Synopsis 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. 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.
Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Well considering I thought I was going to read about two pages of this book before giving up, I’m surprised how much I enjoyed this one. Maybe I am a girl after all. Gosh.
Brittany. Alex. PacoPacoPaco. Pom squad. Garages. Motorcycles. Science projects. Beaches. Leather jackets. Bandanas. Chichis. The phrase “ripped bod”. Muffins. Hand warmers…and sex.
I’ll be the first person to admit that I get unnecessarily angry about epilogues.
WHY? Why are they needed? Books, as a rule, are better just left with an ambiguous ending. Because us readers like to fill in the blanks, don’t we? We like to get our own way. We like to give our beloved characters a happy ending. We like to give our most hated characters a quick shove off a cliff.
Most epilogues force characters into ridiculous situations that are either twee, implausible or just so sickly sweet you just want to throw not the book out of the window, but yourself.
This epilogue was one of them.
I was half expecting Albus Severus Potter to be chilling out in the back of that classroom as they all come up with the cure for the common cold.
Also…. There seemed to be a whole lot of nothing happening in some chapters and then A MILLION things happening in others.
And, I think the American definition of ‘gangbanger’ is different to the British one.
If not… Alex just got a whole lot more interesting.
Oh, I loved Brittany. Like most people who’ve read this book I had pretty much decided I was going to hate her and read her sections with a scowl on my face.
But, out of the two, I actually preferred Brittany’s chapters over Alex’s. I’ll go into this more later, but her narration seemed more natural and her feelings and thoughts were a lot more believable.
Even though I don’t think we’d be friends if I had attended this Fairfield (My school was actually called Fairfield…. But unfortunately my chemistry lessons contained more old, wooden desks that put ladders in your tights when you get near to them rather than sexy Mexicano lovers
that put ladders in your tights when you get near to them.), I still liked you. It’s just that we have absolutely nothing in common except we occasionally use muffin analogies to describe the state of our life.
But you were lovely and sweet and caring and a bit of a saucy minx when you wanted to be.
Car garages, eh?
Alright, Alejandro. Sorry, I know you don’t like being called that. But I like to say it… and then sing it.
But we’ll stick with Alex.
You were very cute and I liked that you were a bit of a one and talked about chichis and how you’d keep the light on and all sorts of things to make a good girl like me blush.
I also loved your history and your background and how you were loyal and were a good hermano to the mini-Alex’s that ran around in the background.
Also, you sound so effin’ hot it’s insane.
But, going back to the reason why I wasn’t 100% sold on your chapters… saying things like “She’s like a mystery, and all I can think about is unravelling the clues” and “We’re actors in our lives, pretendin’ to be who we want people to think we are” is a sure fire way of getting a slap from moi.
Seriously, I know you’re not rotten to the core. You’re all gooey in the middle and being a gang-whatever doesn’t define who you truly are on the inside.
You don’t have to keep trying to convince me.
I get it… you’re deep.
“Problem is, the bathroom pass can’t help you escape life”.
OK, but can it help me escape these little nuggets of wisdom?
I’ve chosen this song because it’s one of the few modern love songs that isn’t overly sappy and vile and errrrugh. And I just think this entire album is genius.
AND this song is before Mr Banks gets dumped unceremoniously, goes to prison and then kills someone in self-defence and everything is still lovely and cute and sexysexy.
But don’t worry guys! We know our Alejandro doesn’t share that same fate thanks to that cracking epilogue.
Boy/Girl Angst Level.
6/10. It could’ve been a lot worse.
I liked Alex and Brittany together, I thought they made a great couple… but I couldn’t help but wish they had had more ‘Urgh, I hate you’ moments before they decided that they were going to be soul mates.
I don’t know… but I loved their banter and their…wait for it… wait for it… chemistry when they were all fizzy and zingy and snarky with each other. Sure, they could be soulmates eventually… but I wanted more oomph.
5/10. I wanted this book to be sadder and all the elements were there but, like I said before, the pacing kind of prevented it.
It seemed the truly sad and distressing moments were kind of just brushed over. Especially the bit at the end!
People who are looking for a slightly predictable yet still fun romance book. People who don’t mind a book about chemistry that isn’t actually about chemistry. Unless we count the cure for Alzheimer’s. But it’s probably best if we don’t. People who always add “And to sex” under their breath when they are making toasts. People who think garages are for sexytime. People who wish their driving instructor was a boy with a leather jacket (although a lovely Welshman with a ton of patience at me squealing whenever a sheep got too close to the dry stone walls that lined the windy (and icy) roads of Llanberis would always be my second choice). People who wish their teenage rebellion involved a sexy boy on a motorbike. People who use delicious baked treats to describe their mental states.