haven't seen before.'
'Wanna bet?' he says, then moves his hands to the button on his jeans and pops it open.
Isabel walks in at that exact moment. 'Whoa, Alex. Please keep your pants on.’"

~*~*~*

"This connection we have isn't going away, it's only getting stronger. Because the more I spend time with her, the closer I want to be."
~*~*~*

"I want to know how to make this girl laugh. I want to know what makes her cry. I want to know what it feels like to have her look at me as if I’m her knight in shinning armor"
~*~*~*

"Brittany: "I'm losing control."
Alex: “Mamacita, I've already lost it."

~*~*~*

"I can't help but smile as I swipe a lone tear trailing down my cheek. How can I not be crazy in love with this guy?" - (I know just what you mean, Brittany! *sighs*)
~*~*~*

P.S. Okay, I now have a different yummy image of Alex Fuentes - Alexander F. Rodriguez. Mmmm... mmmm...he makes a FINE Alex!

My Alex (Alexander F. Rodriguez):







My Brittany (Diana Agron):





Reading Order for the series:

1. Perfect Chemistry
2. Rules of Attraction - Review here
3. Chain Reaction - Review here

Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1) by Simone Elkeles Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry, #2) by Simone Elkeles Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry, #3) by Simone Elkeles


DISCLAIMER: I do not hold the copyright to any of the images used in this review. They are posted to add visuals to the review and for fun. If any of these images are yours and you would like me to remove them, please let me know, and I will do so as soon as possible. If I can identify the copyright, I will do so.

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Quotes Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Liked

Simone Elkeles
“You are the one girl that made me risk eveything for a future worth having.”
Simone Elkeles, Perfect Chemistry

Simone Elkeles
“We're actors in our lives, pretendin' to be who we want people to think we are.”
Simone Elkeles, Perfect Chemistry

Simone Elkeles
“I'm losing control."-Brittany
Mamacita, I've already lost it."-Alex”
Simone Elkeles, Perfect Chemistry

Simone Elkeles
“The reason I want you to put a shirt on is, well, because, um..."
"You've never seen a guy with his shirt off?"
"Ha, ha. Very funny. Believe me, you don't have anything I haven't seen before."
"Wanna bet?" he says, then moves his hands to the button on his jeans and pops it open. Isabel walks in at that exact moment.
"Whoa, Alex. Please keep your pants on.”
Simone Elkeles, Perfect Chemistry


Comments (showing 1-50 of 58) (58 new)


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Jayne. I agreed with so much in your review.


message 2: by Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* (last edited Mar 15, 2010 04:57PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Hi Danielle! Yes, I read yours and D.L.'s reviews and a few others and it made me interested to check it out. I really enjoyed it. So thanks for your review that led me to read it! ^_^

I'm so tempted to re-read as I'm not ready to let go but I need to re-read BDB in preps for LM.


message 3: by Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* (last edited Mar 15, 2010 05:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* **SPOILER ALERT**



Danielle, didn't you just want to keep reading the epilogue? PF sounded gorgeously delish and I would have loved to have seen Alex and Brittany all those years later. I felt like I wanted to read PF's story more than Carlos'. LOL

I can see that Carlos will annoy me a bit. LOL While Alex wanted out of a bad situation, Carlos is just looking for trouble.

I was in tears when Alex was enduring what he needed to to "jump out" of the gang but LOVED the scene where he and Brittany reunite. *sighs* I love Alex. ^_^

And I love Brittany, too, and how much she loves Shelley. I loved it when Brit finally decided to be true to herself and stopped being what she felt her parents expected and she stopped caring what others thought of her.


UniquelyMoi ... So I Can Shine... Thank you for the content warning! As the mother of a now 16 year old, it really comes in handy. I remember when my teens read the Twilight series. I read it and was impressed. But I made the mistake of thinking that ALL YA books were that tame. It would have been nice if all reviewers did this.

Thanks again!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) I LOVED the epilogue. It was perfect! I agree with you about PF! Yes, that scene where he had to go through that to leave the gang was tough. Brit and Alex were such good characters. This book transcends genre labels, doesn't it?

Dhestiny, I think this is a good YA for an older teen. Too much for the average younger teen. But I read some strange stuff when I was young. :)


message 6: by Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* (last edited Mar 21, 2010 01:51AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Dhestiny, I definitely reccommend this book! ^_^ And I recommend it for an older teen. It is not as tame as Twilight but tamer than adult books.


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Danielle, I loved Brit and Alex, and Paco, Isa, and Sierra. I really hope Simone Elkeles does write a story about PF. I'd really love to read it!


Viola GREAT review, Jayne! I'll just say, "What she said!!!" Awesome. You captured everything I felt about the book perfectly. I really, really enjoyed this book and loved the ending. I'm excited to read more by this author. Thanks for the recommendation!


