The Young Adult book market is rife with stories that incorporate paranormal elements. Such books are often exciting, suspenseful and capture the imagination of their readers. The trend in the market being what it is, can a teen book without supernatural elements stand a chance of intriguing an audience? I think it can. One such book is Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles.
There are no boys turning into fantastical creatures in this book, but that doesn't make it any less of a great read. Perfect Chemistry is a 357 page YA novel that's romantic and edgy. The differences between Brittany Ellis and Alex Fuentes may not be otherworldly, but crossing the great divide between culture, race and class provide more than enough conflict and drama.
Alex is a Latino gang banger who gets paired with Brittany, the blond All-American cheerleader as partners in their chemistry class. At first, neither can see past the stereotypes they have of each other. It's a mutual hate-fest. They grow to learn that opposites attract and there are plenty of sparks and fireworks when they do!
This is a well written and exciting story. I couldn't put it down. There are some truly heart rendering and touching moments. I'm happy to say there is a sequel coming out on April 27, 2010 called the Laws of Attraction. I'm looking forward to it.
I emailed the author over the summer and was surprised to receive a fairly extensive reply in which she answered questions I had. This was greatly appreciated. Simone Elkeles is an author that obviously values her readership. Pick up this book. You will not be disappointed.
Can you name any other YA novels without paranormal elements that are at the top of your list?
I'm an aspiring YA writer, working my way toward publication. I also love animals and this is a picture of one of the sweethearts in my life. Please do all you can to help and care for the animals of the world, especially the domestic ones. They depend on us to care. Love never goes out of style...