August 16th 2011
Walker Books for Young Readers
Luis Fuentes has always been sheltered from the gang violence that nearly destroyed his brothers’ lives. But that didn’t stop him from taking risks—whether he’s scaling a mountain in the Rockies or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis can’t stop looking for the next thrill.
Nikki Cruz lives her life by three rules—boys lie to get their way, don’t trust a boy who says “I love you,” and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Her parents may be from Mexico, but as a doctor’s daughter, she has more in common with her north-side neighbors than the Latino Blood at her school. Then she meets Luis at Alex’s wedding, and suddenly, she’s tempted to break all her rules.
Getting Nikki to take a chance on a southsider is Luis’s biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by Chuy Soto, the new head of the Latino Blood. When Chuy reveals a disturbing secret about Luis’s family, the youngest Fuentes finds himself questioning everything he’s ever believed to be true. Will his feelings for Nikki be enough to stop Luis from entering a dark and violent world and permanently living on the edge?
I'm not sure if I've said this before, but Simone Elkeles is a genius. She must be. Every book I've read of hers I have absolutely loved. She can do NO WRONG. She can even make me like understand characters that would usually piss me off a little, case in point, Chain Reaction.
As you could probably tell, I was super excited to read this book. And it was pretty different from the other two. It wasn't really what I was expecting (though it was hot) and there were loads of twists about family that I didn't see coming at all. I'm not gonna lie, both Luis and Nikki annoyed me quite a bit, but they had their reasons for doing what they did no matter how irritating (to me) and I still love them both anyhow.
Luis was frustrating at times. He still had his Fuentes charm and rebellious streak, but there were lots of things that happened involving the LB and blood and family that confused him and made him do some very stupid things, and I often just wanted to shake some bloody sense into him, but most of the time he was all Fuentes and gorgeous and awesome. Even though he didn't have nice hair...(that's why Alex is my favourite ;p) I did enjoy his cleverness and the fact that he had a life plan and that he was driven like that.
Nikki... Where to start with Nikki! She wasn't my favourite of the girls, but I did really like her. She's had a pretty tough time with love, and therefore has pretty bad trust issues. Okay, very bad trust issues. And it made me want to shake her when she was with Luis and she was acting like she didn't care about him at all, and the she did a 180 and became a bit needy and crazy. Like, if this wasn't a book, and Luis genuinely didn't like her, she'd be that crazy ex-girlfriend. You know the one. But despite that, she was an interesting and complex character, and I did like her.
My favourite parts of the book though were really those with all three of the brothers in them. I love seeing them all together, and I love their bond. I'm so jealous of their massive sense of family. And I loved seeing them with Brit and Kiara and that they're all still together and happy :) It's so nice.
Chain Reaction is an awesome conclusion to the Fuentes bros and their teenage love lives, but with that epilogue (thankfully less cheesy than the others) totally just left me wanting more. One for each of their sons? ;) I'd so read that.