Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry Series #1)

Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry Series #1)

4.8 1826
by Simone Elkeles

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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,…  See more details below


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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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Lisa A. Hazlett
Beautiful, wealthy Brittany is a popular diva, so when she and Alex, a tough Hispanic gang member, become chemistry partners uneasiness reigns. Defenses fall, however, revealing Brittany's fractured parents, her sister Shelley's severe cerebral palsy, and her struggle for perfection that is guilty atonement for being healthy. Alex is intelligent, kind, and longs for college; gang membership exempts his brothers' joining and promises their better future. They surreptitiously begin a relationship with Brittany dumping her diva crowd while demanding family counseling. Alex chooses the dangerous rite of leaving his gang and works to rebuild his shaky family. When Shelley enters a Colorado facility, Brittany accompanies her and enrolls in college as a chemistry major, but Alex arrives soon after with a proposal. The epilogue announces their groundbreaking Alzheimer's drug and portrays their son meeting his beloved in their former chemistry class. Alternately narrated by Brittany and Alex, this compelling story portrays complex teens whose manufactured personas hide personal problems. Their contradictory lives and reactions to each other's provide conflicts and character insights, but once their romance begins they and the narration unravel. The story becomes overlong and repetitive with the duo's edginess dissolving into contrivances and sappiness, full of convenient and largely improbable events. The sultry cover should attract many female readers but will keep mainly those enjoying star-crossed romances. Reviewer: Lisa A. Hazlett
School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up

Told in alternating narratives, Perfect Chemistry portrays a romance between two unlikely lab partners. Brittany is her Chicago high school's "golden girl" but few of her friends know that her parents are totally dysfunctional and that she is highly invested in caring for her physically and mentally disabled older sister. Alex is a member of the Latino Blood, but he wishes he could leave gang life and pursue a college career. The plot thickens as Alex accepts a bet from a friend that he cannot bed Brittany by Thanksgiving. Smoldering doesn't quite do justice to the romantic banter that sparks between them. As the story unfolds, Alex is incarcerated and later hospitalized. Raw language and Spanish phrases that Anglo readers might feel obligated to investigate further are peppered throughout. The pace picks up too quickly at the end, leaving readers wondering if they missed something as time that has previously been marked day by day begins to clip along in five-month increments. Overall though, this is a solid romance that's suitable for reluctant readers.-Leah Krippner, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, IL

Kirkus Reviews
Sparks fly when cheerleading it-girl Brittany Ellis is paired with gang-banger bad-boy Alex Fuentes in chemistry lab. Soon enough, Brittany's snaky quarterback boyfriend dumps her, and her friends spread rumors that she and Alex are hooking up. Meanwhile, she and Alex wage their own battles at home. He longs to escape gang life, and she, the clutches of her overbearing mother. In a sense, they're right for each other: Neither fits the mold they were put in, so it feels natural when a fiery romance begins to brew. Elkeles pens plenty of tasteful, hot scenes-including one where Brittany loses her virginity to Alex-that keep the pages turning. The other elements come together as well, though they seem forced. Alex and his friends are not fully fleshed out, and their voices and dialogue definitely don't capture their characters or their experiences. Brittany's issues and dramas with her mother and her entourage come off like a groan-inducing after-school special. Still, as the title implies, the author definitely knows how to write romance, and that should help readers overlook some of the cheesier bits. (Fiction. YA)
Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books on Perfect Chemistry

Teens with a taste for romance will eat this up like ice cream on a hot day.
From the Publisher

“Smoldering doesn't quite do justice to the romantic banter.” —School Library Journal on Perfect Chemistry

“Teens with a taste for romance will eat this up like ice cream on a hot day.” —Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books on Perfect Chemistry

“Elkeles once again delivers a steamy page-turner bound to make teens swoon.” —School Library Journal on Rules of Attraction

