Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry Series #1)

Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry Series #1)

4.8 1824
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, and

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Overview

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)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802798220
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
12/23/2008
Series:
Perfect Chemistry Series, #1
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
153,522
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
HL650L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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