Perfect Chemistry: Too Perfect or Just Right?

I saw the book cover and shuddered at the perfect couple in the perfect embrace. Puulease! But after I recovered from my initial repulsion to the cover, I did the unthinkable. I picked it up, flipped it over, and read the summary. Yep, I actually gave it a chance. That’s when I realized that it actually sounded like it might be a good read and that I’d have to give it a try. So glad I did ’cause it was a great modern twist on the classic star-crossed lovers’ tale.

What was the recipe for success? Equal parts rich, popular, beautiful girl named Brittany (what else?!) cooked at a low simmer with sexy, bad-boy Alex who knows that most females can not resist his sultry charm.

The spice in this story comes from the fact that both of these two soon-to-be lovebirds both harbor dark secrets behind their masks of perfection. Brittany goes to school each day all the while trying to hide her less than perfect home life that includes  parents who don’t get along and her mentally disabled sister that she lovingly cares for. Then there’s Alex Fuentes who’s from the South side of town, running from rumors of drug abuse, and gang violence, when in reality he’s desperately trying to protect his younger brother from these very real threats. Once this is established, the couple are partnered up in class which results in an immediate clash.

It’s only after Alex takes a bet to get Brittany to fall for him, that he actually does ends up falling for her. Now we have the couple who, moments ago couldn’t stand the sight of one another. The result is a couple who can’t stop staring into each others eyes. Capitalizing on this attraction, the author, Simone Elkeles, takes the reader on an emotional and bumpy ride, breaking stereotypes left and right. Elkeles also alternates chapters between the perspective of Brittany and Alex, giving the reader a glimpse into each character throughout the story, which is a nice technique and kept me caring about these two. So, buckle up and hang on for a ride full of sexual tension and sarcastic banter. You’ll know it’s true love and that this book is perfect!

Check out Elkeles’ website for more about her writing and book trailers by clicking here.Still not enough for you? Check this song out. She’s a big-time talented fan who created this song about Perfect Chemistry packed with teenage angst!

A to the Mazing!

When I came across this “drawing” I thought, ‘no way…that’s a photo!!’ So I did a little more poking around and found that this particular artist, Raja Cenna, actually has a video of the three+ hours that it took her to draw this image of Lady Gaga.

So, next time you can’t find your iTouch, your parents won’t let you play any video games, there’s nothing on TV, your leg is broken, or no one is texting you back…don’t despair. Life is not over! You actually have time to draw. Here are some more drawings created by teens that you can also use as inspiration. Then, if you need a little more help (and your computer is in the repair shop) visit the Burlington Library where we have an entire section of books about drawing. Just know that the library is there to help you find your A to the Mazing self!

Girl Power

In his newest book, Half the Sky:Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by NY Times columnist Kristof with his wife, WuDunn, make the case for the importance of investing in the health of women around the world. With startling stories of girls being killed and maimed simply because they were girls bring to light the fact that more girls have been killed in the last fifty years than men killed in all the wars of the twentieth century! Their point is that by investing in the health of women worldwide it could be possible for countries to climb out of poverty if even a small amount of the women were allowed to participate in the labor force. The big idea is that girls need to be empowered worldwide. Girls are awesome and we can’t survive without them!