“Engaging characters, two of whom share a love that cannot be denied, along with more than a few humorous moments.” —VOYA on Rules of Attraction

“Fans of the series and other females will gobble up this exciting, suspenseful novel.” —VOYA on Chain Reaction

“Elkeles pens plenty of tasteful, hot scenes . . . that keep the pages turning.” —Kirkus Reviews on Perfect Chemistry

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Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Perfect Chemistry Series , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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Perfect Chemistry 4.8 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 1826 reviews.
thatgirlkatiemccccc More than 1 year ago
This book was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good. It's officially my favorite book && in my opinion, the best book ever written. For someone obsessed with Twilight, I never thought there'd ever be a book better than it...BUT THERE IS!!!! this book made me laugh, cry, and swoon for alex. i yelled at the characters when they did something stupid, just like i would yell at the tv. I visualized everything that was happening and I can rarely do that. Although im mad that in that Perfect Chemistry video on this site, the guy playing alex is ugly as you know what. but anyway, i highly recommend this book. its amazing. it makes me want to move to illinois so i can find me an alejandro fuentes. soooooo, i think twilight obsessers should read this book because once you do, you won't be obsessed with twilight anymore because this beats none. AMEN!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read all the time, and I've read more than half of the teen books on the shelf at Barnes and Noble. But out of all of the books I've read, this is definitely one of my all-time favorites. I love how real the story seems. You can picture almost picture Alex's cocky grin, and see Brittany fall for him. This book may have a typical happily ever after ending, but from the way Simone Elkeles goes about it you realize it's one of a kind. This story is so intense from the gang warfare to the school projects. I've read it twice, and i still can't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Prefect Chemistry, by Simone Elkeles, explains the lives of two very different people living in the north and south side of Chicago. The main two protagonists are Alex Fuentes and Brittany Elias. Alex is a Hispanic boy associated with a gang called the Latino Blood. He is very fit and very protective of his family. Brittany Elias is your typical rich American girl. She’s the most popular girl in school, captain of the cheerleading squad, and her boyfriend is the star quarterback. Alex and Brittany first meet on the first day of senior year. Brittany almost crashed into Alex’s motorcycle in the parking lot which causes a little argument between them. Their first encounter doesn’t go well, but they’re in for a surprise. They have just found out they will have each other in the same chemistry class, and to top it off they’re partners. Alex and his new partner can’t seem to work right. They argue over every little thing and can’t seem to agree on something simple, such as where to work on their project. As time goes by, they get closer and feel comfortable with each other. They have now realize they both have secrets, secrets that can be dangerous if anyone where to hear about them. Brittany has always portrayed herself to be the “perfect” girl and Alex has always acted as a tough guy, but are these two characters really what they say to be? Brittany’s life at home is horrible. Her dad is almost always away on business and unable to help emotionally at home. Her mom is under a lot of pressure because her oldest daughter has a mental disorder and worries that one day her friends will discover she has been lying about her “perfect life.” Alex has to seem tough so no one messes with his family seeing how his father was killed when he was six, and now has that responsibility. He knows it’s hard for his mother to support three kids on minimum wage, so he’s decided to make something out of his life. Not caring about the world and their inner conflicts, Brittany and Alex decide to begin a relationship. Once publicly displayed, trouble is not far behind. Brittany’s parents highly disagree of such romance, and Alex has now gotten himself into some trouble with the leader of the Latino Blood and he can’t seem to get out of. When asked to do a special job, will Alex listen to the promise he made Brittany or do the job to learn information about his father’s murder? I would extremely recommend this book not only to girls who love high school romance, but to guys as well. I say this because I myself am I guy and I have to confess I did enjoy reading this book. This was the first book I’ve ever read that’s been written in alternative-first person point of view and had me flipping pages almost every minute. At some points I would chuckle. This author really captured the protagonist’s feelings and made them sound like believable characters. Seeing how I took pleasure in reading Perfect Chemistry, I wouldn’t mind reading other books with a similar plot or by Simone Elkeles. When using flashbacks, Elkeles descriptions are very detailed. When reading these parts of the book I felt myself right in the middle of the action. I don’t regret reading this book and I trust neither will you. If you have already read this book I suggest you read to following ones: Rules of Attraction and Chain Reaction.
