Reading for a Lifetime Together

A Twist on Twilight
November 8, 2009, 12:05 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

perfect-chemistry          Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles definitely did not follow the plot I expected. When I picked up this book, I anticipated a similar story to Twilight by Stephanie Meyers, just without the fantasy. Instead, I read about a popular girl, Brittany, who hides her problematic home life with a perfect façade. Entering chemistry, she discovers the teacher assigns lab partners alphabetically placing her with Alex, the toughest gang member in the school. As the story develops, the reader learns more about Alex’s family and history while taking in the effects of his ghetto neighborhood. In the typical fashion of a young adult novel, the two fall for each other. Brittany begins realizing the reasoning behind her perfectness as Alex recognizes the injustice of his lifestyle. Their trusting relationship breaks down when Alex must control a drug transaction. In an attempt to stop Alex, Alex’s best friend, Paco, takes a bullet instead. Alex and his family return to Mexico, leaving behind Brittany to face the heartbreak of losing her love. While this book does have a positive ending, the reader first accompanies the characters on an emotional roller coaster.

          While riding the emotional roller coaster built into every page, I admit to getting absorbed. I often become more enthralled with a book more than necessary, this particular novel included. I disliked the characters until I further understood them. I could easily empathize with Brittany, but could only sympathize with Alex. I laughed when Brittany and Alex held verbal duels, sighed when they both refused to admit feelings, cried when they fought, smiled when the couple reconciled, cried once again during the drug deal, sobbed harder when Alex lied and left, and felt satisfied with the absolutely adorable ending. No matter a person’s preconceived notions or circumstances, they can find a connection to many of the characters. Anyone who likes Twilight, Grease, or realistic fiction should read this book.



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