Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Simone Elkeles is by far one of my favorite YA contemporary authors. When I first read Perfect Chemistry it reminded me of my high school years and Alex Fuentes was similar to the guys I grew up around. Simone continued to charm us with younger brother Carlos in Rules of Attraction while keeping Alex in the story. Then in Chain Reaction we met the youngest Fuentes brother Luis who was always supposed to be the good one. I loved that the story returned back to Chicago where everything started and that we got to see Luis go through his own struggles while keeping the family very much in the picture. Before the move Luis was happy in Colorado and instead of being a gang banger like Alex or a ladies man like Carlos the youngest got his thrills from being an adrenaline junkie. Don’t get me wrong the girls loved him because he is a Fuentes after all but he had a ten year plan that involved finishing school, going to college, and being an astronaut.
At fifteen Nikki Cruz got involved with a guy who broke her heart and dropped her for a gang. Nikki carries that pain with her every day as a reminder of what dating will do to her. While in Chicago Luis falls for Nikki even if she radiates emotionally unavailable from miles away. Only Luis’s plans get derailed when the gang wants him to take the spot that his father and Alex left. Luis knows that the gang life will kill his future plans but when they threaten everyone he loves he proves that he will do anything for family.
I only wish that Luis had trusted in his brothers instead of going at it alone but I understand that he felt he was doing what was best. I also love that when Alex and Carlos find out that Luis is in trouble they don’t lecture him but stand by him and fight for him. The bond and love that the Fuentes family has for one another is so indescribably powerful that you wish you were part of the Fuentes family. The bright side is that this was an amazing story that I couldn’t put down and about characters I loved! The only downside is that the Fuentes Brother’s stories have been told, but I look forward to reading anything that Simone Elkeles writes, be it with the future generations of Fuentes or new characters all together.
For more on Simone visit: http://www.simoneelkeles.net/