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Belle's Bookshelf

"With a dreamy far-off look, and her nose stuck in a book..."

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What Maisie Knew
Henry James
My Friend the Enemy
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Perfect Chemistry - Simone Elkeles This review originally appeared at http://bellesbookshelf.blogspot.com/I can't get this book off my mind.Before reading it, I wasn't sure if it would be my cup of tea. The story of a gang member and a rich girl falling in love didn't really catch my fancy - mainly because it sounded super angsty, and I had my doubts about falling for a gang member. But then the Fuentes brothers kept popping up on My Book Boyfriend posts all over the blogosphere, and Abbey from Abbey's Bookshelf said the Perfect Chemistry series was one of her all-time faves - so I thought I should give it a go. I devoured it in a day and loved every second of it. Sure, it was a tad melodramatic and pretty damn cheesy, but I loved it all. And I really freaking loved Alex Fuentes.One of my favourite things about Perfect Chemistry was the fact that it's told from the alternating perpectives of Alex and Brittany. It was awesome to be able to get inside both their heads and see what was really going on with them before switching to how they're seen by each other. I especially enjoyed reading about the developing feelings on both sides of the relationship. I was able to sympathise with each of the characters and their situations, which was surprising. On the surface, they're not characters you'd expect to like (just as they don't expect to like each other), but scratch a bit deeper and they're both not just likable, but lovable. Especially Alex - I really admired the fact that everything he did was to protect his family (no thanks to his mum, who basically encourages him to sacrifice himself, grrr). Plus, y'know, he's totally hot.But, with a name like Perfect Chemistry, does Alex and Brittany's relationship live up to the book's title? The answer is yes. Hell. Yes. From the very beginning, you can feel the sparks flying, even as they (try to) hate each other. Thanks to the different viewpoints, it wasn't hard to see why they were drawn to one another. Their banter was a lot of fun to read, and with the exception of a few cringe-worthy lines, the dialogue felt quite natural. The sexual tension made the slow build to Alex and Brittany's inevitable hookup excruciating (in the best possible way). When they finally did get together, there were quite a few steamy scenes, but it was the emotions behind the passion that really made them stand out. I enjoyed Elkeles' writing so much I instantly regretted having only bought Perfect Chemistry, and went online to order the rest of the series straight away. Now I'm eagerly awaiting their arrival in the mail while avoiding other books, because I so want to stay in the world of Alex and Brittany. It's a pretty awesome place to be.