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.
I love a good forbidden romance! And while this was romantic and gripping and very easy to read, it didn't quite sweep me off my feet.
I wasn't all too sure about Brittany. She obviously took after her mother in her need to protect her image; Brittany doesn't want anyone at school to know about her slightly-psychotic mother or her disabled sister. But I spend a lot of the book unable to see why she would care beyond vanity and that kind of made me not like her. Just at times; when she opens up to Alex, she was lovely because she was more real. Alex was pretty cool though. Terrifying but inside his head, seeing his family and his heart, it was clear he was doing the best he could with what he had. As part of the local gang, he was violent and threatening, and it was interesting to see the inner workings of a street gang.
As they get closer, they break down the stereotypes and get to know each other as real people. It was sweet and dramatic, although parts could have been written better. Maybe it's because it reminded me of Pushing The Limits, which is one of my favourite books, and it didn't quite meet that high expectation.
Published 29th April 2010 by Simon and Schuster.