Author: Simone Elkeles
Series: Perfect Chemistry #1
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: December 23, 2008
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.
First Sentence: Everyone knows I’m perfect.
If you asked me for a list of my absolutely favorite books six months ago, Perfect Chemistry will definitely be included on the list. I remember when I first read it – I wasn’t blogging yet, but stalked Goodreads often and saw people praising the entire Perfect Chemistry series. I decided to give the series a try because back then, I desperately needed book recommendations, and the series gave me such a rush. However, when I became a blogger and my eyes opened up to all the books out there, I felt my love for the series die down more and more. I finally decided to give Perfect Chemistry a reread when I saw the new covers at Barnes & Noble to see if my love for the book has changed. Short answer: It did.
“This is Alejandro Fuentes,” she starts…”When he wasn’t hanging out on street corners and harassing innocent people this summer, he toured the inside of jails around the city, if you know what I mean. (28,29)
This time, reading Perfect Chemistry sadly didn’t give me any sort of rush at all. In fact, I was a bit bored reading it, which should be a normal since I practically memorized everything that had happened in the first third of the book. However, I forgot what had happened in the last two-thirds of the book, but I still felt a bit bored reading the last two-thirds of the book anyways. I wasn’t as invested in the book as I was the first time I read it.
Perfect Chemistry did make me tear up this time around though. This caught me completely by surprise – before rereading Perfect Chemistry, I remembered every detail of Brittany’s situation, so I didn’t expect to tear up when I read about it again because I already prepared for everything. I sadly don’t remember whether or not Brittany’s situation managed to make me tear up or cry the first time I read it, but I don’t think it did. Did I get more sensitive over time?
I sadly wasn’t as invested in the romance this time around because I know that in the end, Brittany and Alex will obviously get together (duh). I remember when I read Perfect Chemistry for the first time, I loved how Brittany and Alex’s relationship developed and how they got together. Sadly, this time around, the road to their romantic relationship didn’t amaze me or make me fall for it. Yes, I was still rooting for them, but it lacked the spark I felt when I read Perfect Chemistry the first time.
“This is Brittany Ellis,” I say, all eyes now focused on me. “This summer she went to the mall, bought new clothes so she could expand her wardrobe, and spent her daddy’s money on plastic surgery to enhance her, ahem, assets.” (29)
I also couldn’t but be annoyed at all the Spanish used in Perfect Chemistry. Yes, I know that Alex is Mexican so it makes sense for him to speak Spanish sometimes, but he and his friends spoke Spanish a little too much for my taste. Add the fact that most of it wasn’t translated into the mix and you get a very annoyed Kelly. The last time I took any Spanish classes was when I was in fifth grade, so there was absolutely no way I would understand anything besides “hola” and “si.” I was also too lazy to go on Google translate and look up what Alex and all his friends were saying; it’s not like I had an internet connection with me the entire time I was reading Perfect Chemistry anyways.
I still enjoy reading the epilogue of Perfect Chemistry and it still brought a very cheesy smile to my face. I kind of want to read the rest of the Perfect Chemistry trilogy just so I can read their epilogues too. The epilogue of Perfect Chemistry is definitely my favorite part of the book and it also happens to be the cheesiest part of the book.
Overall, I am sad that I don’t love Perfect Chemistry as much as I did the first time I read it about three years ago. It has sadly dropped down from my absolutely favorite list to just an it was good list. I will still definitely recommend Perfect Chemistry though, although not as much as I did back then.