Friday, December 23, 2011

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Hardcover, 308 pages
Published August 16, 2011
Walker Books for Young Readers
Perfect Chemistry #3
Source: Library

Luis Fuentes has always been sheltered from the gang violence that nearly destroyed his brothers’ lives. But that didn’t stop him from taking risks—whether he’s scaling a mountain in the Rockies or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis can’t stop looking for the next thrill. 

Nikki Cruz lives her life by three rules—boys lie to get their way, don’t trust a boy who says “I love you,” and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Her parents may be from Mexico, but as a doctor’s daughter, she has more in common with her north-side neighbors than the Latino Blood at her school. Then she meets Luis at Alex’s wedding, and suddenly, she’s tempted to break all her rules. 

Getting Nikki to take a chance on a southsider is Luis’s biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by Chuy Soto, the new head of the Latino Blood. When Chuy reveals a disturbing secret about Luis’s family, the youngest Fuentes finds himself questioning everything he’s ever believed to be true. Will his feelings for Nikki be enough to stop Luis from entering a dark and violent world and permanently living on the edge?

     Wow... This is going to be hard. I guess I should start by saying, this is one of those reviews I didn't want to write. It made the realization that the series was over, far too real. From the very beginning when I met Alex I fell in love with the Fuentes brothers. Then in book two, I fell in love with Carlos when I really met him as well. This book was no different. (P.S. Sorry Alex, but Luis has now become my favorite Fuentes brother.) 
     Towards the beginning I found it interesting to see that Elkeles had switched it up a little and put the chip on Nikki's shoulder instead of the usual Fuentes brother. It showed that he had indeed learned from his bother's mistakes and was able to move past them. Throughout the whole story I could feel both him and Nikki's turmoil, when they experienced it both together and separate. At times I found myself talking to the book like the characters could hear me. [Ex: Ugh Luis! Don't do that! Make the right decision!] It was just THAT good. I also found myself reading blearily through tears at many times throughout the book. (As well as throughout the ENTIRE series smh) I ended up staying up until 3am to finish the book in one sitting. I had planned on getting to a certain page and going to bed, but it just so happened I picked the part right before the climax, and when I got there, sleep was no where in sight. One thing I really enjoyed about the book was the Epilogue. I was happy to see that she included the Fuentes brothers' mother to show that her and her family were finally at peace. She was a huge part of this series and it was nice to see that she was finally happy. 
     Simone Elkeles is a brilliant contemporary author. She is the one who introduced me to the contemporary genre, because I never read it unless it had some type of paranormal involved. With this series, I have learned to appreciate the classic "Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl again" tale. 
Overall, I give this ***** (5 out of 5)

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Now if this review does not persuade you to read this, maybe this book trailer will!

See my review for the first book in the series, Perfect Chemistry here.
See my review for the second book in the series, Rules of Attraction here.


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