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Por Lo Menos Los Besos Era Bueno

Posh reviews Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, which lives up to its name but no es bueno everywhere else. 

Por Lo Menos Los Besos Era Bueno

BOOK REPORT for Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry Book 1) by Simone Elkeles

BFF Charm: Nay
Swoonworthy Scale: 8
Talky Talk: No Frills Mexicano
Bonus Factors: Uptown Girl, She's All That, Brown People
Relationship Status: One Night Stand

The Deal:

On the outside, Brittany Ellis is perfect-- perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect boyfriend. In other words, she's annoying. Things at home, however, are far from flawless; her father is distant, her mother is uber controlling and her sister is extremely disabled. Brittany's carefully maintained facade begins to crack when she's paired in chemistry lab (GET IT) with Alex, a bad boy Latino gang member. Mutual hatred results, and it's only after Alex accepts a bet to bed Brittany that they begin to see past the stereotypes they've plastered upon each other. As they wrestle with their growing attraction, Brittany and Alex must fight against their community and even their families in order to be together.

BFF Charm: Nay

Y'all, I just couldn't handle Brittany. I get that she's supposed to be bitchy at first, but then I'm supposed to read about her shiteous home life and feel bad for her. Except I DIDN'T! I mean, yes, homegirl has a lot to deal with, but sympathy doesn't equal connection. By the end, I liked her ok, but she never seemed to develop much beyond an after school special cliche. Don't even get me started on how misguided she is in her attempts to care for her sister. As for Alex, he definitely seems more fun than Brittany (admittedly, a low bar) but again, he felt like a conglomeration of stereotypes. You know, the bad boy with the heart of gold, the guy who gets roped into life on the streets but wants better for his brothers, a tough asshole who loves his mamma, blah blah blah. I mean, if this was a dance movie, I'd consider asking them to come chill with me, but it's not, so... sorry homes!

Swoonworthy Scale: 8

For all of the times this book veers into shallow territory, it more than makes up for it (well, almost) with the sexy times. SWEET FANCY MOSES there is some HOT! ACTION! in this book. DI-ZANG. One moment in particular made me break into a sweat, which is both embarrassing and not at all flattering to my complexion. Honestly, if you view Perfect Chemistry as a teen romance novel rather than a YA commentary on our society, I guarantee you will enjoy it a LOT more.

Talky Talk: No Frills Mexicano

Elkeles doesn't waste time with lots of description, focusing instead on moving the plot along and racheting up the romantic tension. The chapters alternate between Brittany and Alex's perspective, and while I'm not a fan of this format, I will say that Elkeles manages to make their voices unique, i.e. Alex really does sound like a dude. He also likes to use the occasional Spanish and then repeat it in English which DRIVES ME LOCO. Look, it's great to feature a Latino character and pepper his dialogue with his actual native language, but don't water it down by explaining everything! Cos guess what, I think people can figure out what "mamacita" means. I appreciate the effort, but next time, maybe don't treat the reader like they're estúpido. You know. STUPID.

Bonus Factor: Uptown Girl

That's right, I'm talking about the Billy Joel classic, where he sings about being a backstreet guy and wanting to break the uptown girl out of her white bread world. In other words, THE PREMISE OF THIS BOOK! Did I mention that Alex is also a mechanic? Coincidence?! Now go watch the video, it'll be good for you.

Bonus Factor: She's All That

Don't you love it when characters accept bets to seduce people? It's like, HAVEN'T THEY EVER SEEN A MOVIE WHERE THAT HAPPENS AND GOES TERRIBLY AWRY? Then again, maybe they have, cos in the movies, after the initial fallout, the two leads always realize it wasn't just about the bet, they actually love each other, OMG!

Bonus Factor: Brown People

I really do need to give Elkeles major pants for featuring NON WHITE PEOPLE in her book. In spite of the cringeworthy Spanish translations I referenced above, it was quite refreshing to read about characters from other cultures besides White Suburbia. Simone, thanks for stepping up to the streets (HEYO)!

Casting Call:

Let's see, who seems too perfect to be real?

Taylor Swift as Brittany

As for Alex, um, geez, it's gonna be tough to pick just one out of the PLETHORA of Latino teen actors Hollywood is constantly promoting. But I guess if i HAD to narrow it down, I'd go with...

???????

Help a white girl out, guys.

Relationship Status: One Night Stand

When I met this book, I was hoping for something real, something honest, something life-changing. Unfortunately, I didn't get anything truly meaningful from our encounter, but I did get some horizontal thrills IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. We definitely don't have a future together-- I mean, we didn't even exchange numbers-- but I don't regret our steamy encounter. The only thing I do lament is the morning after, aka the book's epilogue, which was so unbelievably saccharine, it made me want to vomit. Talk about a wicked hangover!

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).