Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Book review - Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

In their words:
Brittany Ellis seems to have it all; wealthy parents, the perfect boyfriend and the “right” group of friends. But when Brittany is forced to become lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the wrong side of town, her perfect life starts to unravel. 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 as Alex and Brittany grow closer, sparks begin to fly and they both realise that sometimes appearances can be deceptive. Will their emerging feelings be enough to keep them together when the world is determined to tear them apart?

In other words:
Perfect Chemistry is most definitely a story that has been told before – that of the age-old star crossed lovers –in this case, rich white girl meets poor Latin-American boy. As to whether it offers something new? Possibly.

In terms of plot it was predictable, even formulaic, but where this book shines is the characters. Brittany and her family are believably flawed, Alex and his fellow gang-members are realistically conflicted. At the start of the book both are carefully maintaining their reputations, but as the story progresses each realises that the other is far more than the facade that they present to the world. Chemistry teacher Mrs Peterson completely steals the show despite relatively little page-time.

I did find it overlong – towards the end I was rushing my reading, hoping for the conclusion to come sooner. Though the last third of the book drags on, the epilogue redeems this somewhat. Slightly too much angst and a little too formula driven, still the message of the book is one which will never, I believe, grow old.

Pages: 357
Guidance: Contains some violence and sex
Category: Modern life

Publication date: 1st April 2010

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy.

Perfect Chemistry has the best book trailer I’ve seen to date


  1. Great review! I really want to read this, even if it is cliched.

  2. It doesn't really sound like something I'd read, but I agree about the trailer - it's made of so much AWESOME it hurts! :D

  3. I really enjoyed this book and thanks for the honest review! I think your right about it being a little predictable.

  4. It is a little predicable you're absolutely right which is kind of interesting if you think about it due to the vast love it receives. I think readers will always be drawn to these kinds of books. I think it's what the author does with the concept and the characters that he/she creates that really draws the reader in. I've always found that a little predictability can be a good thing, if the author does a good job with it.

    Thanks for your honest review, it got me thinking which is always eventful haha. ;)

  5. I'm terribly excited for this book:) Such an honest review - you just found yourself a new follower!

  6. I loved this book - it's a pure romance novel through and through, and very grippingly told. I completely agree with Michelle's comment, too. Thanks for a great and thoughtful review!

  7. Great review!! It's great to see you blogging again! You were missed.

  8. Thank you all for your nice comments.

    Laina - I'm aware I have a terribly bad habit of falling off the radar. I'm trying to rectify it though!