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Perfect Chemistry

Perfect Chemistry

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Simone Elkeles

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  • Publisher: WALKER & CO
  • Format: Paperback | 360 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 211mm x 25mm | 336g
  • Publication date: 23 December 2008
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0802798225
  • ISBN 13: 9780802798220
  • Sales rank: 7,104

Product description

A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers. When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created "perfect" life is about to unravel before her eyes. She's forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for--her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

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Author information

SIMONE ELKELES is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Perfect Chemistry series, Leaving Paradise series, and How to Ruin series. All three books in the Perfect Chemistry series have been YALSA Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers, and the Illinois Association of Teachers of English named Simone 2008 Author of the Year. Simone's funny way of looking at the world shines through in novels that are bursting with sarcastic wit, edgy characters, and exhilarating drama. You can find her at www.simoneelkeles.com.

Customer reviews

By Ciera Meier 01 Nov 2014 5

This is an amazing book that shows star-crossed lovers. Two teens, one on the North side and the other on the south, are total opposites but chemistry brings them together. They are both have an image to live up to, whether they want to or not. Brittany always acts to be perfect but she's really not. None of her friends know her home life because she doesn't want people to know she's not perfect. Alex is a "tough guy" who's in a gang but only so his brother does not have to join. People think he's tough and everything, but he can be sensitive. They never associated until the day they were paired for chemistry lab partners. While they are paired they slowly start to have feeling for each other. Which will win, The stereotypes or their love for each other?

By MissPageTurner 07 Mar 2012 5

High-society girl Britanny Ellies and bad boy Alex Fuentes (is it only me or does just his name sound so sexy) are teamed-up to be chemistry lab partners, an explosive combination. Their meetings are hot, but do they have a future?

I feared that I wouldn't like Britanny's voice, that she could be a spoiled brat. Then there is Alex, the violent gang member who can't stay away from trouble, drugs and alcohol. Elkeles did a really good job in destroying these stereotypes and showing us the humans behind the shells created by society.

The main focus is on Alex and Britanny, but secondary characters like friends support the story,too. Both families and their backgrounds are important for the story and Elkeles knows how to build up tension while playing along with the American and Mexican cultures.

Each chapter is told from either Britanny's or Alex' perspective, both authentic and compelling. There was not a single page I didn't like. Dialogues are authentic, especially because the Spanish language that is an important part of Mexican culture is included.

My only point of criticism is the epilogue which was too much, it just didn't feel like a rightful part of PERFECT CHEMISTRY.

In the end I couldn't believe how much actually happened. Chemistry has never been my favourite subject in school, but this novel had definitely a strong influence on me.

THE VERDICT

A sexy experiment with contradictory characters and an explosive reaction. What an intriguing contemporary novel, an experiment you should start!

By TeensReadToo 16 Sep 2010 5

Who says that southsiders and northsiders can't mix? Well, other than everyone at Fairfield High School on the outskirts of Chicago.

Northsider Brittany Ellis has everything any teenager wants: popularity, money, and good looks. On the surface, her life is wonderful, but her perfect persona is just a cover-up for her troubled home life.

Southsider Alex Fuentes has a bad-boy reputation, but all he wants is to get out of his gang and graduate.

When they are thrown together as chemistry partners, life starts to make more sense. Written from both Brittany and Alex's perspective, this story shows what's going on below the surface for each person as they break through stereotypes and expectations that threaten to keep them apart.

This is like a modernized Shakespeare story, and after reading hundreds of books with plots similar to Romeo and Juliet, some stories start to blur into each other. PERFECT CHEMISTRY is not one of those books. It was addicting and the story was vibrant. The characters came to life and it was like I was there watching the story unfold.

The way Simone Elkeles wrote the story was absolutely perfect.

*Gold Star Award Winner!

By Amanda-Lee (StoryWings) 03 May 2010 5

I read this book in three hours, which is a new record for me, that is how good it is.

Perfect Chemistry is the perfect modern tale of star-crossed lovers. We've had Romeo & Juliet, Westside Story and now Perfect Chemistry.

Brittany is from the "right" side of the tracks. She lives in a big house, has perfect friends, perfect grades, is the perfect cheerleading captain and has a perfect family. Supposedly.

Brittany actually can't talk to half of her friends, has to study hard like everyone else, is getting over cheerleading and her family is a mess. Shelley is Brittany's older sister, and she has multiple-sclerosis, one of the main reasons that I loved Perfect Chemistry was the way Brittany treated her sister. No matter what Shelley did to her, Brittany still defended, loved and protected her, although her parents thought she was too much of a handful Brittany made sure that Shelley was as happy as possible.

Alex is from the "wrong" side of the tracks. He lives on the Latino side of town, is in a gang and works hard to help his family get by.

Alex is the ultimate bad boy at school, and everyone knows it. People refuse to look him in the eye others are scared to speak to him and most just avoid him altogether. There are rumours that he has killed dealt drugs and is in multiple knife fights with other gangs.

Alex is commendable in his behaviour. He doesn't want to be in the Latino Blood, but he is and once you get in, there is no getting out. Alex works hard throughout Perfect Chemistry to try and keep his younger brothers away from the gangs. He has strong family values and respects his mother, something we don't see too much in YA at the moment.

Brittany and Alex are in chemistry together, and clash from the beginning. There are constant pranks and jokes as they try to make the other stumble and look a fool. Once they put aside their differences though and see that although they are from different sides of the tracks, in a way they are the same.

Both live up to an image, both don't really want to be there and both would like someone to talk to.

Alex is originally dared to talk to Brittany on a bet. His motorcycle for his friend's car and seeing as Alex's motorcycle is like his baby, he will do anything to keep that from happening. The bet is that he can sleep with her before the end of school.
Inevitably though, they get to know each other. Through the constant bickering and name-calling they become friends. Alex teaches Brittany how to drive a manual, Brittany opens her life up to Alex and they get on, even though they are getting it from all sides, they stick together.

Perfect Chemistry is a beautiful tale, and no matter how much I say I love it, it won't be enough. If the teachers are smart in a few years this will be getting used in English classes because of its beautiful prose and modern take on a classic tale.

find this review at storywings.blogspot.com