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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too
Who says that southsiders and northsiders can't mix? Well, other than everyone at Fairfield High School on the outskirts of Chicago.

Northsider Brittany Ellis has everything any teenager wants: popularity, money, and good looks. On the surface, her life is wonderful, but her perfect persona is just a cover-up for her troubled home life.

Southsider...
Published on 3 Jan 2009 by TeensReadToo

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average Chemistry
If you've been apart of the online blogging community, I can probably guarantee you will have seen this book or the sequels somewhere. It's a book that has many reviews stating it's brilliance so I had high expectations for it. After reading it I can't understand all the hype. I even nearly put the book down at one point, to not pick up again. Alas I did and here we are...
Published 22 months ago by ReadWriteReviews


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 3 Jan 2009
By 
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Perfect Chemistry (Paperback)
Who says that southsiders and northsiders can't mix? Well, other than everyone at Fairfield High School on the outskirts of Chicago.

Northsider Brittany Ellis has everything any teenager wants: popularity, money, and good looks. On the surface, her life is wonderful, but her perfect persona is just a cover-up for her troubled home life.

Southsider Alex Fuentes has a bad-boy reputation, but all he wants is to get out of his gang and graduate.

When they are thrown together as chemistry partners, life starts to make more sense. Written from both Brittany and Alex's perspective, this story shows what's going on below the surface for each person as they break through stereotypes and expectations that threaten to keep them apart.

This is like a modernized Shakespeare story, and after reading hundreds of books with plots similar to Romeo and Juliet, some stories start to blur into each other. PERFECT CHEMISTRY is not one of those books. It was addicting and the story was vibrant. The characters came to life and it was like I was there watching the story unfold.

The way Simone Elkeles wrote the story was absolutely perfect.

Reviewed by: Emily Ann
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant!, 4 Mar 2010
By 
Jo (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Perfect Chemistry (Paperback)
When I received Perfect Chemistry for review, I was pretty pleased. I heard a lot of people had good things to say about it, and so was intrigued, though I was particularly wowed by the blurb, but I thought I'd give it a go. I cannot tell you how amazing Perfect Chemistry is! I am not the fastest reader going, and Perfect Chemistry isn't exactly a skinny book, but it was so good, I couldn't put it down, and read the whole thing yesterday. I loved it!

This book is about so much more than just a love story. It's also about accepting yourself for who you are, being yourself, and not living by the social rules of your environment. It was fantastic to see how these two very different people - Brittany, who is little miss popular and Queen Bee of high school, and Alex, dangerous gang member who strikes fear into just about everyone - were so similar. How they are seen by the outside world is nothing compared to who they are inside, but a front they put on for reasons far more serious than social acceptance.

I love the way the story was structured, with mostly alternating chapters from both Brittany and Alex's points of view in first person. It was brilliant to really get inside their heads, to see what they were hiding, yet see their misconceptions of the other. It's not completely original, but it was brilliant.

It was great to see them struggle with their individual lives, having pretty much no-one to confide in about their issues, and then seeing them thrust together to, little by little, learn to trust, open up, and let the other in. They are both so much more complicated than the other thought; Brittany is a nice, good person, rather have superficial and arrogant, and Alex is fiercely loyal and protective of his family, and does what he must to keep them safe. Watching them fall in love as they realise they may have actually found someone who understands is just beautiful.

As I said before, Alex is a gang member, but the fact that this is a romance doesn't mean that Simone shies away from what that means to Alex. Everyone knows gangs are dangerous, but it was shocking to see just how much. Alex's pretence is not only for what others think of him, but for what his friends and his fellow gang members think of him. If the guys on top got even a whiff that he is anything but fiercely dedicated to the gang, not only his life would be at risk. There is violence, drugs, and extreme fear running throughout this book; it's dark and gritty, and there's no lack of suspense. It's hard not to admire Alex for what he has to live through, day in and day out, knowing if he takes his eye off the ball for one second, that could be it. It's thrilling for a book, but deeply disturbing to considering this is life for some people.

The issue of living with a disabled relative is also covered in this book. Brittany is carrying around so much guilt that she was born "normal" while her older sister wasn't, and is also having to deal with a mother who is perpetually on the edge of breaking down at the possibility of the slightest scandal - what would the neighbours think? Brittany has to deal with so much pressure, from in and outside school, it's admirable, though unfair, that she plays the worry free pampered princess so well.

This book is just incredible, and I finished it with the urge to cry at just how beautiful it is. Perfect Chemistry is far from a simple love story; it's complicated, it's dangerous, but it's completely wonderful. There really is no way for me to express how much I have been touched by this book, and I really look forward to reading more of Simone's novels. If you don't read this book, you're missing out on something completely unforgettable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's perfect!, 5 April 2010
By 
Dwayne @ Girls Without a Bookshelf (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Perfect Chemistry (Paperback)
I have read so many rave reviews about Perfect Chemistry. I'm just about to add another, so brace yourself!

