Brittany Ellis and Alex Fuentes are from two completely different worlds. She’s a blonde cheerleader with the seemingly perfect life and he’s a bad boy who’s part of a Latino gang. They’re the most unlikely of pairs but when they’re forced to be lab partners in their chemistry class, the sparks start flying – whether they want to admit it or not.
In a way, the story of Brittany and Alex and their forbidden love is not a new one. There have been countless stories told where two people who hate each other yet find their undeniable attraction hard to ignore. What makes this book different is Elkeles’ style in her storytelling. Switching back and forth between the POV of Alex and Brittany, she manages to keep the narrative moving while telling both sides of the story. She successfully captures two very distinct voices in Alex & Brittany, bringing the reader into the facade of a perfect life with Brittany’s family and the constant terror of walking in Alex’s shoes. The constant use of Mexican slang really drove home the difference between these two worlds, and to really set the environments apart from chapter to chapter.
What set this book apart for me was that I genuinely had no idea how the story was going to end. Often with romance stories, you can see where it’s headed and can figure out the ending, but with hiccups and plot points along the way, it kept me speculating on whether there actually would be a happy ending or not. Without letting on which ending I was hoping for, I admittedly did give a big ol’ eye roll to the epilogue. I understood the point of it, but to me it painted an otherwise gritty romance with a taste of cheese.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5 stars)
Available: December 23, 2008