When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.
If you haven’t read Perfect Chemistry by Ms Elkeles… there may be spoilers ahead.
Initial Final Page Thoughts.
OK, so I have to admit I originally picked this book up with every intention of laughing at it as opposed to with it.
But Ms Elkeles definitely got the last laugh because this book and I had a whale of a time together and I’m thinking of proposing soon.
Some Things I Will Never Understand.
Why some girls (and some boys…) where leggings as pants. How they get the tiny writing to go all the way through Blackpool Rock. Dr Who. My 8 times table. Olly Murs. Why so many people prefer Perfect Chemistry over this book.
I don’t know whether I have to hand in my YA reader card in to someone or get a strike against my name or something… but I much much muuuuuch preferred this book.
Carlos. Kiara. Being a badass. Perky privates. Shared bathrooms. Mountain walks. Homecoming dances. Lake side canoodles. Magnetic cookies. Chicas. Cowboys. The Ultimate Queers. Mr Westford’s Home for Wayward Boys. Swapping germs.
I didn’t really like the whole gangbanger (LOL) thing in this book. In Perfect Chemistry it worked with Alex’s character but with Carlos it just seemed like Ms Elkeles was like “Meep, we need more angst. I know… I’ll add a gang! That worked for the first one!”
Also… the whole pretend boyfriend/girlfriend thing. I have no idea why Carlos and Kiara did that at all. It just seemed a bit random….
I probably don’t need to tell you that the epilogue made me want to claw my eyes out but not as much as the first one.
Oh wait… sorry, I know you don’t like white kids try and sound Mexican. I’m sorry but you might have to get over that if we’re going to hang out because I like to pretend I’m Mexican on a regular basis.
I thought you were going to be a mini-version of Ale-ale-Alejandro but, by gum, was I wrong about you!
Maybe I have a defective girl gene because Alex never did anything for me but Carlos, amigo… sorry friend… you were a million times better. Especially in this book because yawn, Alex. Have you always been so dull?
I thought you were a much more entertaining narrator than your older
hermano brother. Where he was funny, you were hysterical. Where he was a bit cheeky, you were a full on rummon. Where he was cute with Brittany, you were a bona fide BOTS (Bringer of the Swoon) with Kiara.
Also you said things like this:
“Ever since I got fired from the sugar mill two months ago, I’ve lived la vida loca.”
“Whether Alex wants to admit it or not, being a badass is my legacy.”
“Hell, I could write a book on kissing chicas if I wanted to.”
(For the record, I would be all over that book like a rash.)
I mean… um perfect.
So yeah, whatever with your Ale-Ale-Alejandro.
I’m a Carlos girl, through and through.
And so, it seems, is our Kiara.
Oh what a little sweetheart.
I wish my occasional stutter was as endearing as yours. I also wish I had a sexy Latina in the next room that walked around in his undies… maybe one day.
I was nervous about you when I read the synopsis.
Oh she’s shy. Oh and she has a stutter. Oh and she wears oversized t-shirts. She’s really awkward. And don’t even mention the fact that she has a ponytail… eeerrrurrgh. What kind of self-respecting girl wears a ponytail?!
But don’t worry because a sexy Latina is going to bring her out of her shell.
So what did our sexy Latina do to bring Kiara out of her shell?
Because she did it all on her own.
I loved that she gave as good as she got and never let Carlos get away with crossing the line. Also, even though I kinda wanted a make-over scene, I liked that Kiara didn’t change anything about herself and Carlos didn’t push it.
He didn’t make her change out of her oversized t-shirts and tell her she had car grease all over her face and he only asked her to put on high heels because he’s a bit of a perve. But that’s why we love him!
Also, I loved how she was just as naughty as Carlos.
That bit in her parent’s living room?!
You know what they say about the quiet ones….
“I want to make sure Kiara’s got a boyfriend who has more to offer than a hot bod and a face that could make angels weep.”
Oh Carlos, I love your ego.
Unless you find all the Alejandro and Brittany ANGST seeping into this story heart breaking you’ll be absolutely fine.
Although…. There is a brief mention of Paco.
People who were born to be a badass. People who think that just kissing in the rain is too tame. People who like orange marmalade cookies. People who will never stop using random Spanish words incorrectly in conversation.