Published: April 29th 2010, Simon & Schuster
Pages: 357 pages, paperback
Series?: Yes, this is the first installment. Rules of Attraction is out now and Chain Reaction is due out this year
Acquired: Via UK Book Tours/sent for review by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
My review: So Perfect Chemistry had been on my radar for a really long time before I actually got a chance to read it. I was sent an early copy of Rules of Attraction but without the first installment it just sat sadly on my shelf for far too long. Luckily, though, the lovely Lynsey at UK Book Tours offered it up and I snapped at the chance - then Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy and I was swimming in copies. Well, slight exaggeration but still.
It does feel a little pointless writing this review as I'm fairly sure I'm the last person to read this book - as always I am far, far behind the times! However, if there are a couple of you out there who haven't read it yet then take it from me - you have to read this book and soon. It's brilliant. I've read so many reviews of both Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction and I honestly haven't come across a single negative review.
Elkeles is an absolute master of voice and she gets both Brittany and Alex spot on. I love the way the story is told from their alternating perspectives, each of them offering a fresh take on their interactions. I'm a complete sucker for anything set in an American high school so there wasn't really much chance of me not liking Perfect Chemistry. However, it does definitely stand out from the crowd and I know any YA contemporary fans will just love this - plus, it has the attraction of being part of the first book in a series of three for all of you series lovers.
Everything you'd read is true - Alex Fuentes is a complete hottie. He's the traditional bad boy with a heart of gold but he's certainly not your run of the mill hero. Alex has so many layers and I loved finding out about him and his brothers as the novel developed - it perfectly set up the next two books in the series but didn't feel forced at all.
Perfect Chemistry is just brilliant and I can't wait for Chain Reaction to be released later this year! Give it a go - you'll love it.
First line: 'Everyone knows I'm perfect.'
Read if you liked…: The Ghost and the Goth - Stacey Kade (for a similar tone, not similar storylines)
Total: 17/20 (A)