Reynje's Reviews > Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
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May 17, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: contemp-or-realistic, dual-or-multiple-pov, read-2012, release-the-drama-llamas, saw-it-coming, young-adult
Read from May 17 to 20, 2012


[Note: I went into this book with good intentions. Please note my enthusiastic hashtagging in honour of the Fuentes boys, along with my fellow readalongers, Flannery, Jo and Trinity. Alas, I did not like this book - as the following review states.]

Look, I’m sorry, but every once in a while I just need to get my rant on and Chain Reaction has the dubious honour of being in my ranty sights right now.

I’ve read Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction, and while they weren’t precisely my cup of tea, I can’t lie – they were entertaining and fun. I expected something similar from Chain Reaction, if a slightly different take on the previous formula of bad-boy meets girl-from-the-right-side-of-the-tracks. What I didn’t expect was to read the mutant spawn of the previous two books, a Perfect Chemistry/Rules of Attraction fan-fiction-style mash-up.

Expectations

In hindsight I don’t know where I got this idea from, but I thought this book would be about Luis – the intelligent, sensitive and somewhat shy youngest Fuentes brother – being brought out of his shell by a confident, challenging Nikki, replete with trademark Elkeles flirtatious tension. Haha. Those were the days..

Reality

Luis is basically a hybrid of Alex and Carlos – which makes him what? The Ultimate Fuentes? An intelligent, tough, risk-taking, wannabe-astronaut badass with perfectly ripped abs who sets fire to the underwear of all girls in a 2 mile radius without even breaking a sweat. His key differentiator appears to be his perfectly spiked hair.

Luis sets his sights on Nikki, super-hot girl-from-the-right-side-of-the-tracks-with-a-secret!, determined to break through her cool exterior and make her his mamacita while also shaming her for not being a “real” Mexican.

Throw in some gangbangers, a scabby dog, a game of panty discus, a plot that defies logic, and ridiculousness ensues. Things get straddled. (Mostly furniture, though). Characters make absurd decisions. We are told plenty of things about the characters, but not really shown anything. Terrible poetry is written. Misunderstandings are rampant. Alex and Carlos bust shit up. Luis gets busted up. Nikki (view spoiler). Carlos cries, which apparently redeems him from acting like a total ass-hat.

Credit where credit is due – I actually liked the beginning of this book. I felt empathy for Nikki and I thought I understood her motivations. I had high hopes.

Then everyone started acting out of character and the believability I initially noted went out of the window, along with the plot, apparently.

I’m sorry. I know this is harsh, but I’m frustrated with this book. It feels like a (vanilla? trololol) regurgitation of the previous two, sans the compelling characterisation and interesting plotlines.

Anyway, the moral of the story appears to be: Don’t join a gang when you’re angry, it will end badly unless you have a sassy girlfriend who is your “forever and always” and buys you meteorites.

Or something...



* * * * * *
Ok, I’m done here.

I guess that’s a bit of a hollow pronouncement, since Chain Reaction is the last book in the Perfect Chemistry series, but just in case any further Fuentes books are spawned in the future: I’m staying well away.

And if I don’t, I give you all leave to throw things at me.

* * * * *

It's finally #FuentesFriday! with Flannery, Jo and Trin.

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Reading Progress

05/19
39.0% ""Getting close to Chuy is my only option." || *FACEPALM* No, Luis, it really isn't, you freaking idiot." 4 comments
05/20
67.0% "What? What is this? Carlos has turned into Alex." 5 comments
05/20
77.0% "I don't know if this book can recover after the infamous "Panty Discus Afternoon" :|" 3 comments
04/21 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-28 of 28) (28 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm gonna start tonight #fuentesfriday #abs


Reynje Me too. Fingers crossed for a Carlos cameo?

#sneakymaracas


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

He better not be all serious no fun like Alex!


message 4: by Jo (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jo "One girl was seriously on the prowl and grabbed my ass a few times while we were dancing." - Rey, I didn't know you were in this book?

CHEEKY CHEEKY LOL.


*shakes maracas*

*runs away*


Reynje Jo wrote: ""One girl was seriously on the prowl and grabbed my ass a few times while we were dancing." - Rey, I didn't know you were in this book?

CHEEKY CHEEKY LOL.


*shakes maracas*

*runs away*"


Busted.

I mean.. what are you talking about...


message 6: by Catie (new)

Catie I think you guys should be given awards for reading past book one! I salute your efforts.


Reynje Catie wrote: "I think you guys should be given awards for reading past book one! I salute your efforts."

