by Simone Elkeles
Released: Jan 1, 2011
Summary: Brittany Ellis has everything, a perfect house, clothes, and life. She a senior in high school and captain of the cheer team. Alex Fuentes on the other hand has a bad boy image and is a gang member. These two cross paths when they are paired together as chemistry lab partners for the rest of the year. The two of them are anything but happy to be working together, but soon realize they have a lot more in common. This romance novel is about the facade that people put up to prevent others from knowing what's under the surface.
My Thoughts: I wasn't planning on reading this when I saw it at the book store, but after reading so many positive reviews on both Goodreads and YouTube, I had to check it out.
What I liked: The reviews were right. I like how Elkeles wrote the book in alternating chapters so we were able to see how each of them responded to their situations. I liked each character's back story and to see how much they grew as the book progressed. On the surface the characters seemed tough or "perfect," but to see all of that stripped away was surprising. The ending of the book great--to see how the character's lives changed the effect that the experience had on them. The side characters really made the story surprising and fun (good and bad guys).
What I disliked: There are some cliches in this book which make it a fun YA romance, but sometimes they were a bit too much.
Conclusion: This romance was sweet, but I would recommend it for the high school age (maybe not middle school yet) because some of the romantic content. The North vs. South side rivalry was a great addition to the book and reminded me of the teen movies that I used to watch. Overall, a fun read if you're looking for a romance YA novel.