Chain Reaction – Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 5th July 2012
Like his brothers, Luis Fuentes is a risk taker; whether he’s scaling the Rocky Mountains or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, he’s 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’s tempted by a gang-member to enter the same dark and violent world that nearly destroyed his brothers’ lives. Will Luis’s feelings for Nikki be enough to stop him from taking the ultimate risk?
I have devoured every book in the Perfect Chemistry series and Chain Reaction was no exception. I adored it.
With the legacy of the gorgeous Alex and the crazy Carlos, the youngest Fuentes brother had a lot to live up to. Although Alex is still my favourite, I think Luis held his own very well. He has a nice mix of the trademarks of his older brothers as well as his own kick to top it off. I still very glad that Alex and Carlos had quite a presence in Chain Reaction though – it was so nice to catch up with them and see how the relationships that I fell in love with in the earlier books were going, and if they were still going. It’s one of my favourite things about series' like this.
Chain Reaction had all of the elements of a Perfect Chemistry novel that I’ve come to love and expect: the terrifying Latino Blood and their endless threats, good ole’ Mrs Peterson and her fateful Chemistry class, poor boy/rich girl, the snippets of Spanish and some seriously steamy scenes. Even when Luis did some rather stupid things and made some rather questionable decisions, I still loved him and really wanted him to make it work with Nikki who is all at once ballsy, fierce and still vulnerable. I think she’s definitely on par with Brittany and Kiara.
Unlike the first two novels in this series, there was a bit of a mystery running through Chain Reaction. We’re left to wonder just what the leader of the Latino Blood, Chuy, wants from Luis and just how far he’ll go to get it. I have to admit that when all was revealed, I was very surprised and it really set Chain Reaction apart as a clearly different book to both Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction. It did have the trademark cheesy, happy ending in an epilogue that I adore, though. I don't care that’s it’s pure cheese and harks back to the very beginning with Brittany and Alex, in fact, it makes it that much better. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy finishing a book with a chest full of the warm fuzzies and a massive grin? Exactly.
I loved Chain Reaction and I’m now crossing my fingers and toes that one day the escapades of the second generation of Fuentes boys will make it to the page.