Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Brittany and Alex can't be farther apart in appearances. Brittany is upper middle class, from the north side, and has everything. Alex is Mexican-American, belongs in a gang, and lives on the south side. Unfortunately for both of them, they are stuck as chemistry lab partners for the year.

They do have a lot in common though, as they realize. Brittany has a hard home life with a sister with cerebral palsy and parents who fight constantly. Alex lives in a tough neighborhood and the only way to save his family is to be a member of the local gang, like his dad. They both spend more time thinking about the other than they should. Their different worlds threaten to tear them apart right when they can't live without the other.

Told from both points of view, this is a fabulous love story. It reminded me a little of West Side Story, with a much better ending. Brittany and Alex fight the odds to be together. There is a lot going on here though--not just love and romance. I could barely put it down, and can't wait to read Rules of Attraction.

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