Friday, September 28, 2012

CHAIN REACTION by Simone Elkeles

Title: CHAIN REACTION (Book 3 in the PERFECT CHEMISTRY series)
Author: Simone Elekeles
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 16, 20122
Number of Pages: 308
Source of Book: Bought the hardcover
Like his brothers, Luis Fuentes is a risk taker; whether he's scaling the Rocky Mountains or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis is 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 finds himself targeted by the head of the gang that nearly destroyed his brothers' lives. Will Luis's feelings for Nikki be enough to stop him from entering a dark and violent world that could prove to be the ultimate risk?
Once again Simone has written an edgy urban romance with a twist. Once my students read PERFECT CHEMISTRY, they pass it on to their friends and are clamoring for more like it. For that reason, I'm really glad this was a series of three books each featuring one of the Fuentes brothers. Fans of PERFECT CHEMISTRY and RULES OF ATTRACTION will definitely enjoy this third book in the series focusing on the youngest brother, Luis. 

I have to say I liked this one more than the second book. It didn't feel like it was the same story again, but took a different angle on a familiar idea. I liked these characters and loved the way that my favorites from the first two books showed up in this one to support Luis. One of the aspects that I appreciate so much in Simone Elkeles' books is the strength of the family unit and their support for each other. I really do enjoy books with two points-of-view also, and this one has it in a very engaging way. I liked Nikki - she is a strong female character who isn't going to just take what people give her, but fights for what she wants and knows is right. One caution: This book was a little more descriptive in the mature scenes than the others seemed to be. That didn't stop many of my students from wanting to read it, but it is worth a cautionary moment. 

I wish there were going to be more Fuentes brothers stories, but since there aren't, we'll have to settle for a new series from Simone Elekeles, with the first book in the FULLRIDERS series coming in 2013. Overall, if you've enjoyed her previous books, you should definitely grab this one for a quick, fun, romantic read. If not, what are you waiting for? Get PERFECT CHEMISTRY as soon as you can.

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