Viola Oh, and yes, as a middle school/high school English teacher, I would reserve this one for high school kids. I have many students in 8th grade who read books categorized as YA, but I'm not recommending this one. I have to be careful with content for middle school, whereas with my 9-12 kids, it's a bit different. From my experience teaching 9-12 kids, I don't feel that there is much shocking here for them.


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* V, I loved your review on Cyber. You captured what I felt about the book, too, though much more eloquently.


Jasmin ate jayne, I think Diana agron as Britany is perfect. :)


message 12: by Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* (last edited Sep 06, 2010 04:47AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Jasmin wrote: "ate jayne, I think Diana agron as Britany is perfect. :)"

Isn't she, Jasmin? I just couldn't help but see her as Brittany. ^_^ I just realised that my links of my Alex image didn't work anymore so I've updated it.


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Zosia wrote: "Excellent review Lady Jayne!"

Thanks, Zosia! I love this book! I love Alex. *sighs* ^_^


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* I've just edited my review to add some of my fave quotes.


message 15: by Rane (new)

Rane RAWR! Love the yummy male candy! Best thing to wake up to~!
Great Review Jayne!


Jasmin alex is hot!


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Thanks, Rane! Glad I could supply a dose of yummy male candy to start your day! ^_^ And BTW, do you always start your day with a Lion-O RAWR? LOL


message 18: by Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* (last edited Sep 06, 2010 07:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Jasmin wrote: "alex is hot!"

I'm bummed that the links I had previously put of Alexnader F. Rodriguez don't work anymore. Luckily, that shirtless pic I had uploaded here on my GR photos, so I could just link it to that. ^_^ I'll have to look for that pic of him where he was smiling. Cute!


message 19: by Leah (new) - rated it 5 stars

Leah Great review, Lady Jayne! I absolutely loved this book and I loved Rules of Attraction even more :D

At first, I wondered how I could fall for a gang member, but Alex totally stole my heart. The fact that my Alex Fuentes, while I was reading, looked like Steven Strait in my head didn’t hurt either. ^_^

I think I knew from the moment I found out he was a gangbanger that I was going to love him, LOL. And I totally pictured a Steven Strait-like guy for Alex, too! LOL ;)


Jasmin Lady Jayne wrote: "Jasmin wrote: "alex is hot!"

I'm bummed that the links I had previously put of Alexnader F. Rodriguez don't work anymore. Luckily, that shirtless pic I had uploaded here on my GR photos, so I co..."


i tried to look him up. and what I saw were weird pics of someone totally unhot! thanks for showing us. *drool* hehe


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Thanks, Leah! So, you're a Carlos woman, eh? Carlos is a cutie but it's Alex for me! ^_^


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Jasmin wrote: "i tried to look him up. and what I saw were weird pics of someone totally unhot! thanks for showing us. *drool* hehe "

LOL! Jasmin, I added the pic of Alex smiling now to my review. ^_^


message 23: by Leah (new) - rated it 5 stars

Leah Yeah, Lady Jayne, I'm a Carlos woman. There was just something so irresistible about him ;P


Jasmin Lady Jayne wrote: "Jasmin wrote: "i tried to look him up. and what I saw were weird pics of someone totally unhot! thanks for showing us. *drool* hehe "

LOL! Jasmin, I added the pic of Alex smiling now to my review...."


my knees turned into jelly. XD


message 25: by Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* (last edited Sep 13, 2010 12:40AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Jasmin wrote: "my knees turned into jelly. XD"


^_^ You gotta admit he's a cutie in these pix.


Jasmin You wont hear me arguing w/ u :D


message 27: by Ren (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ren O.M.G!!
I really love your choice of Alex,Jayne :D
May I have him pleaseeee?? *wink2*


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Haha! Only if you'll share Roarke, Ren? ^_~


message 29: by Ren (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ren Lady Jayne wrote: "Haha! Only if you'll share Roarke, Ren? ^_~"

Of course, of course
If we can make "Roarke's Groupies", we can make "Alex's groupies" too *lol*

Have you seen "Rules of Attraction"'s trailer, Jayne?
Well, the actor that play Alex Fuentes, is Alex Rodriguez :D
He's yummy, right? ^^


Allison That is one hooot alex! Ur review made wanna read the book! I'm finished with it now. Thanks for the awesome review(:


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Allison wrote: "That is one hooot alex! Ur review made wanna read the book! I'm finished with it now. Thanks for the awesome review(:"

Thanks, Allison! I'm happy that my review made you want to read this book and even happier that you loved it, too! It's definitely one of my fave YA romances.


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Ren wrote: "Have you seen "Rules of Attraction"'s trailer, Jayne?
Well, the actor that play Alex Fuentes, is Alex Rodriguez :D
He's yummy, right? ^^"


Ren, that's where I saw him from! From the Rules of Attraction trailer! ^_^


message 33: by Ren (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ren Hehe, I love that trailer Jayne
Drooling over Alex's six pack *lol*


message 34: by Mel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mel Quite the cutie you've selected as Alex:) love that first pic.


message 35: by Ren (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ren Jayne, good news!
The publisher in my country will translated Perfect Chemistry! And it because my recommendation to them.

