The Compulsive Reader: Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Everyone thinks that because Luis Fuentes is smart and academically driven, he can avoid the gang problems that have plagued his older brothers. But that doesn't seem to be the case when Luis and his mother move back to Chicago to be closer to Alex and his family. As Luis settles back into his old neighborhood, it becomes evident that the Latino Blood want him working for them. But that certainly complicates Luis's relationship with Nikki, a Latina from the other side of town who has been teased her entire life for her lack of connection to her Mexican heritage. Luis will have to decide what's more important: staying with the gang and doing what everyone expects, or taking control of his life and having a relationship with Nikki. And Nikki will have to decide is she's willing to take a risk with love again...

Chain Reaction, the final book in the Perfect Chemistry trilogy, is just as steamy and deliciously complicated as its prequels. It bears a lot of similarities to Perfect Chemistry in its setting and Luis's situation with the gangs, but Elkeles does make this one a bit different in the way she starts the story, introducing the characters two years before Luis and his mother move back to Chicago. Once the novel moves back to more familiar territory, the story picks up quickly, bouncing back and forth between Luis, who is being led down a very dangerous path, and Nikki, whose dating issues stem from a relationship that ended very badly. Despite her adamant refusal to get involved with any guys that are Luis's "type," they are quickly drawn to each other, which leads to some swoon-worthy scenes. The book is peppered with great interactions with Alex and Brittany, now married with children, and Carlos, who is still dating Kiara, which is fun for fans of the previous two books and makes for some nice banter and family-centered messages. Perhaps the most frustrating part about this book is Luis's inane idea of inertia and the inability to claim his future as his own, despite all that he has witnessed his older brothers do. However, Chain Reaction does have a very satisfying ending...after plenty of drama and some edge-of-your-seat moments. The constant tension in this book makes it a quick, sexy, suspenseful novel that is a fantastic ending to this hot trilogy.

Cover Comments: Oh, this cover is possibly one of the most provocative. It took me a while to figure out that the couple are standing under one of those chemical showers that are found in labs, and once I realized that, the cover clicked and it was perfect. Very awesome.

Review copy provided by publisher.


Alexis Ladig said...

I can't wait to read this one! I loved both of the previous books in the series (even if they are more like companions) and I've heard so many good things. I need to get my hands on this some how.


Selina said...

Great review! I totally loved the whole Fuentes family coming together and following up on some of the story lines from the previous books.
I did a post with my favorites from the series, you can find it here if you are interested.

Christina T said...

I am on the fence about reading this though I liked the other two. Your review definitely makes me lean towards reading the book though I might get it from the library instead of buying it.

I think Perfect Chemistry was my favorite of the series so far and I thought Rules of Attraction was a little too similar to the first book so I was hesitant about reading Chain Reaction. They are good romances though and very entertaining! Thanks for your review!

Ellie (The Reading Girl) said...

I love the Fuentes boys! It'll be interesting to read Luis's story, since he is so different from his brothers. Too bad there's no more boys in the family!

Thanks for your positive review:)

* And this cover is pretty cool-- or should I say hot--, but I like the Rules of Attraction one the best. I like how there's sort of a theme going on with them.

Anonymous said...

Whoa! Hope none of my administrators see this cover - they will make me pull our copies...