Monday, February 6, 2012

Review (21): Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction
by Simone Elkeles
Series: Perfect Chemisty, #3
Other Reviewed Titles: None
Release Date: August 16, 2011
Publisher: Walker Publishing Company, Inc.
Pages: 308
Source: Purchased
Challenge: 2012 OTS

The youngest Fuentes brother will risk everything to protect his family.

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 tempter to break all her rules.
Getting Nikki to take a chance on a south sider is Luis’s biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by Chuy Soto, the new head of the Latino Blood. When Chuy revveals 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?


- Spoiler-y if you have not read first two Perfect Chemistry books -

Plot: The plot of Chain Reaction was very similar to the plot of the first two; a Fuentes brother gets mixed up with the Latino Blood, his rich hoity-toity girlfriend disapproves of his gang affiliation and eventually loves trumps all. I was kind of hoping to see something at least slightly different with this third installment, but it fell short. Even though it was very similar, it didn’t have the same impact on me that the first two did. In Perfect Chemistry, the LB terrified me and I was constantly scared for Alex, yet in this one, the threats just didn’t seem as threatening nor did the danger feel as dangerous. There was honestly no reason for Luis to get jumped into the gang and I felt he completely overreacted when he found out the big “secret”. 

Characters: To be honest, I didn’t really like either Luis or Nikki. The beginning of the book started off with them being 15 and then the book fast forwards to two years later, but it sort of felt like they hadn’t matured or aged at all. I had to remind myself that they were, indeed, 17. And both constantly said one thing and then did the complete opposite which was frustrating. My favorite thing about these Simone Elkeles books is the intense and sexy romances. This book didn’t have either. The romance felt too forced and rushed to me which really took away from my overall enjoyment of the novel. They went from hating each other to loving each other in 2 seconds flat. It was a bit unrealistic because they didn’t even really know each other, I felt. There was a lot more emotional connection with the first two books and I really liked those romances better. 

Cover: Of the three books, this isn’t my favorite cover. I didn’t really understand the whole shower thing, but I do like that all the covers are really similar and that each features the appropriate Fuentes brother.

Overall Impression: Alex and Carlos will forever be my favorites, so if you haven’t at least read the first book in the series, you definitely should. 

Rating: * * * 

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