The plot: When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it.
So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart. (Summary from goodreads.com)
My opinion: If I was to sum up this novel with only one word, that word would be AH-MAZING! And for someone who generally thinks that she's not that into contemporary novels that is saying a lot. Another word that also comes to minds in connection with this novel is unputdownable, because that is exactly what it was. I started reading it on Thursday when riding the train to work and finished it on Friday after getting home from work. On Thursday night I stayed up over an hour later than planned just because it couldn't put the book down. It was highly addictive! I even caught myself thinking about it at multiple times during work on Friday.
This love story for me was incredibly intense, and extraordinarily well-written. The sexual tension was excellently executed and thus very believable. I found myself having butterflies in my stomach on more than one occasion while reading.
I am generally in favor of stories told from two different POV's and so also with this novel. Having the privilege of getting to be inside both MC's adds to the story, I find, because then one can get to see and understand feelings and reactions from both sides. This writing technique is also very efficient in making me cover many pages in one sitting because I always want to go to the next MC and see how he/she reacts to what just happened. All the time with this novel, I had to force myself not to read "just one more chapter"...
So all in all, I can't wait to take on the other two Fuentes boys... were it not for my sad lack of book funding this month. Oh well. Christmas is soon here.