Author: Simone Elkeles
reviewed by: Amanda Peake
I bought this book at a used book store months ago because it had been recommended to me by a friend. I was then asked to write this review for a guest post on someone's blog. LOL! I don't know what's funnier that This book is so full of Cliches or that I liked the Cliches. This book is a story that has been told time and time again. Bad boy from the wrong side of town falls for the rich white girl from the rich side of town. This story is ageless take Romeo and Juliet, Grease, West Side Story, A walk to remember, and many many more for example. So?????
How does Simone Elkeles change it up? Well she has a mexican gang member as the bad boy and the white girl from the rich side of town as the good girl. She also switches POV extrememly well so we get a well rounded view of the story from both Alex and Brittany. Though I will say Brittany gives more depth to things. Let's check out these lovely characters now.
Alejandro, Oh wait we have to call you Alex. He's our “hero” of this story. He's got the reputation of a serial killer and dope head all mixed up. He joined the gang to keep his family safe. Apparently joining gangs means you family won't be harmed (UM. NO) She throws in a good bit of Latin Culture too. Which most of realistic. Anyway he makes a bet with a friend he could sleep with Brittany (Beauty of School) before Thanksgiving. What he didn't expect were FEELINGS. After all kinds of flirting, fights, and gang activity he tells her the truth. He doesn't want his life for her so he pushes her away..... UNTIL.....
Brittany is Ms. Perfect she has the best clothes, shoes, car and everything else too. At least that's what it seems to the outside world. In reality this chick has it bad her sister has celbral Palsy and requires constant help. Brittany loves her sister very much and literally spends most of her days dealing with her sisters needs. Her mom comes across as BI-Polar because one minute she loves Brittany the next she hates her. She has “Moods” to say the least. Brittany's father is a bussiness man who uses his family and home like a hotel. He's never engaged in anything within the house. Brittany's parents are so worried about apperances that they can't see past their own outside. So Ms. Perfect starts off with the “perfect” boyfriend AKA the douche who is only intersted in sex and cheated on her all summer. Her life is far from what it seems.
I love this quote- “We are actors in our lives, pretending to be who we want people to think we are”
These two are a great story in and of themselves but I can't leave without mentioning my favorite castmates.
Paco- He is Alex's best friend when you first meet he's all ganged out with the best of them. As the story progresses you realize Paco's life SUCKS. His dad beats him all the time and he joined the gang for protection. Alex is like a brother to him not just a best friend. He makes the ultimate sacrifice to help his friend.
Mrs. P. The Chemistry teacher. Since these two met in Chem class you can bet she was tough as nails but actually cared about Alex. She really wanted him to suceed in school and life. She was a hard butt too though. I loved that she made a difference as an adult to Alex. In the Epilogue I love her words. GO READ THE BOOK ALREADY.
So while this story has been told fifty million ways it is still a classic and one worth reading. I'm giving this book a 3 star review because I think that Alex's character was dumbed down. I didn't like how much it kept repeating itself. I also think that having someone so loyal to their families some of the hardships wouldn't have happened. While it's only 3 stars if you like this classic story it's well worth the read.