I know, I know, it sounds totally cliché… But I have to be honest here: This book really took my breath away. I hadn’t felt that way since opening the first page of Twilight (the first book in the Saga, let’s be clear). I read an editorial review describing the “breathlessness of the first kiss,” and this is exactly what Perfect Chemistry inspired in me.

Yes, the end is somewhat rushed and breaks the nice flow of the book so far. Yes, Alex and Brittany are star-crossed lovers who are paired up (against their will) in a chemistry class. Yes, you can’t help comparing some of the themes and overall context with works like Twilight or West Side Story, or even Romeo & Juliet (Baz Luhrmann’s movie will be closer than Shakespeare’s Verona tale).

But, hey, no story out there is completely new.

What matters (to me, at least) is the truth of the characters, and therefore the truth of the author who created them. You can’t miss Simone Elkeles’s sincerity in her written words, in particular those spoken by Alex. You can’t miss how much of her heart she put in telling that story. And I guess, that’s what makes a great book.

So hurrah to Simone Elkeles for creating something so breathtaking (without the help of any vampire or werewolf). And hurrah to the star of the show… Alex Fuentes!