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?
The Fuentes brothers are back and I couldn't be more excited! I've been anxiously awaiting the release of this book because I absolutely love Simone Elkeles' style of writing. She's very real and raw with her stories. There isn't any fluff or sappiness in the Perfect Chemistry series. Instead, Elkeles adresses the reality of teenage love without sugar coating it. Its one of the main reasons I enjoy her work- everything just seems so real and relatable. She can successfully integrate the reality of drugs, gangs, and violence into a love story without making it sound so far fetched.
The characters in this book were awesome as well. Luis is the youngest Fuentes brother and known as the secretive risk taker. He's the academic of the trio with a desire for adrenaline rushes. This ends up getting him into several sticky situations. However, I liked that he differed from Carlos and Alex. Don't get me wrong, I love a bad boy with a heart, but it was refreshing to see that Luis wasn't a rebel or gang banger straight from the start of the book. It really gave him individuality. Once again, Elkeles managed to make me fall in love. Luis has the right amount of cockiness to hook a girl and all the moves to back it up. Definitely muy caliente.
Nikki was also a great character and balanced Luis well. She's been hurt badly in the past and so struggles with opening up to guys. I really enjoyed reading Nikki's part of the story because I related a lot to her and her views on love. Scars from the past always seem to haunt us in the future. It really made me root for her and Luis even more.
A huge bonus to this story is that we see a lot of Alex and Carlos. I love that their relationships are continued in this story as small subplots. It was great getting insight on where these couples now stood and what their futures entail as well. Elkeles did a great job of adding their updates to Chain Reaction without making the story all about them.
Overall, Chain Reaction was a perfect ending to the Perfect Chemistry trilogy. Elkeles was able to create another phenomenal story based on two very strong and passionate characters. I loved this book and recommend the series to everyone! You will not be disappointed.