Megan Hoover's Reviews > Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
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Nov 07, 11

Read from October 20 to 24, 2011

** spoiler alert ** I want to preface this with saying I am a huge fan of Simone Elkeles. I've raved about Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction, and Leaving Paradise (I never posted by review of Return to Paradise, but I loved that one too). However, Chain Reaction did nothing for me. I'm so disappointed. Everything from the cover (oh man it's just awful), to Luis, to Niki just flat out turned me off. And the big twist? I literally smacked my forehead and groaned. No way.

I started out loving Luis. I was so excited to be hanging with the youngest Fuentes, because let's face it, they are the yummiest trio of brothers in literary existence. Even when he was being a cocky asshole, I still loved him. However, his character took a very weird turn for me as soon as they moved back to Illinois. No way would he have gone along with any of the gang BS. And no way would a smart kid like that not have gone to his older brothers for help.

While we're on the subject of Illinois I have a very hard time believing that Mama Fuentes would have moved back when she did. Luis had one year left and Alex and Britney didn't need help raising their kiddo. She was a smart level headed lady. She would have made sure Luis got into college before moving home. She never would have risked bring him back into potential gang violence - especially knowing (spoiler alert) that he was blessed in because of who is father was. Also, unless she was raped, there's no way that Luis's dad was the man that killed her husband. No way. (spoiler over)

Niki didn't impress me much either. She had a lot of attitude for not a lot of reason. I never really felt a connection to her character. I didn't really care about the emotional roller coaster she went through with her gang member boyfriend. She felt fake to me, riding on her looks and I didn't really understand why Luis liked her much in the first place. Their love story did nothing for me. I was way more interested in Luis's battle with Latino Blood than his relationship with Niki, which was a major departure from the previous two novels where the stakes were always the girl.

It was great to see everyone else back. I have a very found spot in my heart for the elder Fuentes boys and their gal pals. It was awesome to have them in and out throughout the book. I love how important family is to this group of people and how much they celebrate their heritage. That's one thing Chain Reaction got right - it's definitely a celebration of family and heritage.

This was a really disappointing end to an AMAZING trilogy. I loved the first two books so much that I was crushed to not love this one, but it really didn't do anything for me. I do seem to be in the minority in my opinion though, so if you've read the other ones, you should definitely pick this one up too.
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Reading Progress

10/20/2011 page 42
14.0%
10/22/2011 page 226
73.0% "I'm not as into this one as I have been the others. All I can think is that Luis is being so stupid. Why isn't he asking his brothers for help? And why on earth did they even move back before he graduated? One year wouldn't have made much difference."
10/22/2011 page 308
100.0% "I loved the first two in this series, but this one did nothing for me. I'm so disappointed."
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