Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Maybe it is my own biases that keep me from loving this book but I just didn't love it. I had a hard time connecting Alex's difficulties being the gang member to protect the family, the violence, disrespectful attitude to authority, rival gang shootings, and the constant knowledge that life will end young and violently to Brittany's heavy hearted, must-look-perfect-at-all-times attitude. Not. The. Same.
Okay, I'll give some latitude in that Brittany is taking on a lot of responsibility by trying to keep her cerebral palsy sister at home rather than institutionalized and putting up with an unengaged father and maniacally neurotic mother but I can't quite see how that would lead the two lovebirds to assume they have much in common besides trying to hold up a facade. Like we all do, by the way.
Both POV's are well represented. Brittany's and Alex's voice are clear and different. I also had a difficult time reconciling the objective of the book. Alex made a bet he could have sex with Brittany. The segue into that bet wasn't smooth. It seemed a little forced. And the ending was a little much.
We all root for the couple who have the most to overcome by class differences; Romeo and Juliet, Danny and Sandy, Cinderella and Prince Charming... but Romeo and Juliet killed themselves, Di and Charles divorced, Cinderella's story continued with "Into the Woods." I'm too much of a realist to think the baggage doesn't carry over.
On the other hand, I am holding my breath that William and Kate make it.