As part of the chica lit blog tour I was over at Gabriella Hewitt's site where she was excited about a rap book trailer. Her enthusiasm caught me, and I couldn't resist checking out the rap for Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles about two high school seniors from different sides of town. While Alex views Brittany as Miss Perfecta, she sees him as a big bad gangster with a reputation that makes everyone at the high school fear him. The trailer had me rolling, knowing that it was an exaggeration of stereotypes showing the way the two characters viewed each other before being forced to get to know each other. I also always love a good Romeo and Juliet style romance.
This book is explosive. I picked it up to read a couple pages during a quick break to eat lunch in between doing some prep for next week. This evening once I was home and the girls were in bed I picked it back up and did not stop until I finished it (Yes, it brought Dreams from My Father to a screeching halt and trumped getting started on Eva Luna as the deadline for my New Classics Challenge is quickly approaching). Elkeles had believable characters and she represented Spanish slang and teen conversations well. It also had alternating voices, which I almost always enjoy to see different points of view. I was very satisfied with the pace of the book and the ending. There was a lot of humor mixed in with drama. I felt the extreme emotions along with the characters.
In addition, Simone Elkeles has got to be the funnest, most creative author site that I have ever seen.
While I did just get more relaxed with the books to include in my classroom library that originally had me hesitating, this one is definitely not for 6th graders. Alex and Brittany make Bella and Edward look tame!