Saturday, September 4, 2010

Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
Page Count: 360 pages
Summary: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.

Review: I've been hearing about this book for AGES. Right before I left for college, I picked it up at B&N, even though I'd always thought it looked pretty cheesetastic. Might as well give it a chance.

What I Liked:

  • Chemistry. No, not the class. The main characters did have chemistry, which is always good. Alex was flawed and he sounded gorgeous, although as he was a gang member, I can totally see Brittany's apprehension.
  • Flawed characters. Oh yes, both of them were definitely flawed. I'm glad that Brittany's character wasn't a Mary-Sue, which I think she totally could've turned into. 
I'm moving on to the things I didn't like quickly because I have a little more to say there.

What I Didn't Like:
  • Brittany, urgh! In the beginning of the book, I hated Brittany, although I did warm up to her near the end. She was just so... she needed to think for herself, stop whining about needing to be perfect, argh. I just couldn't deal with her. She needed to chill out. I guess it was more her parent's fault than hers, but still. It was too much. 
  • Cheesetastic! I'll be the first one to say that I get swoony at well-written, realistic romance, but this book was totally a ball of cheese. Sometimes it worked and it was engrossing, but other times, like the gag-tastic epilogue, I wanted to shoot the author.

  • Brittany's sister. Disability as a plot device? Eh, not my thing. It seemed like Brittany's sister's disability was something just to give Brittany depth, not something realistic at all. I don't know, it just didn't strike a chord with me at all.
 Overall, I was a little apathetic about this book. The plot was entertaining, but it had this kind of romance novel-esque feel about it that made me want to put it down sometimes, so I guess not even in the engrossing sort of trashy way of romance novels. I don't mean to be harsh, but I really wanted to like it and I was disappointed that I didn't.

Romance: 3.2/5 stars
Overall: 3/5 stars

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