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Simone Elkeles

Born: 1970 in Chicago, Illinois
Pen Name: Simone Schlechter

Connection to Illinois: Elkeles was born and raised in the Chicago area and graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Loyola University. She currently resides in Buffalo Grove.

Biography: Simone Elkeles is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of novels for teens. Simone’s books have won many awards including being YALSA Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, being named to the YALSA Popular Paperbacks and Teens Top Ten lists. Simone also won the coveted RITA award from the Romance Writers of America for her book ''Perfect Chemistry''. Simone is especially proud of the fact that the Illinois Association of Teachers of English named her Author of the Year.

  • '''''How to Ruin'' Series'''
  • -- Popular Paperback for Young Adults, YALSA, 2013
  • -- Illinois Read for a Lifetime Reading List, 2008-2009
  • -- Teens Top Ten List, YALSA, 2007
  • -- Silver medal in Multicultural Children's fiction, IPPY, 2007
  • -- Finalist, Gayle Wilson

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Young adult readers


Selected Titles

Better than perfect /
ISBN: 0802737250 OCLC: 860395308

Derek Fitzpatrick is kicked out of boarding school and must move with his stepmother to her childhood home in Illinois, where he meets Ashtyn Parker, who may be able to achieve her dream with Derek's help.

Chain reaction /
ISBN: 0802727980 OCLC: 676728691

Walker & Co., New York : 2011.

When he returns to Illinois and the gang culture on the south side of Fairfield after six years in Colorado, high school senior Luis Fuentes, who dreams of becoming an astronaut, falls for a girl and enters a dark world after learning some disturbing news about his family.

Crossing the line /
ISBN: 0062641972 OCLC: 1104632066

To escape his abusive stepdad, Ryan Hess runs from his tiny Texas border town to Mexico. He meets Dalila Sandoval, the daughter of one of the wealthiest lawyers in Mexico. Dalila is focused on studying and planning for her bright future. Ryan is only a distraction... but she's never felt more alive than when she's by his side. Sparks fly when they're together... but it's like a flame burning too close to the fuse.

How to ruin a summer vacation /
ISBN: 0738709611 OCLC: 70407909

Flux, Woodbury, Minn. : 2006.

When sixteen-year-old Amy, a spoiled American, goes to Israel for a three-month summer vacation with a father she barely knows, she is not prepared for his Jewish family and the changes they bring about in her life.

How to ruin my teenage life /
ISBN: 0738710199 OCLC: 85898913

Flux, Woodbury, Minn. : 2007.

Living with her Israeli father in Chicago, seventeen-year-old Amy Nelson-Barak feels like a walking disaster, worried about her "non-boyfriend" in the Israeli army, her mother, new stepfather, and the baby they are expecting, a new boy named Nathan who has moved into her apartment building and goes to her school, and whether or not she really is the selfish snob that Nathan says she is.

How to ruin your boyfriend's reputation /
ISBN: 0738718793 OCLC: 318428975

Flux, Woodbury, Minn. : ©2009.

During the summer between her junior and senior year of high school, spoiled Chicagoan Amy Nelson-Barak volunteers for Israeli military boot camp when she learns that her boyfriend, a commando in the Israeli Defense Force, will be at the same military base.

Leaving Paradise /
ISBN: 0738710180 OCLC: 84835503

Flux, Woodbury, Minn. : 2007.

In alternating chapters, seventeen-year-olds Caleb and Maggie relate the difficulties of readjusting to school, and changing relationships with family, friends, and one another, a year after a drunk driving accident sent her to the hospital with a crippling leg injury and him to prison.

Perfect chemistry /
ISBN: 0802798225 OCLC: 227205682

When wealthy, seemingly perfect Brittany and Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, develop a relationship after Alex discovers that Brittany is not exactly who she seems to be, they must face the disapproval of their schoolmates--and others.

Return to Paradise
ISBN: 9780738718682 OCLC: 526116670

In alternating chapters, Caleb and Maggie relate the struggles of being reunited after nearly a year apart when both join a group of teens affected by drunk driving, and finally facing their true feelings for one another.

Rules of attraction
ISBN: 9780802720856 OCLC: 466344264

Walker & Co., New York : 2010.

Living on the University of Colorado-Boulder campus with his older brother Alex, a college student and ex-gang member, high school senior Carlos is not ready to give up his wild ways until he meets a shy classmate named Kiara and becomes unwillingly involved in a drug ring.

Wild crush :
ISBN: 1620511959 OCLC: 928941699

"Bad boy Vic Salazar breaks all the rules except one: don't' make a move on your best friend's girl. It's a Guy Code that Vic lives by. It doesn't matter that he's had a crush on her for years. Monika Fox is off limits. Monika Fox has a secret of her own and when a tragedy throws her and Vic together, the only boy she trusts is the one she shouldn't confide in. Vic. As Vic struggles to keep his distance, and Monika struggles with her secrets, will their wild connection violate every rule both vowed never to break - about relationships, about friendship, about love?" -- back cover.