whimiscal_lullaby More than 1 year ago
Alex Fuentes and Brittany Ellis are complete opposites. But in this book, opposites really do attract. Sparks fly between the two and I can definitely say that this has been one of the best books I've read in a VERY long time. I would recommend this to anyone who truly loves a good romance book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was stick and tried of reading traditional love story's so when i found this book on the shelf i immediately bought it. It was different then a twilight or a Sarah Dessen book (which are very popular for teen theses days). It was edgy. This book had enough twist to keep you always needed to turn that next page to find out what is going to happen. This is a great summer reading book. You will want to read it again and again until you have every word memorized..... and for the record i loved the epilogue. I thought it was defiantly and very cute way to end this book.
Uniquex3 More than 1 year ago
I have no clue how you cant LOVE this book. It has such a good twist to it. Ok when Alex Fuentes has all his problems, his gang and yet he somehow finds the time to devote to Brittany Ellis. The highschool hottie. And When they get together, your heart just melts. The way he Talks to her, and treats her. If you havent read this book. Buy it, right now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is the bestttttttt book ever! Im in love with all the characters in the book. Especially alex. Makes me wish he is a real person in my life. Recommend this book to EVERYONE. well besides kids younger than 12.
ACT13 More than 1 year ago
This book i think is the best book ever written. When you get to the end of a chapter u just want to keep on reading until you finish reading the whole thing.This is a can't put down book. I'm sure if u read it you would LOVE it as much as i did. And if your a girl like i am it would make you want to search for love and hopefully find it.
Balina More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this one - a LOT.
Deb1770 More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome.!! I went in to barnes and noble to find somethin to read in my spare time and just happened to come across this book. I read the back and became totally into it. I read the first page and I just had to keep going. I went home immediately to read. I read from 1pm to 11pm. and I finished the WHOLE book. :) I just could not bring myself to stop. Now I just can't stop thinking about the story and the characters. I am going to buy Rules of Attraction as soon as I get the chance. This is the first Simone E book I've ever read and believe me she is now one of my favs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK IS THE PERFECT STORY OF HOW OPPOSITES ATTRACT!!!!!!!!!! This book was OUTSTANDING! It was the type of book where once you start it YOU CAN'T PUT IT DOWN! It was a story of Chicago high school students from seperate parts of town that could never be a realistic couple. Alex being a gang member, and Brittany the golden girl that she portrays for her family's sake. If they thought senior year would be simple they were very wrong. As a bet leads to something more than a bet to Alex, and Brittany thinking of how Alex really puts on a show to people to make him self appear as a BA! When they can't help but feel attraction to each other; Alex would do all most anything to protect Brittany from his life outside of school, his Latino Blood gang. Brittany struggles to keep the perfect girl act while she wonders if her and Alex could ever stand a Chance in the world. Now don't get me wrong there were somethings that I didn't care for in this book. One would be the amount of foul lauange that was in it. Although it does portray how teenagers act these days, sad to say. Also THE GLITCH towards the end of the book around page 313 it would not change pages. It would have the same page appear each time I tried to change pages. Had to type in page after page to get to the end. Real disappointment there! This is not the author's fault! This was a book written Brillantly. AND EVEN WITH THE GLITCH " PERFECT CHEMISTRY" WAS SO GOOD THAT I STILL HAD TO GIVE IT 5 STARS!!!!! =D
xBammItsAbb3yx More than 1 year ago
