Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry, # 3)
By: Simone Elkeles
Published: August 16th 2011 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Personal Kindle Library
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Goodreads description--Luis Fuentes is a good boy who doesn't live with the angst that his big brothers, Alex and Carlos, have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when he falls for the wrong girl,
Luis enters a dark world he's never known, and just when he thinks he's got life all figured out, learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father?
I have really enjoyed reading about the Fuentes brothers. Alex, the oldest and lead in Perfect Chemistry, started out in a gang but went through the dangerous process of being jumped out because he wanted more for his family. Carlos, the middle child and lead in Rules of Attraction, wanted to prove that he was the tough guy and in some ways sought out being in a gang. And then there's Luis. He's lived a bit more sheltered of a life. He's the smart kid. The one in the family with a plan--he wants to be an astronaut. The problem is that trouble follows the Fuentes boys, and Luis is no exception. It doesn't help that he seems to be a bit of an adrenaline junkie.
I enjoyed how Chain Reaction started out a bit different. I wasn't sure that I was going to like how things started with Luis and Nikki being so young. The book starts with them both being just fifteen years old, but then jumps ahead two years. The beginning was necessary to set up how much anger Nikki has, specifically directed towards the Latino Blood, and how easy Luis had things back in Colorado plus how quickly things can get away from you when thrown into the wrong group of people.
Nikki was a tough nut for Luis to crack. She's feisty because she's been hurt in the past. She's been through a lot that only a few have any knowledge about. She's even aloof with her friends sometimes. I could understand her hesitation. Luis himself was somewhat frustrating to me. His strategy of finding out what Chuy from the Latino Blood wanted with him frustrated me a little. He really caused more problems for himself than need be.
Ultimately, Chain Reaction wasn't my favorite of the series. I enjoyed how it was different from the other two. I enjoyed that Nikki was Latina herself even though she wasn't as immersed initially into the culture as Luis. And I read this one just as quickly as the previous two. I also really appreciated the presence of the other characters: Alex, Brittany, Paco, Carlos, Kiara, and even Mama Fuentes. Chain Reaction gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read Chain Reaction? What did you think? Let me know!