Saturday, September 05, 2009

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles - Mini Review

Brief Synopsis

At Fairfield High, everyone knows that south siders and north siders aren’t exactly compatible elements. So when cheerleader Brittany Ellis and gang member Alex Fuentes are forced to be lab partners, the results are bound to be explosive.

Neither teen is prepared for the most surprising chemical reaction of all – love. Can they break through the stereotypes and misconceptions that threaten to keep them apart?

I'm not going to spend a lot of time gushing about this simply excellent, very mature, deeply sexy and unique YA novel which I picked up last week Saturday from Waterstones. All I'll say is it has to be one of the most amazing books I've read aimed at the YA age group for ages.

The characters are wonderfully defined and although there is no urban fantasy element in this, I am sure that Twilight fans will enjoy it. Make of that what you will. A cautionary note: risk ignoring this very cool book at your own peril.

Characterisation is done vividly and you get to know both Alex and Brittany pretty well. Their relationship gets off to a rocky start but soon they feel drawn to one another but still the sparks fly.

The author succeeds in illuminating the hard life Alex leads as a gangbanger - she shows us through the reaction of the people at school and those he interacts with whilst going around as an enforcer for the Latin Bloods. Regardless of his bad boy image, you come to genuinely like Alex as he's so well portrayed and to be honest, he sounds imply divine.

Brittany is the one I was fully prepared to have a problem with - she sounded too perfect, too cool. But that image is rapidly altered as we inspect her anything but perfect home-life and her dedication to her disabled sister.

It's a deeply romantic, beautiful and harsh book. I've discovered the website too - the video is hilarious and to be honest, the guy rapping is SO NOT ALEX!


Luisa said...

Oh, that does it - I have to buy this book. NOW! Thank you very much for this great review.

H said...

I didn't realise this was published in the UK already, I'll have to look out for it. The book trailer for Perfect Chemistry is my absolute favourite book trailer ever!

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

I've seen this one at the bookstore yesterday, but I had never heard about it I think. Now I feel like going back and picking it up! :) Maybe I will, later this month.

Heidenkind said...

YES! Liz, I felt exactly the same way about this book. It is awesomeness squared! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :)