Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles.
“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 shining armor.” Elkeles, S. Perfect Chemistry.
So if that quote wasn’t enough to make you want to read Simone Elkeles YA, contemporary romance Perfect Chemistry … then there’s no hope for you. Go sit in a corner with your face against the wall and think long and hard about your life. Just kidding, you’re here, reading this blog which makes you a billion flavors of awesome sauce. Seriously though, if romance is your thing you should definitely give this book a shot.
Told from multiple points of view, Perfect Chemistry tells the story of Brittany/Britt Ellis and her alphabetically assigned Chemistry partner Alejandro/Alex Fuentes.
Blond bombshell and captain of the pom squad Britt, appears to have it all: money, looks, popularity and of course a boyfriend in the form of varsity football squad captain, Colin. Yeah, life is looking pretty sweet for Britt … until she heads home, and then the perfect façade crumbles. Britt’s manic mom suffers from an anxiety that pills won’t fix. Her dad is never home. Her big sister Shelley is physically and mentally disabled and confined to a wheelchair. With her mom always off at a country club, her dad working every hour God sends, and carers quitting because they can’t handle Shelley’s ticks (the latest being hair pulling) Britt becomes the majority caregiver of her sister. Her parents think Shelley would be better off at a facility, but what would they know? Their heads are so far up their own arse’s — and Britt’s, every time she puts a foot wrong. Britt is determined not to let her parents send her sister away. She loves Shelley and doesn’t believe that the care homes her parents have in mind will provide the right amount of love and attention.
Alex makes no effort nor feels any need to hide who he is. He’s a gangster, a fully fledged member of the Latino Bloods. He carries a gun and wears his gangs colors on his head. His job is to collect, mostly debts sometimes people. But he’s not a drug mule. After seeing his father gunned down he had no choice but to turn to the Latino Bloods. The Bloods look out for each other, and above all things Alex wants to keep his mom and his two brothers safe. That was the pull when he decided to join the gang, the promise of solidarity and protection. Now he’s older he feels trapped. The minute he delves into the hardcore business of drug dealing, he’ll be trapped for good. There’s no way out once he crosses that line.
Then there’s this bet … because it would be a fun challenge for the Mexican gangbanger to bed the prissy, popular, blond that he’s been stuck partnering in Chemistry, right?
Alex has one of the smartest mouths I’ve ever read in YA. He has a rough around the edges charm that gets right under your skin and sets up camp there. While the character of Britt adds a brand new dimension to the stereotypical Queen Bee type.
I couldn’t put this book down. It’s an excellent story of culture clash, love and consequences. Simone Elkeles does YA romance like Stephen Hawking does smart. I’m seriously looking forward to reading Rules of Attraction, the second book in the Perfect Chemistry series. As soon as I’m done I’ll post my review.