"When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.
In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart."
Plot- I would say there was kind of two plots in this book. One- For Alex to "get in Brittany's pants" before Thanksgiving (EW), and for Brittany to stop Alex from doing something that could end his life, which doesn't come into play until the very end of the book. Thank god that Alex kind of forgets about the first plot for a while. I liked the second plot, and it had a surprising twist added to it so that was good. It kept my attention to see what would happen. The first plot disgusted me though, and it made me want to put the book down since I'm not a supporter of that until after marriage.... But thankfully that isn't a huge deal in the book.
Setting- Loved the setting. It fit really well. 1 city, but two separate sections with totally different people living in each. Alex has a totally different life than Brittany, but they live in the same city. That helps create all those conflicts between the students and all the stereotyping that goes on. Considering the book was in alternative points of view, it helped me to see what it was like to live on both sides of the city. It surprises me how different places that are so close together can be. And this happens in real life, so the reader can sometimes relate, I defiantly can.
Theme- I think one of the main themes is Love is Blind. Even though Alex is a totally different person than Brittany and has his flaws just like she does, they still love each other. They looked over what part of town they're from and decided they don't care because they're in love. Alex's flaws and his dark past don't affect her at all because she's in love. Another theme of this book is Stereotyping. Just because Alex and his friends are from the south side of town, the north side kids characterize them as scary, drug dealers, bad influences, nothing but trouble, and dangerous. And the south side kids characterize the north side kids as perfect, spoiled, and goodie-goodies. Once Alex and Brittany get to know each other, they realize that's not always true.
True friendship is also another theme of this book.
Characters- Alex, eh. He wasn't my favorite person ever in the beginning of the book. All he seemed to care about was sex and smoking. But once I got more into the book, I realized he cared about his family a lot, and his friends, and even cared about Brittany though he wouldn't admit it at first. One thing that annoys me about all the characters from the south side is they are so caught up in their heritage. Okay, you don't live in Mexico, stop acting like it and speaking constant Spanish. I kind of understand though because they are actually FROM Mexico. But it gets annoying sometimes. Like if you like that country so much, go live there.
People in real life who do that really annoy me, especially Italians. YOU AREN'T FROM ITALY, STOP OBSESSING OVER IT. There's just this one kid I know who is SOO FREAKING ANNOYING ABOUT BEING ITALIAN. LIKE SHUT UP NO ONE CARES! He's not from Italy but he tries to act like it. Sorry if there's any Italians who read this and get offended, it's just this one kid who gets on my nerves, I'm sure none of you are as cocky about it as he is. Anyway, MOVING ON.
Brittany. I liked her for the most part. She cares a lot about her sister which is sweet. But the one thing about her is she always tries to hide who she really is and always be perfect. That's not necessary. If your friends are true friends, they'll like you for who you are, not some plastic doll you pretend to be. Dating Alex gets her to not care as much about being perfect, which is great.
Overall-Well, this wasn't my favorite book ever but it defiantly wasn't my least favorite. I loved the ending, it was so sweet and shocking! It didn't turn out how I thought it would.
But the whole idea of two totally different people falling in love is not original and I've seen it too many times.
Another thing I didn't like about this was the amount of swearing. It just gets on my nerves personally. I know teens swear, I do sometimes even though it's wrong. But I don't do it in every single sentence I speak. Like come on, swearing just makes you sound trashy and it doesn't make you cool to swear in every sentence. Just shut up and stop dropping F-bombs non- stop. That's just my preference.
Another thing that annoyed me is the obsession with sex in this novel. It grossed me out. But that's just me.
The whole obsession with heritage got on my nerves too, and if you don't know any Spanish and you read this book, you're going to be confused a little, because they speak it a lot.
On a positive note, I liked how Brittany and Alex overcame their huge differences and loved each other anyway, no matter what people said about them.
So with that being said.. this book gets 4 out of 5 stars! If all that stuff that annoyed me didn't annoy me, it would have got five. So I liked it, worth the time and money, I would recommend it.