Yippee! ^^


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Mel wrote: "Quite the cutie you've selected as Alex:) love that first pic."

Thanks, Mel. I love that pic of Alex, too. ^_^


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Ren wrote: "Jayne, good news!
The publisher in my country will translated Perfect Chemistry! And it because my recommendation to them.

Yippee! ^^"


Oh, that is GREAT news, Ren! YAY! You get to enjoy Alex in Bahasa. Hope it translates well. Good work on your efforts to get it translated! Yay, you! ^_^


message 38: by Ren (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ren I hope it translated well, because the translator is friend of mine ;) (And I trust her ^^)

She once said to me, that she had difficulty to translate this, because so many Spain words...


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Ren wrote: "I hope it translated well, because the translator is friend of mine ;) (And I trust her ^^)

She once said to me, that she had difficulty to translate this, because so many Spain words..."


Wow, you have connections, Ren! ^_^ Oh, yes, that's right, there are quite a few Spanish words. She should leave that in and just have a Spanish to Bahasa glossary of words at the front/back of the book. Since I think the Spanish words actually added to authenticity of the Mexican characters in the book, for me.


message 40: by Mel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mel Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* wrote: "Mel wrote: "Quite the cutie you've selected as Alex:) love that first pic."

Thanks, Mel. I love that pic of Alex, too. ^_^"


Hey, Lady Jayne, it's a bit off topic, but who's your ideal Carlos? For me I totally pictured Marlon Teixeira:)


message 41: by Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* (last edited Mar 04, 2011 05:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Mel wrote: "Hey, Lady Jayne, it's a bit off topic, but who's your ideal Carlos? For me I totally pictured Marlon Teixeira:)"

No, still within topic, Mel. ^_^ I always enjoy discussing "casting" and being introduced to new hotties. I must say that I have never heard of Marlon Teixeira! Oooohhh.... Niiiiiiccceee !!! THANKS for "introducing" him to me, Mel! ^_^

This was who I had pictured in my head as Carlos, while I was reading:

http://static.poponthepop.com/images/...

And this is my Luis:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

So excited for Chain Reaction! ^_^


message 42: by Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* (last edited Feb 22, 2011 07:22PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* I think I'll have to re-read Rules of Attraction with Marlon Teixeira as Carlos!! ^_^ He totally has the Carlos attitude in his face. Yummmm!!!


message 43: by Mel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mel Hehehe...isn't Marlon just the yummiest thing imaginable?*excuse me while I start fangirling* lol.


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Mel wrote: "Hehehe...isn't Marlon just the yummiest thing imaginable?*excuse me while I start fangirling* lol."

LOL Mel, Going "fangirl" over Marlon seems completely understandable. ^_^ I have to admit that I have a huge schoolgirl's crush on "my Luis" (Luke Pasqualino). He isn't muscular but there's just something about his face, that when I saw him on UK's Skins seasons 3&4, he just captivated me. I loved the way he acted on that show; the way he expressed his feelings by the look in his eyes, face and body language.


message 45: by TJ (new) - rated it 3 stars

TJ Ok, this is weird.... I didn't love the book as much as you but after reading your review, I decided it was awesome! ;D The pictures were genius, EXACTLY how I pictured Alex and Brittney - only better!


message 46: by Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* (last edited Apr 06, 2011 05:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Tammy wrote: "Ok, this is weird.... I didn't love the book as much as you but after reading your review, I decided it was awesome! ;D The pictures were genius, EXACTLY how I pictured Alex and Brittney - - only better!"

I'm sorry, Tammy, I don't know how I missed this. Thanks! Glad I could change your mind ^_~ and that you enjoyed the visuals. ^_^


Julianne I agree whole-heartedly with this review. The epilogue left me in tears, it was just the perfect way to end the perfect love story! :)

By the way, if they were to make this into a movie (which I SERIOUSLY hope they do) then those two would definitely be the perfect people for the job!!


Vera_Awesome GO LADY JANE!!!!!!!! i love ur bloody comment and cant wait to read Rules Of Attraction!!!:);)


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Julianne wrote: "I agree whole-heartedly with this review. The epilogue left me in tears, it was just the perfect way to end the perfect love story! :)

By the way, if they were to make this into a movie (which I ..."


Thanks, Julianne. I feel a re-read coming on soon! I heart this book... and Alex. *swoons* ^_^


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Vera wrote: "GO LADY JANE!!!!!!!! i love ur bloody comment and cant wait to read Rules Of Attraction!!!:);)"

LOL! Thank you, Vera! I hope you enjoy Rules of Attraction! I really enjoyed it, but Alex is still my No. 1 Fuentes. Though I haven't read Chain Reaction yet... I suspect Alex will still be my No. 1.


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