January 12, 2011

Perfect Chemistry (Simone Elkeles) Audiobook Review

Perfect Chemistry
Publisher: Audible, Inc. (Hardcover published by Walker Books for Young Readers, December 23, 2008)
Audiobook Format: 9 hrs and 45 mins
Narrated by Roxanne Hernandez , Blas Kisic
Series: Perfect Chemistry #1
Genre: YA Contemporary
From Goodreads. 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.

PERFECT CHEMISTRY, by Simone Elkeles, is a fantastic example of how YA is not just for a specific age range. The romance and chemistry (no pun intended) is relatable to a person of any age reading this book.

Since I read this in audiobook format. I feel like I got more of the original 'flavor'. Hernandez and Kisic did a really great job encompassing these characters. Since Spanish is not my native language, the narrators were able to pronounce the words correctly and with the right emphasis. They made the story come to life and added to the love I felt for this book.

The story is an old one, boy from wrong side of town meets rich girl, but Elkeles made it stand out from the rest. She started slow and molded the relationship between Alex and Brittany so beautifully. Everything about this story was different and as it went on I was anxious to see if these two could overcome the obstacles that kept them apart.

The relationship that Alex and Brittany cultivated with their forced partnership in Chemistry class was absolutely charming. I love a good 'I hate you' relationship turning to 'I can't stop thinking about you' one. These two were at the mercy of Elkeles and I was very pleased with the more realistic ending to the book.

Elkeles did not shy away from the obvious sexual tension of the teenagers in the book. Sex was a big issue that was faced, but it was gradual and it wasn't just thrown into the book unwarranted. She cultivated these relationships and when sex was discussed it was done tastefully. Another realistic issue that was faced head-on was gangs. The fact that Alex was in a gang heightened the seriousness and danger that the main couple's relationship faced. Just another component that made this book full of tension and kept me hooked.

Check out Simone Elkeles' Website, Twitter, and Facebook pages

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