Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry #3
Published August 2011 by Walker Books
308 pages
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: 1. Perfect Chemistry 2. Rules of Attraction 3. Chain Reaction*
Source: Library
Challenge: All Series, All Summer
Rating: Liked It

Like his brothers, Luis Fuentes is a risk taker; whether he’s scaling the Rocky Mountains or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis is always looking for the next thrill. Nikki Cruz lives her life by certain rules -, don’t trust a boy who says “I love you”, boys lie to get their own way and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Then she meets Luis at his brother Alex’s wedding and suddenly she’s tempted to break all her rules. Getting Nikki to give him a chance is Luis’s biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by the head of the gang that nearly destroyed his brothers’ lives. Will Luis’s feelings for Nikki be enough to stop him from entering a dark and violent world that could prove to be the ultimate risk? (Source: Goodreads)

This is a great end to the Perfect Chemistry series. We get to meet the youngest Fuentes brother and bring all the boys together again back where it all started. Alex is now married to Brittany and has a growing family. Going to Northwestern is what bring him home. Alex’s kid cause Luis and his mother to leave Boulder, CO to be near family. Carlos is home recuperating from an injury while serving in the Middle East. I love that the brothers still have their stuff together. Having them together as one big family was so joyful, especially for me that doesn’t have that close of a family unit.

But being back in the old neighborhood puts new pressure on Luis. Luis is a good kid and smart with ambitions, but doesn’t make him immune to the Latin Bloods.  This is all at odds with his draw to Nikki. Nikki has a zero tolerance for boys and especially bad boys that will break her heart. These two will struggle with their secrets and their pasts while trying to create a future together.

This is the weakest of the three books. I felt that Luis and Nikki fall into insta-love. There isn’t the scaffolding and relationship building that was in the previous two books. Nikki and Luis react very irrationally, hot and cold, sometimes with very little reason.

Despite its weaknesses, it is a page turner. It is easily a one-seater read. The short chapters with alternating voice kept me glued. Elkeles knows how to create the heat and Chain Reaction is combustible. I like that Luis has a Latina love interest, despite her culture crisis.

Family has your back and love will see you through it all.

7 responses to “Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

  1. I don’t think this series would work for me BUT I loved your review! The quote at the end is true (even when you want to smack them upside the head)

  2. OMG! I loooooove the Perfect Chemistry series!!!! This was definitely a one sitting read…. I read it when it was first released, but I don’t remember it having so many weaknesses… ;)


  3. I LOVE the Perfect Chemistry series!!!!


  4. Great review! You gotta love the whole series and it’s really hard to compete with the first two books and still write a totally different story! My favorite was still the second book. I was still annoyed with Brittany, even when she showed up in the second book!

  5. Aaah now I’ve been reminded why I neeeed to read Perfect Chemistry. Want to read this one as well!

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