October 22, 2010

Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1)Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

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.


Perfect Chemistry was one of my friends attempts at forcing me outside of my genre "comfort zone." She wouldn't let me leave the book store with out it, even with my heavy complaints of teen drama crap. I understand that Paranormal YA is going to have teen drama crap too, but let's be honest it's going to be much funner with vamps, wolves, and mysteries. So I left my comfy genre, trudging into the terror of teen mello drama. Well I finished in about a day, so it's safe to say I enjoyed it.

I won't say that Perfect Chemistry was completely awesome, everything I never new teen drama could be. No, it was actually everything I thought teen drama would be. Elekeles manages to make the whole top-of-the-cheer-pyramid-perfect-girl-falls-in-love-with-bad-boy-with-secret-soft-side story into something that I was totally absorbed in. The characters were real, they all had there own issues and depths. It was fun learning about the two, then watching them have to get over the hang-ups they had about one another.

This book was pretty formalistic, but Elekeles knows what she's doing. You want to cry and laugh with the characters as the events happen. Elekeles addresses cheating (as in couples), how long you can truly lie to yourself, gangs (in really believable detail), sex, and other life drama. This book is truly about excepting yourself and taking hold of your dreams. With great writing, fantastic humor, and a certain realness to it that a majority of readers young or old can relate to.

One thing I wasn't expecting was the adult content towards sex. Some of the scenes made me forget I was reading a YA book instead of an adult romance. There's nothing too explicit, or at least nothing as explicit as what's shown on TV, but it was not what I was expecting in a YA book. I grew up when french kisses where pretty hot in YA books, and if there was a sex scene it was skipped over. Now I'm not saying that I didn't like how mature this book was, because I really do love the maturity, some younger readers may want to hold off until they're a little older.

Bottom Line:
If you've been thinking about jazzing things up and trying out the YA Romance genre, this is a great start. If you're a YA Romance reader already, why haven't you read this. This book gets you delved into the characters as not many books can do, so enjoy the emotional high. Forget about this being teen drama, drama is every where. This is just a bit more angst with a happy ending, and hot hot tension that will leave you breathless.

Sexual Content:

Pretty heavy make out scenes, and a pushy boyfriend who wants sex. The final sex scene is still pretty hot, but the mechanics are jumped over so it's not too explicit. If you under 16 wait a bit more for this read, or have you parent read it before you try it.

4/5- Great! Really enjoyed it.

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