I have literally devoured three Simone Elkeles books in the last 48 hours. She is very quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, and with a book cover like this (HELLO could that be any hotter) I don’t know why it took me so long to discover her.
I started reading her books with the Perfect Chemistry series last weekend. I absolutely fell in love with the Fuentes brothers. What I loved most about this series was that each book was connected by the Fuentes family, but each book featured different main characters. One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to book series is that inevitably the romance will be on again, off again in the interest of creating conflict and drama. In this case, though, that wasn’t an issue as each book centered on a different couple.The other thing I appreciate about this series is the alternating point of view – there’s nothing better than getting both main characters’ take on things. Because of the language and sexual content, I don’t recommend this for readers below 10th grade.
The books I read this weekend were from the How to Ruin series. I love, love, love them… They made me wish I’d be forced to go to another country and meet some family I didn’t know I had.
I think my favorite thing about this series is their protagonist, Amy. As much as I like alternating points of view, I also value a good, strong protagonist with an interesting view on life. Amy describes herself as a pessimist, but I don’t really think she is. She’s sweet, funny, smart, sarcastic, and hopelessly romantic even in spite of herself. Amy grows and matures so much throughout this series that I think she’s a wonderful role model for teenage girls. Language and sexual content in this series is still there but is less of an issue than it was in the Perfect Chemisty series. I recommend these for 8th grade and up.
I guess my one major observation about Elkeles books that I wish was different is that every romantic relationship is contentious. They’re explosively passionate, which is great fun to read and dream about having, but they almost border on love/hate relationships, which doesn’t seem healthy. Don’t get me wrong – all of the romances contained in these books are great reads – I just hope that at some point in the future I’ll read a book of hers that has a little less arguing, drama queening, and general strife. Check out more from Elkeles at http://simoneelkeles.com/!