Thoughts: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry

Written by: Simone Elkeles

Narrators: Roxanne Hernandez and Blas Kisic

Publication Date: December 23, 2008

Length: 9 hrs, 44 minutes.

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Source: Library

Earlier this week  I was in a small reading slump. After starting the year with books like The Lotus Eaters, I Kill Giants, and Turtle in Paradise, I almost completely stopped reading except to read children’s books to my kids. Most of my classes start in a few weeks and when they do, much of my reading time will be lost. Unable to find a book that would keep my interest, I decided to try something different and checked out a few audio books from my library. It was a great idea.

Brittany Ellis is the most popular girl at Fairfield High School in Chicago. She has it all: beauty, wealth, and the captain of the football team as her boyfriend. Or does she? Alejandro “Alex” Rodriguez is a gang member from the wrong side of town. Pegged as a drug dealer, drug user and all-around bad guy, he’s none of those things and his secret wish is to graduate high school and go to college. When Brittany and Alex are grouped together for a chemistry project, the two have to put aside their hostile feelings for each other if they want to get a good grade. Told in alternative points of view, Perfect Chemistry is about Brittany and Alex’s budding romance, class, racism, and being yourself even if it means losing everything.

I thought this was an excellent book to listen to. The narrators, Hernandez and Kisic, are great as Brittany and Alex. The romance between the two teenagers who talked about their lives, family, and feelings for each other felt authentic. I listened to this book as I did chores around the house, showered, and picked up my kids. The book is nine hours long and usually it would take me a few days to finish an audio book, but I listened to this book in less than a day. It was that engaging and I have to recommend it as the perfect light read. My only problem with the story is the amount of times that Alex called Brittany “mamacita”. I know guys who call their girls “Mama” but it was starting to get to the point where hearing mamacita so often, would take me out of the story. Other than that, Perfect Chemistry is a great book to listen to. I highly recommend it.


14 thoughts on “Thoughts: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

  1. I’ve wanted to read this ever since Tasha of Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Books reviewed it, but I hadn’t thought of trying the audio. I’ll check and see if my library has it!

    I think the mamacita thing might throw me off, though. I sometimes call my mother Mamacita. I had no idea it was also a term for a hot girl; I’ve always just used it to mean “little mother.”

  2. You seem to have such a larger selection of audio books available to you. Our libraries tend to carry very little stock of them and then they seemed to be aimed at the mature ladies with authors like Catherine Cookson.

  3. I hadn’t heard of this book before, but I bet it’s something that both my daughter and I would love. It sounds like it’s got just the right balance of romance and plot. I will be looking for this one, thanks!

  4. Audio books are a great idea. I like to utilize them when I have to paint a room or do some other house chore that is long and boring. I feel like I’m getting more bang for my buck. Thanks for the review!

  5. Glad to have discovered your blog through the mother reader comment challenge. My two middle grade novels are mysteries. I’ll check out your review policy. Thanks!

  6. I still haven’t given into routinely listening to books, though it would probably let me put my car time to good use!
    I did read Perfect Chemistry and really enjoyed it! It’s an easy book to get students to read!

  7. It’s one I’ve yet to read, despite reading many positive reviews of it. I’m glad you enjoyed it : maybe I’ll give the audio version a try, too. It’s been a while since I’ave “read” an audiobook!

  8. LOVE this book! You’re absolutely right, it’s the perfect light read and so much fun. I’m glad the audiobook lives up to the text!

    The mamacita thing didn’t really bother me too much, although it’s hilariously old-school. What’s that from, like the ’60s?

  9. Audiobooks tend to work as slump busters for me too. I haven’t listened to one in a really long time, though, because my commute to work is 5 mins these days. When I try to listen around the house I typically get so comfy I fall asleep. Ugg! Thinking of trying some at the gym, though. Maybe some of the chunky books I have on tap for this year. Vanity Fair, anyone? ha!

  10. i read this book a few weeks ago and i have to agree with you! it was a great young adult book and i loved the relationship between the two main characters.

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