Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry Series #1)

Perfect Chemistry - Simone Elkeles I picked up Perfect Chemistry because of all the great things I'd heard about it and about Simone Elkeles' writing. And now I'm in that horrible position when you have to admit that you don't love a book as much as everyone else did. But in truth, I just didn't love this book. I liked it. But it just wasn't everything I was hoping for.Perfect Chemistry gives us Alex and Brittany, two students from very different parts of the Chicago suburbs. They are paired up as chemistry partners for their senior year. Two seemingly opposite kids, one a popular blond perfect student cheerleader type and the other a gang member from the south side, find out they aren't quite so different after all. I feel like I need to start every sentence from here on out with the phrase "I liked this book but..." because that's how I feel. I liked this book, but it wasn't as good as I had hoped. I had a few problems that kept me from really loving it. The first was Brittany. I liked her but she was a little bit whiny for me. So her parents weren't what she wanted and her sister wasn't perfect. I felt like she complained about a life that, in comparison, was really not that bad. How did Alex have any sympathy for her? She's complaining about her dad working too much while his dad is dead? She's complaining about needing to get As to make her parents happy and he's facing a life as a gang member? I just had a hard time feeling the same amount of sympathy for them and kept wondering why Alex wanted to help her. I was also a bit disappointed that the book was so predictable. I know that romances all have a certain amount of predictability. I mean, at least most of the time, we know the characters will end up together. But I hoped for a bit more surprise throughout the book. It just followed a very predictable storyline. Along the same lines, I wish the writing had been a bit more exciting. The sentences and pacing and everything was just okay. Everything was spelled out, put right down in front of me. I felt like I was just lead through the story rather than given the chance to really feel it and jump in. I don't really know how to explain it other to say, again, that it was just okay.As for the romance, of course it was good. Alex was great at playing the hot guy. Brittany was good as the popular blond that's emotionally deeper than you would think. A classic Romeo and Juliet love story set up. But it worked. I was interested and kept reading. And I really enjoyed several of the side characters. Overall the story was good and the writing was fine. There was the dreaded Epilogue at the end set twenty-some years in the future. I'm really not a fan of those. And while I've definitely read books that grabbed me more emotionally, I did enjoy Alex and Brittany's story. I'd recommend it if you're a YA contemporary romance fan. I'd stay away from it if you aren't a fan of YA. This one does have swearing and drugs and violence and sex but it's still definitely YA.