Review - Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry #1) by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry #1)
by Simone Elkeles

Summary: 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.

Source: I borrowed a kindle copy from my local library.

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People rave about this series, yet I've only ever read one book by the author and didn't enjoy it very much. When I saw this was available through my local library, I decided I'd give it a shot. I really enjoyed the book, despite my initial reservations. It's not the best YA contemporary romance I've read and I do prefer the way that Katie McGarry tackles the tough issues and "other side of the tracks" characters, but I felt like Perfect Chemistry was well done and better than I imagined it would be.

I didn't really like that the main character was in a gang. I'm all for poor meets rich romances, but I kind of lose all respect for people who actually join a gang. However, I grew to like Alex as a character and understood why he made some of the choices that he did. I would have preferred he just been in a certain lifestyle without actually being a part of a gang, but I guess I got over it once I got to know his character.

I liked Brittany and I enjoyed getting a glimpse of her stressful life. I liked that she was so good to her sister, who had some physical and mental disabilities, and I think dealing with that made her a better person than she appeared. However, I wish she didn't place so much effort on being perfect and I wish she spoke her mind more often. I liked that Alex was the spark that made her more herself.

The conflict was great and I'm glad I picked this up. I might have enjoyed it more had I not just read Take Me On by Katie McGarry that deals with a similar situation, but Perfect Chemistry was super addicting and I devoured it in less than a day, so I still highly recommend it if you like YA contemporary romance and I'm bumping up what might have been 3 stars to a 4 because I enjoyed it so much. The series is available through my library, so I'll definitely grab the sequel.

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