This book is about girl called Brittany, who is basically the "popular girl" at school, she has everything- money, the boyfriend, captain of the poms and the beauty. Her lift was "perfect" before she is paired up with Alex, the mexican gang member as chemistry partners for the year.
In the town theat they live in, its basically divided up, the north side is where the "white" rich people live and the south is the "dodgy part of town, you wouldnt dare think about being friends with someone from the other side of town. If you're seen crossing the other side of town, you better watch your back!
Basically, the end up spending time together to complete their chemistry project because they are forced to. Because they both have been sterotyped in this book of who they are, when they spend time together they both open up and show who they really are, Alex sees the side of Brittany caring for her sister and Brittany see what life is like for Alex on the other side of town. This shows that you shouldn't judge people everyone before you actually know them, you might be wrong. Alex as a mexican gangster who deals drugs and is constantly rebelling but really he doesnt believe in dealing drugs- and never done it, hes only in the gang becasue of his family- to protect them, hes actaully good at chemistry and he deep down wants to leave the gang- but anyone who does that faces terrible consequences. They both have problems outside thier worlds regarding their family and friends, which are very complicated. They share this so they are able to talk to one another about it.
I guess being able to assume what someone is like by the way that other people seem them or how they've been protrayed is easier that getting to know them because talking to someone we see as "scary" or "not like you" makes you risk everything, where judging someone is playing it safe.
So, because shes is falling madly in love with Alex, Brittany breaks up with her boyfriend and pretty much confesses her love for him. Then they end up together. They hide their relationship as their love is like forbidden or even to be seen with one other, (Like romeo and juliet i guess)
Their relationship goes on the down hill when Alex is require to take control of a drug deal in order to "become one of the boys in the gang" (like a test thing) and Brittany wants him to quit the gang because its so dangerous. But its not that easy, people who want to leave to gang genreally end up dying. Alex learns the real reasoning behind his fathers death, which was his family friend Hector killed him at a drug deal because he wanted out of the gang for him and his family. And then the real reasoning behind Hector wanting Alex to do the drug deal was that he wanted to kill him, but instead he kills his friend Paco, as he went actaing like him to protect him. His friendship with Paco was so strong that Paco was willing to die to protect his friend and his family. Alex forever felt responsible for his friends death.
I really liked this book, so sarah you should read it. :)