:) the best part of this book was the crazy email chain it sparked! I don't think I'd have made it through on my own..


message 8: by jesse (last edited May 21, 2012 04:36AM) (new)

jesse yeah, i really don't understand the appeal to these weak and underdeveloped characters with schmaltzy dialogue. *grimaces*


Reynje joє wrote: "yeah, i really don't understand the appeal to these weak and underdeveloped characters with schmaltzy dialogue. *grimaces*"

Joe, the dialogue was terrible in this one. I think it was worse than the previous two..


message 10: by Catie (new)

Catie Awww, well I'm glad you guys had a fun time. Sometimes it's worth reading a silly book if you have awesome people to joke about it with. Looking forward to all the reviews!


message 11: by jesse (last edited May 21, 2012 06:05AM) (new)

jesse Reynje wrote: "joє wrote: "yeah, i really don't understand the appeal to these weak and underdeveloped characters with schmaltzy dialogue. *grimaces*"

Joe, the dialogue was terrible in this one. I think it was ..."


gosh, i can only imagine.. :/


Jasprit Yay you finished it, what did you think of the epilogue? I think that's what nearly killed me! Look forward to your review :)


message 13: by Angela (new)

Angela I had fun with the mindless romantic fluff of the first two books in this series, but I also thought this this last one was bad and gave it two stars. It was just...bleh and too much like the other two books.


Reynje Jasprit - I have no words for that epilogue! :)

Angela, I feel much the same way.. I didn't mind the first two, they were fun. But this one was just.. awful. I don't know if I can even muster the enthusiasm for a review, but I'll try :)


message 15: by Angela (new)

Angela Reynje wrote: "Jasprit - I have no words for that epilogue! :)

Angela, I feel much the same way.. I didn't mind the first two, they were fun. But this one was just.. awful. I don't know if I can even muster the ..."


I wrote many ranty notes after reading it last year, but like you, I didn't know if I could muster the interest/drive/will to get a review together either. Now almost a year after reading it, I'm guessing I'll never get to it.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

All I wanna say about the epilogue is please Jesus never let her write those books, hot mexicans on ice! (view spoiler)


Reynje Trinity wrote: "All I wanna say about the epilogue is please Jesus never let her write those books, hot mexicans on ice! [spoilers removed]"

Sigh. We'll always have SNEAKY MARACAS, at least :)


message 18: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Marr FlanJoReynity? Is this the ultimate dream team? This review makes me lol! (view spoiler) Awesome:)


Reynje It was more awesome than a barrel of monkeys, Shirley :)

(view spoiler)


message 20: by Flannery (last edited May 23, 2012 08:13PM) (new)

Flannery Hey, what's wrong with crying after sex on the floor? TELL ME! Chica, why you gotta be like that?

P.S. Shirley, I don't know why you have stitches but I hope you get well soon!


Reynje Flannery don't be a pendejo, we've already discussed how I go around in a trench coat, showing up at garages making boys cry. That is the only excuse! ;)

I miss this readalong already. Maybe I'll just re-read the emails every now and then and reminisce.


message 22: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Marr And the above is why FlanneRey is the best :P

(view spoiler)


message 23: by Angela (new)

Angela Reynje wrote: "Flannery don't be a pendejo, we've already discussed how I go around in a trench coat, showing up at garages making boys cry. That is the only excuse! ;)"

Best book-related comment EVER. I smirked heartily upon reading this and being brought back to the first saga of the hormone-driven Fuentes brothers.


Reynje Angela wrote: "Reynje wrote: "Flannery don't be a pendejo, we've already discussed how I go around in a trench coat, showing up at garages making boys cry. That is the only excuse! ;)"

Best book-related comment ..."


haha, thanks Angela! I remember those times, back when the Fuentes drama was actually fun :)


message 25: by Angela (new)

Angela Reynje wrote: "...back when the Fuentes drama was actually fun :)"

Tru dat.


papalbina "a Perfect Chemistry/Rules of Attraction fan-fiction-style mash-up."

exactly what i thought after finishing the book... this book was the 2011 biggest disappoinment v.v


Ariana When I read this book everybody loved it and I was like the very black sheep or something, with the only low rating on GoodReads.

I was waiting to see what you guys thought of it, as from the updates I couldn't really tell.... so we are still book friends, thinking alike.. yeiii!! (to bad the book sucked though)


message 28: by Ms.I-Read (new)

Ms.I-Read I am in the middle to end of reading this book and I came on here wondering if other people felt same way I did. Glad I am not alone! I found this last book really boring and disapointing. In a way I did feel I could relate to Nikki in a sense that I refer myself as a canadian then my spanish roots. I don't speak much spanish...its very broken, but that was about it. Anyways this book was very cut and dry for me. I read a little ahead don't see it getting better.


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