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Perfect Chemistry
OverDrive Inc.  Ebook
2010
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  Booklist Review

Tough guy Alex is primarily known by his classmates as a dangerous member of the Latino Bloods gang. He's not exactly thrilled when Brittany Ellis, the school's seemingly perfect beauty queen, is assigned as his lab partner and the feeling is more than mutual. But Alex's bravado works against him when he impulsively accepts a bet that he can get Brittany in the sack. The romance that follows will not surprise any reader, yet Elkeles gives it heart by constantly switching point of view from Alex to Brittany to provide dual running commentaries on their minute-by-minute insecurities and urges. Brittany's controlling parents and sister with cerebral palsy are well drawn, but it is Elkeles' rendition of Alex and his life that is particularly vivid. Sprinkling his speech with Spanish, his gruff but tender interactions with his family and friends feel completely genuine. An idealized epilogue drains away some of the book's realism, but if the romance angle isn't pushed too hard, this is a novel that could be embraced by male and female readers in equal measure.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2008 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

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 scenesincluding one where Brittany loses her virginity to Alexthat 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) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
In the first book in Simone Elkeles' New York Times bestselling YA contemporary romance series, s parks fly between unlikely lab partners Brittany Ellis and Alex Fuentes . . . and when two polar opposites meet, the results are bound to be explosive. 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. Neither Brittany nor Alex is prepared for the most surprising chemical reaction of all--love. Don't miss any of these other books from New York Times bestselling author Simone Elkeles: The Perfect Chemistry Trilogy Perfect Chemistry Rules of Attraction Chain Reaction Better Than Perfect
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