Chain Reaction

Posted August 20th, 2014 by in *Review / 3 comments

chain reactionTitle: Chain Reaction
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: Aug 2011
Classification: YA Novel

Summary from Goodreads:

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?

My Thoughts:

I have had this book on my shelf for three years! I guess you can say I was scared to read the last book in this series because I love the Fuentes brothers so much I just never wanted to close the last book and call the series over with. (Although there has been recent rumors that a fourth book is going to come out in another year or so.) I just didn’t want to say goodbye. Perfect Chemistry is one of my favorite YA contemporary novels so I always had high hopes for Carlos, who I did like but not love, and Luis who I wanted to love as well.

I have to say right off the bat I loved coming back to the Fuentes brothers as in this book Alex and Carlos already are pretty established in their relationships with their chicas. Alex has married Brittany and they have kids and Carlos wants to marry Kiara. I loved seeing the little scenes with them so I could see how their lives were going and how they had grown up into damn fine men. Back to Luis…

Luis was my perfect cocky Fuentes brother right from the start. He had the attitude and the spark that is necessary for a Fuentes boy. I liked that while he knew his brothers had laid out a great life for him that he liked to take some risk and live his life the way he wanted to. Since the two older Fuentes boys made their mistakes it made sense that Luis would make some big mistakes as well. Each brother does have to live and learn on his own even if his two older brothers have been down those roads before and want something better for Luis. Luis is not without some flaws of is own though. I felt like he started the book with a plan and then his plan went to the way side the moment he stepped back in Chicago and became associated with the gang once more. It was sad to see that Luis who was so set on his dreams and goals would turn back to the gang of his home town just because they were there. I was rather disappointed to see this, I know I know I just said he needed to make and learn from his own mistakes but I thought this was a huge mistake for his life goals. I felt it was also a little dumb as well since the first two books centered around gang life and escaping it that this book had the same theme didn’t make it feel so special anymore.

Now let’s talk about Nikki… I instantly liked her from the start because she was going through a tough time and she needed to find her own ways to handle the huge life altering event that happened in her life. I like that she stood up to Luis in the beginning and wanted nothing more than to protect her heart. While I liked that about her in the beginning of the book it started to grate on my nerves when near the last 40ish pages of the book she still couldn’t seem to let go of her man hating attitude and her broken heart from a few years back. Come on girl you have to wake up sometime and move forward. I understand that when one guy hurts you that it can take a while to get over it, trust me we all have had breakups. However, I felt Nikki should have moved forward and Luis was there for her and all she could do was push and push and push him away all the time. Girl is loco! You have a hot, cocky, smooth talking Fuentes girl! Wake up! I literally felt like jumping into the book to shake her near the end because she should have realized much sooner to let go of the past.

Overall, I didn’t like that the storyline felt like a repeat of Alex’s book Perfect Chemistry and I expected more. I liked Luis and Nikki at times but I also wanted to shake the pair of them for their stupid actions at many points as well. It seemed like the ending was rushed as well to just force the gang violence to end and for them to finally get together. It just lacked some of the magic that I’ve come to expect from this series.




3 Responses to “Chain Reaction”

  1. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    I have a few books that are sitting on my shelves that I’m afraid to read as well, so I completely get where you’re coming from! Saying goodbye to a favourite series is always tough, but sometimes not knowing is even worse. Plus, I’m kind of OCD about leaving things unfinished. I’m sorry that after a three year wait, Chain Reaction fell short. But, at least now you know, right?

  2. Rachel @ Paper Cuts

    I’m the same way with series endings!! I have several I’ve still not read because I refuse to say goodbye. 🙂 I’ve heard of these, but never paid much attention to them. They sound good! Shame you didn’t love this one quite as much, so I hope there is a fourth one coming for you! 😀

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