I was terribly excited for this book, taking into account it has been released in the US a full two years prior to its release here in the UK, which was only yesterday. To be honest I was worried that my expectations would ruin the book for me. I knew it was going to be a good read, only I was not certain it was ever going to meet my expectations - after reading I decided it was a ridiculous thought after all; it actually surpassed my expectations.

What makes Perfect Chemistry a book in its own league is not the fact that everyone is in love with the tale of star crossed lovers, but because Simone has crafted and perfected such endearing characters in both Alex and Brittany. Their voices were strong, were personalised realistically and were very relatable to any reader. I found that Simone has synchronised each of her character's thoughts, words and feelings into the narration. Of course, the sassy, witty, and sometimes deliriously sexy dialogue is incorporated well.

And although the romance is of course a main theme in the novel, for me it is this depth given to her characters that makes the romance special. I found that it is the coming together of such beautiful characters in midst of the social tension and skepticism that swirls around them which makes Perfect Chemistry such a loveable novel.

Although I struggled with the Spanish phrases (needing to consult an online translator to aid my basic, patchy Spanish), its use was very effective and adds flavour to the characters and to the overall plot. I found that and the touch of Mexican culture unique and very enlightening. Not to mention the sense of brotherhood, loyalty, danger, and most of all the sense of self present in Perfect Chemistry very gripping.

I hugely enjoyed the divided neighbourhood that dominates the setting. It creates ample tension and provides a background which reflects the characters. I loved the feeling of tension that lurks whenever the narration is taken over by Alex as equally as I enjoyed the feeling of rich-but-empty lifestyle that Brittany's voice offers. Together, they weave perfectly, further highlighting such a beautiful romance.

The plot was given time to develop - never did I feel rushed - which results to a well-founded, well-narrated and very solid love story I could only love. The uncertainty and the many twists and turns of this novel was engrossing - much so that I was hooked from beginning to end.

Perfect Chemistry is definitely more than just a romance novel. It focuses on not only the coming together of a bad boy Romeo and a princessy Juliet, but also of choices, and carving one's path and of change.

I'm desperate for the sequel, Rules of Attraction :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now One Of My Favorites..., 26 May 2009
This review is from: Perfect Chemistry (Paperback)
At Fairfield High School there's a divide in the student body, south siders and north siders. No one believes the gap can be bridged. Then again no one imaged Miss perfect, Brittany Ellis and gang member, Alex Fuentes would be lab partners in Chemistry.

But are they really complete opposites? Will love enter the equation or will the stereotypes win in the end?

This book captured me from page one and I finished it within one sit in.

I loved how you get to learn both characters perspectives and for me, this made the characters seem stronger and more believable. The mixture of Spanish and English, when Alex is telling his story, gave perfect chemistry a flavor I haven't seen in a while!

Buy Buy Buy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved This Read!, 22 May 2013
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This review is from: Perfect Chemistry (Paperback)
I will start my review by saying I really loved this. I didn't want it to end. I decided to buy it after seeing a lot of my favourite authors have read it. I've also noticed it as a recommendation in a few books at the back. So I decided to go for it. And I'm glad I did because I loved it.

I saw this was a trilogy and thought it would be great to get stuck into another great trilogy. Unfortunately the next in the series Rules of Attraction isn't about Alex and Brittany. It's about Carlos, Alex's brother.

I liked the suspense in this book. I thought the story was great. I just wish this book was longer and had more happy moments. The Prologue was so cute. It was a great way to end the book.

This book was really interesting. I don't really know anything about gangs. It was good to read the Mexicans and Americans coming together, to an extent. I didn't realise there were places like this were there's such hatred for the other side of town.

If you like Beautiful Disaster then you'll love this.

I am disappointed that this story isn't continued. I really need to find another good trilogy to get into.

I would 100% recommend this book. Loved it!!! 9 out of 10!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average Chemistry, 14 Sep 2012
By 
This review is from: Perfect Chemistry (Paperback)
If you've been apart of the online blogging community, I can probably guarantee you will have seen this book or the sequels somewhere. It's a book that has many reviews stating it's brilliance so I had high expectations for it. After reading it I can't understand all the hype. I even nearly put the book down at one point, to not pick up again. Alas I did and here we are. Perfect Chemistry is a YA Romance book about how opposites attract, and how someone so different to you can be the perfect match. It puts the characters through the paces and makes them decide some pretty hard decision. It was interesting to see the whole thing unravel but there were a few things that really annoyed me.

