From School Library Journal
Grade 10 Up—In this sequel to Perfect Chemistry
(Walker, 2009), Elkeles once again delivers a steamy page-turner bound to make teens swoon. After getting involved with a dangerous gang in Mexico, Carlos Fuentes is sent to live in Colorado with his older brother, Alex. Unwilling to straighten up and abide by Alex's rules, he soon gets into trouble when he is framed for narcotics possession by a drug lord with powerful gang ties. Carlos avoids expulsion from high school by living with Alex's former instructor, Professor Westford, and his family, and attending an after-school program for at-risk teens. Romance ensues when tough-talking, authority-flouting Carlos finds himself inexplicably drawn to Kiara, the professor's studious, outdoorsy, and vintage-car-loving daughter. Unfortunately, love is complicated, because while Carlos wants to be with Kiara, he is also struggling to extricate himself from the grasp of the drug lord who framed him. After he is seriously beaten up, he, Alex, and Professor Westford concoct a plan to bring the drug lord to justice. As in Perfect Chemistry
, the brothers' dialogue is infused with plenty of Spanish, but it's clear in context. The ending is somewhat contrived and rushed, and minor characters are not as well developed. However, the passion between Carlos and Kiara, who tell their story in alternating narratives, is compelling enough to engage teens, especially those who were taken with Alex and Brittany's romance in the previous book.—Lalitha Nataraj, Chula Vista Public Library, CA
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About the Author
Simone Elkeles has written five young adult novels, including Perfect Chemistry and Leaving Paradise, and was recently named Illinois Author of the Year by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. She received her Master's of Science degree in Industrial Relations and also spends time mentoring other teen and adult authors.