This Book Was So Amazingg I Love Alex And Its Just A typical Love Story And I Love It.Im Gald I Got This Book Its Was Just Sooo Good I couldnt Put It Down And I Got My Friend To Read It And Now She Won't Give It Back!!!!.I Recommened This Book To Teens 14-18.One Of My Favorite Books EVER!!!!
Auden150 More than 1 year ago
Ok so this isnt very realistic only because guys like Alex arent real-most the time- but it was an amazing love story. If your like me, a hopeless romantic, i guarantee you'll be satisfied with this book. It is amazing and heart throbbing. I couldnt put it down!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One word... AMAZING!!!!!! BEST BOOK EVER :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I even let my friend read it. She loved it (:
YA_reader More than 1 year ago
This novel is a great quick entertaining read. I read it in one sitting. If you enjoy the classic opposites attract teen romance, you will enjoy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really disliked this book. I'm still confused to why people enjoy it. As a hispanic woman, I was extremely put off by the stereotypes but even that wasn't what really made me hate the story. I agree with everything VixenneVictorienne had to say and I'm glad that there are at least a few others on here that understood that this was a terrible story. 
TayTay2018 More than 1 year ago
How can i explain this book??? AMAZING, PHENOMINAL, PERFECT, ICREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!! If i could i'd rate this book it be a100 it was awesome! One of the best books i have ever read! You got sucked into the book at the very begining. I cant put into words how great this book is.......Just Read It !!!! LIKE NOW!!!!
Sevdia More than 1 year ago
Perfect Chemistry? This book was BEYOND AMAZING! By far one of the very best books I have ever read in my life. Simone Elkeles is a phenomenal author and writer. I read the first chapter thinking it was okay, but then as soon as I continued on reading, I did not/ could not put the book down! I took it with me everywhere, even on my trip to Canada!! I’m not really the type to read alot, but I honestly wanted this book to be like a million pages. I just could not bring myself to stop. Now I just can't stop thinking about the story and the characters. I am going to buy Rules of Attraction as soon as I get the chance. This is the first Simone E book I've ever read and believe me she is now one of my favs! If you want a really fantastic book that will put butterflies in your stomach just thinking about it then this is defiantly the one for you!! This book is the best. I got about 15 of my friends to read it and they all have fell in love with it just as much as me. I find it so funny because I see guys looking at girls reading it and they always say, "I see that book everywhere!" I laugh because I started it and I love the feeling how I can get people books! If you love teen romance you will LOVE this book. If you end up loving it read the second book also, Rules of Attraction, it is just as great! I can't choose which book I like best! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!!!! I HIGHLY RECCOMENED THIS BOOK it takes a complete different perspective on a romeo and juliet romance you can really relate to the characters the ending was perfect just a truly great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to love this book but as a Latina this book made me mad at all the stereotypic descriptions. First of all all those Spanish words that he would use with her were annoying. As a woman who dated Latinos and some gang members I know they would never use the word mamacita and if they did use it I would have been turned off by it. Mamacita is a word a man uses when hes trying to get a girls attention as she walks by. It mostly used by the men that stand on the corner. Anyhow the love story itself was great and I even found myself crying at the end. I just wish there could be a book about a Latino that is not poor, not gang member, does not have big family, knows how to speack correctly, and does not use Spanish words mid way through a sentence.
Ruth Hernandez More than 1 year ago
It's a must read!!! Great book, once you start reading it's hard to put it down :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I decided to read this book after looking at some of the reviews and i am sooo glad that i bought it because i love it...i could not put the book down i wanted to read and read and read hoping the story would never end...If you like to read and want a good book pick it up you won't be dissappointed.
PerfectChemistry101 More than 1 year ago
I reccamend this book to every young adult if i could i would give this book 100 stars!!! i've read this book 10 times at least now and it doesn't get boring!! hope this is helpful!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book series! Main topics in book: Popularity, gangs, sex, drugs, excitement, etc. I honestly hate sappy corny romance novels, but this one has a ton of action that will keep your adrenaline pumping!