This book is the perfect example.
Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
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.
There's so many things I want to say about this book, but right now I can't find the words to express it.
Reading this was like riding an emotional roller coaster, at least for me. There were times I wanted to cry, and cry I did. There were times when I just want to laugh, times when I feel giddy and happy and warm inside and times when I think hard because what they say makes sense.
The reality in it is just too hard to ignore.
I understand Alex and Britanny's fear. They both have to keep appearances for the whole world to see. They're both afraid to take the first step and defy everyone's expectations. People expect you to behave a certain way, to fit into a certain mold, or a category and when you stray from it and behave differently, or maybe be someone else, most of the time the consequences aren't pretty.
People around them expects Alex to drop out of school and just waste his life being a member of the Latino Blood and maybe die early, while everyone expects Britanny to settle for the best looking guy in the school, because that's how its supposed to be. For them, a girl from the South side falling in love with a guy from the North is something that was unheard of. But when the bad boy and the perfect princess becomes partners in Chemistry, and they realize that what they have was something more than just a mere attraction, it was the start of something that would change both their lives forever.
It's a very poignant story, one that has moved me in more ways than one. Breaking the mold, defying expectations and trying to find the real you, what you are and who you really want to be, acceptance, loyalty, and loving your family. There's just so much this book has.
Britanny and Alex's love for each other was beautifully portrayed in this book. It amazes me how the author was able to write something so real, so complicated, so powerful and yet something you just can't stop reading. Theirs was a journey of trying to find who they are, of what their love could do for each other, and of how much they are willing to risk and give away for their love.
I just have to say this, I love Mrs. P. I consider her as Alex's other guardian angel (the other one being Britanny), though a very unconventional angel she was. Aside from Britanny, I think she was also one of those who were able to anchor and steer Alex into the path he wanted to take. If it wasn't for her, Alex and Britanny never would've met. I guess Mrs. P saw something nobody has in Alex and decided to give him the chance he needs.
This book had me mesmerized. I didn't want to stop even when I've reached the last page, the ending putting a small smile on my lips. But as they say, all good things must come to an end, and I didn't want it to end. I'm glad this is the first book off a trilogy. I can't get enough of Simone Elkeles' writing!
Rating: ★★★★★ : AWESOME! MORE! MORE! - I can't believe such a book exists!