Friday, August 12, 2011

Review: Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
Release Date: August 16, 2011
Genre: YA 
Buy the book:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

The Story: 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 tempted to break all her rules.

Getting Nikki to take a chance on a southsider is Luis’s biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by Chuy Soto, the new head of the Latino Blood. When Chuy reveals 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?

My Review: This is definitely my favorite book in the series. Luis is easy to love right away. He doesn't have that same hard edge that his older brothers do, but he's got enough cockiness and attitude to still exude the sexy confidence you've come to expect from the Fuentes brothers.

When Nikki's story begins, my heart immediately breaks for her. We see exactly what happened to her to make her so hard against guys and why she has no intention of falling for anyone -- especially not Luis. When they meet at Alex's wedding (when they are both fifteen), Luis is instantly intrigued by the Latino who doesn't claim her Mexican blood. He hits on her right away, but Nikki isn't having it. In fact, their first meeting is anything but romantic and ends with Luis being embarrassed more than once. But Luis doesn't let this distract him from his goal. He's nothing if not a quitter. 

At seventeen, Luis moves back to Illinois, which is where Nikki lives, with his mother and right back into the southside where he'd been raised for the first half of his life. He's surprised to see that the neighborhood isn't quite as he remembered it, but it isn't long before we learn that things are not as calm as they seem. I loved that the other Fuentes brothers make appearances in this book and how wonderfully evident it is that family truly does come first with these boys. No matter what's going down, they've got each others back. It's an underlying theme in all three books, but we especially get to see that dedication to family in this book.  

Chain Reaction is an amazing ending to a series that I've loved from the start. I sped through this book and can't wait to read all three books back to back. And based off the epilogue that Elkeles gives us, I'm really hoping that we may be learning of new Fuentes books in the future. I can't recommend this series enough. If you haven't yet read them, go get them now! And be prepared for some really great love stories that are as sexy as they are dangerous. Really and truly incredible.

My Rating:


  1. I cannot wait to read this! I LOVED the other books in the series. It sounds really good! Nice review (:

  2. Loved this author! I can't wait to read this book!!!

  3. Oh yay, so glad to hear this is your fav. I can't wait to read this. I was actually a little worried originally I might not like Luis as much BECAUSE he doesn't have as much of a hard edge! :]

    Sarah @ I'm Loving Books

  4. Hmm, I guess I should check out these books? Great review :D

  5. I seriously cannot wait to read this book. I have read and love every other book this other has done, and I am sure this one is going to be just as great. I am so excited about it!

  6. after i read chain reaction i really hope theres another one cause the epilogue made me want to read more



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