Book Review: Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry #3)
by Simone Elkeles
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by Walker Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought


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?


I honestly don't know when the Goodreads summary changed. I distinctly remember that Luis was first described as the innocent, honest-to-goodness Fuentes brother, and the girl, as the one who unintentionally dragged him to the rebel side. That was probably the only reason I was so looking forward to reading the final installment in the Perfect Chemistry series. I was hoping that somehow, it would be different from its predecessors. So you can only imagine my disappointment when none of what I expected came out.

If you have read Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction, you know that both books practically have the same formula: the Latino blood, the family, the girl, the cheesy epilogue, you know what I'm talking about. I honestly thought Elkeles would finally change that formula in Chain Reaction, perhaps reverse the situation in which the girl is the rebel and the boy is the good one just like how I thought it was going to be, but boy I was wrong.

I thoroughly enjoyed PC despite it being so cheesy. I liked RoA because it reminded me of PC. But with Chain Reaction, the Fuentes brothers no longer amused me. It was practically like reading PC or RoA all over again. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy Chain Reaction because I did enjoy it, only not that much.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars


  1. I can completely understand your feelings. It sounds like there didn't need to be a series. One book would have been enough. Hope you enjoy your next book more.

  2. I keep seeing gushing for Elkeles' books so it's nice to have see a review that differs. I've never read her books but if I do, I'll probably just read Perfect Chemistry then. I'm like you in that if a series repeats the same formula over and over, I'll get bored. Great review, Chel!

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