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.
In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.Okay, well usually I don't do much contemporary YA (yes, I have read all of Sarah Dessen's books, but that's it), so I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this. I can honestly say it was very cute. The whole Romeo & Juliet (and/or West Side Story) thing they had going on was kinda awesome.
It starts off with Brittany Ellis arguing with her mom and trying to put on her "perfect" face for the first day of her Senior year. And then we go to Alex Fuentes' house and he is also trying to put on his "bad boy" act for school, even though that's not really who he is. The two already kind of hate each other, so it really stinks when they get stuck as chemistry partners for the year. (Brittany's boyfriend doesn't like it much either) But, Brittany and Alex realize (slowly) that they don't really hate each other, and that they could be friends (maybe more). As the book goes on they have to face trial after trial, and neither knows whether or not they will ever make it together. The whole story is very sweet, if a little rocky at times.
I really liked Brittany. She was the nice popular girl that everyone loves to hate. (She reminds me of a friend of mine) She really loved and cared for her sister and did whatever she could to make her family happy. She wasn't an idiot, and was kind of funny a lot of the time. Minus the fact that she dated an extremely possessive jock, and has fairly poor judgement, she was a good heroine. And then there was Alex. I didn't always know exactly what to make of him, but I liked him by the end. He was a good guy who really didn't want to be in a gang, but he did it to protect his family, and because his mom kinda made him. Now, I do not condone gangs or whatever, but he always managed to do the right thing, and he really was a good guy.
I really loved the whole switching perspectives between Alex and Brittany. It made everything interesting, and I always like reading a guy's perspective. It was well written and the characters really seemed human. There were definitely some things I did not like about the book, but for the most part it was good.
I'll give it 4 stars, since it was really good, but (like I said) there were definitely some things I didn't like. And I don't love the cover (it's just not how I pictured Alex & Brittany!!). I do recommend it for people who like contemporary, or even a good love story.
Sooo yeah! Anyone read anything good lately? I need some suggestions.