Perfect Chemistry follows Brittany the golden girl, who has it all. Or so it seems. Her home life isn't exactly perfect, no where near. She uses her perfect facade to impress her parents and so she can fit in and be popular at school. Yes she is spoilt but her parents thrust so many rules upon her. Her so called perfect life is nearly ripped apart when bad boy Alex is forced to be her lab partner. At First Alex doesn't like Brittany he doesn't like how she's so spoilt. He has to work in a gang to protect his family. When a bet is created with his friends, to see if Alex can Sleep with Brittany, Alex has to get closer to Brittany but instead he finds himself falling for her.

Brittany at first seems like your average Blonde popular high school girl. But we soon see the pressure that her parents put upon her. At home she has a sister who is very ill, because of this Brittany needs to be the perfect daughter so her parents don't look bad in front of their friends. Brittany is beginning to lose it, the pressure is making her slowly crack and when she gets closer to Alex, she gets to see an outsiders view of her world. Alex is a bad boy gangster who fluently speaks Spanish. He frequently flunks school to do business for the gang. He was a much better character than Brittany, he had More energy and dare I say seemed more real. Together they have an interesting relationship but it didn't seem real to me, yes it was sweet but some things were uncharacteristic.

I also really did not like how much Spanish is used in the book. Yes we understand Alex and his family are Spanish but most of us readers cannot read Spanish. So why does it need to be included so often. I don't even have a clue what it says half the time, it just disrupts the flow of reading. Another thing was the whole gang thing, and how easily Alex jumped into fights. I didn't like it. There's a fight at the beginning and that's where I nearly put the book down. There were way to many gang reference and like above we know he's in a gang we are not stupid! Brittany's mum was a bitch and her father was absent, his absence wasn't really explained.

This book was ok but it really wasn't anything special. I don't see what the fuss is all about. It is a interesting YA Romance but there are some that are much better out there. I borrowed the second book too and I couldn't get past the first chapter the main character was such an arse. I've given up on this series. Oh and the freaking ending they end up being super scientists, hello? I thought they weren't that good at chemistry then they make a cure for a disease. I'm going to stop grumbling now and more on. If you like YA Contemporary romance then you will probably like this but it wasn't the book for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely beautiful ..., 30 May 2010
By 
This review is from: Perfect Chemistry (Paperback)
This is my daughter's review:

PERFECT CHEMISTRY is most possibly the most incredible book I have ever come across and believe me, it is no exaggeration. As I was going on holiday with my family, I needed a couple of books to read on the 7 hour journey. PERFECT CHEMISTRY caught my eye in a book shop and what I thought would be 2 hours reading ended up to be 6 and a half - I could not put the book down. I finished the whole thing on that car journey and could not stop marvelling at the beauty of it.

When Brittany Ellis and Alex Fuentes are partnered up in Chemistry class, neither are too happy about it. Alex is dangerous - he's known for his membership in the Latino Blood gang - and Brittany is more than a little nervous around him. With what some would say her 'perfect' life, Brittany isn't that well liked either. On first impression, Alex thinks she's a superficial blonde with more money than sense. But these stereotypes only qualify on the surface.

Brittany's home life isn't as golden as most people expect it to be - especially Alex Fuentes. With her sister disabled, her mother about to have a breakdown at any second and her father treating their home like a hotel, Brittany is quite alone. She feels the guilt of being born 'normal' and the whole perfect charade at school hides what's actually going on at home. She only has two people she can confide in, Sierra and her boyfriend Colin, and even Colin seems to have changed over summer break.

Alex is the man of the household; after his father was murdered in front of him at the age of six, it's been a struggle with his mother and two brothers, Luis and Carlos. Being a part of the Latino Blood is tough - Alex wishes he could graduate and do something with his life after high school but it's an impossibility. Once your in the Blood, there's no backing out.

Alex's friends agree a bet with him about Brittany and Alex doesn't think anything of it. It's not as if he'd feel anything for the spoilt rich kid. But how wrong he is.

Two different people and yet so much alike - Brittany and Alex begin to grow closer and it gets to a point when both are too far in to walk away. But can it last with Brittany's judgemental mother and Alex's violent gang?

As I said, PERFECT CHEMISTRY is a book that I will never grow tired of.
I recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book i read in a long time, 27 Aug 2009
This review is from: Perfect Chemistry (Paperback)
if i had to review this book in a word i would say 'fantastic'!!!. from the first page to the last you wont want to put the book down. i'm an avid reader and read up to 4 books in a week and this book is one of the best i have read in a long time. all i can say is buy it and read it you wont be dissapointed and also bring on the sequal 'Rules of Attraction' in may 2010. i can't wait
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this, 19 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Perfect Chemistry (Kindle Edition)
I read this ages ago but realised I hadn't reviewed it. I'm one a few words... This was bloody BRILLIANT
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5.0 out of 5 stars loved it, 9 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Perfect Chemistry (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book, couldn't put it down! Didn't want it to end at all and looking forward to reading some more of Simones books.
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Perfect Chemistry
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles (Paperback - 1 April 2010)
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