Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Perfect Chemistry is one of those books that everyone seems to love. It has everything a girl could ever want in a book, doesn’t it?
- Swoon-Worthy Love Interest? Check!
- Blonde Cheerleader MC? Check!
- Flirty Banter? Check!
- Drama/Problems? Check!
- Steamy Romance? Check!
That, I think is where my problems with this novel lie. Perfect Chemistry reads much like a checklist – as if Simone Elkeles looked at the afore-mentioned list and created a story to perfectly revolve around those very same ideals. Yet, while its predictability disappointed me, I’ve come to realize that Perfect Chemistry is one of those novels that is meant to be predictable. Elkeles has written a cute, funny, and HOT romance which is meant to be taken at face-value and, for what it’s worth, it’s good, enjoyable, and oh-so-sexy.
I don’t even think I need to give you a summary of this novel, but I will anyway. Brittany seems to have it all – she’s beautiful, wears designer clothes, has top grades, is head cheerleader, and her parents are loaded with money. Beneath this perfect exterior, however, is a family falling apart.
Brittany’s older sister, Shelley, is mentally disabled and as such, her parents force to become their perfect daughter. Yet, to Alex Fuentes who has seen his father die before his very eyes, Brittany seems to be nothing but a blonde airhead. Stuck in the midst of a dangerous gang and struggling to give his mother and two younger brothers the life – and higher education – he can’t have, Alex loathes everything that Brittany stands for and vice versa. Thus, when he makes a bet to get into Ms. Perfect’s pants, he hardly expects to care for her – until, that is, they are paired together for a year-long chemistry project and Brittany chemistry sparks begin to fly. In the midst of their growing romance though, still lies the looming threat of their differences and a dangerous gang, so if Alex wants to win that bet, it isn’t simply Brittany’s heart he’ll be breaking – it might be his as well.
I’ll admit it – I had fun reading this novel. Alex, like most male protagonists these days, is incredibly good-looking and he knows it. I loved the flirty banter between these two, their steamy romance, and most of all, how well they understood one another. One of my favorite aspects of this novel was seeing Alex and Brittany struggle to work past their differences and find a way to still be together and hang out, even in settings vastly different to what they were used to. I thought it was portrayed so realistically and the hurdles they worked through only strengthened the bond between them. In addition, I really liked the fact that Elkeles managed to bring out important themes of diversity through her story.
must breach the social gap between not only herself and Alex, but her friends and those of Alex as well which was both interesting and heart-warming to note. Brittany
Yet, for all its cute, fun, and romantic qualities, I was unable to fall in love with Perfect Chemistry. Elkeles attempts to flesh out Brittany and Alex as deeper and more profound characters through their family situations. In terms of Alex, I was disappointed by the lack of devotion I felt for his family. Yes, Elkeles told us that Alex loved his family and was willing to do anything for them, but when push came to shove, Alex ultimately only ever did anything because of
. I appreciate their love for one another, but I wish that Alex’s bond with his brothers, or at least his mother, could have been better developed. Brittany , on the other hand, I found to be too stereotypical – or her family at any rate. I think the best way I can describe them is to tell you that they are The Dursleys. Brittany
The Dursleys =
’s Family Brittany
- They NEED to maintain an outward appearance of normalcy and perfection, which includes top-notch clothes, fancy cars, large homes, and wealthy contacts.
- They NEED to hide some member of their family, whether it be Harry or Shelley because these two are weird and different.
- They NEED to have one perfect child to show off to the world, whether it be Dursley who they pamper with food or Brittany who they pamper with clothes.
So, at the end of the day, Perfect Chemistry is a sweet, dramatic, and romantic novel. While I adored the romance and witty banter, I wished the character relationships could have been better developed. I really did like the high school setting though as that allowed for the novel to have larger themes and the friendships portrayed were also very realistic, but for the most part, this book is simply a cheesy romance – which is okay! Every once in awhile we all need a novel we can curl up with and know we can laugh and have fun with and Perfect Chemistry is that story. While I’m not jumping up and down to get my hands on the sequel of this one, I may check it out in the future and will definitely be recommending this read to those looking for mindless reading with just a touch of depth, originality, and plenty of
Alex Fuentes romance!