Wednesday, June 13, 2012

E-Reading: Book Review of #3 Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Name of Book: Chain Reaction

Author: Simone Elkeles

ISBN: 978-0-8027-2087-0

Publisher: Walker Publishing Company

Part of a Series: Perfect Chemistry

Type of book: heritage, Mexican male/Mexican female, chemistry, Peterson, gangs, young adult

Year it was published: 2011


Like his brothers, Luis Fuentes is a risk taker; whether he's scaling the Rocky Mountains or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis is always looking for the next thrill. Nikki Cruz lives her life by certain rules -, don't trust a boy who says "I love you", boys lie to get their own way and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Then she meets Luis at his brother Alex's wedding and suddenly she's tempted to break all her rules. Getting Nikki to give him a chance is Luis's biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by the head of the gang that nearly destroyed his brothers' lives. Will Luis's feelings for Nikki be enough to stop him from entering a dark and violent world that could prove to be the ultimate risk?


The author tries to make the characters three dimensional but I feel that she fails at the task. Luis, who should have been a fascinating character due to the double life he wanted to lead, was only following the script instead of giving emotion and feeling to them. Nikki was barely even given a script to work with. Besides the few times, I never saw her hanging out with Brittany's older sister nor taking care of the dogs. Also as well, the secret that Luis uncovers should have been mentioned in first book that something isn't right instead of slamming into me like a wall. Very unpleasant and cheap effect.


It's possible to recover from the trauma and drama.


This is written in first person narrative from both Nikki's and Luis's points of views. In all honesty I feel disgusted with this novel. I came into the novel with expectation that it might be as good as Perfect Chemistry, but in the end it disappointed me. Luis's reasons to join the gang were weak and were made in heat of the moment. There were some cute moments in the story, such as Granny, and Panty Discus, but they didn't compensate for the endless and unnecessary details of Luis and Nikki. The book struck me as an action movie that you watch and forget. The love was too fast and didn't develop the facets that Brittany's and Alex's had, as well as even Kiara and Carlos. On my Sony e-reader, within 200 pages, we have the characters saying 'I love you' and even hoping to sleep with one another. They barely even got to know one another. I also would have been interested in getting to know the partner that Nikki was partnered up with.

Author Information:

(from site)
Simone Elkeles is the NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of over seven teen romance novels. She has won various awards and recognition for her books, including the coveted RITA award from the Romance Writers of America for her book Perfect Chemistry and being named Author of the Year by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. She was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. Her funny way of looking at life and the world around her has an effect on the people she hangs out with. If you hear people laughing, you’ll probably find Simone not far away.

Simone has seven teen books in bookstores:

Perfect Chemistry
Rules of Attraction *** New York Times and USA Today Bestseller***
Chain Reaction coming Spring 2011

Leaving Paradise
Return to Paradise *** New York Times Bestseller****

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation
How to Ruin my Teenage Life
How to Ruin Your Boyfriend’s Reputation

Simone has also been voted the Illinois Author of the Year by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English.

Simone went to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and received her Bachelor’s of Science there in Psychology in 1992. She continued her education at Loyola University-Chicago where she received her Master’s of Science degree in Industrial Relations while working for a manufacturing company creating diversity programs for their employees.

She loves animals (she has two dogs – a labradoodle and a German Shepherd), kids (she also has two of those) and her family. In her spare time she’s the Hockey Mom for her kids hockey teams and is an active Girl Scout leader specially trained in outdoor education. She also spends time mentoring other teen and adult authors. (she also loves sushi, which you can probably tell by reading her books).

Simone writes about teens because she was a teen in the 80’s (when spiked hair and blue eye shadow were “rad”) and she loves writing about those exciting teen relationships and romances.
Simone does inspirational talks at schools, libraries, and conferences. If you are interested in booking Simone for a speaking engagement, please contact her assistant Melissa at


A poorly written novel that wasn't developed enough. Just like Luis claimed to be, the entire novel was senseless and struck me as an adrenaline junkie. Too much action and too little in-depth character explorations of the characters. Nikki's character is weak and a lot, I do mean  A LOT isn't answered. For example, what exactly happened with the mother and Martinez? Did Brittany have a girl or a boy as a second child? The love happened way too fast, and third time is not the charm in this case but is a curse in fact. (Before this book, Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction made it onto the scene.) For me, Nikki seemed to be a boring character who over-analyzed things, and the reason I finished this book quickly is because I didn't want to spend one more day of reading it. As someone mentioned it on goodreads, please read the epilogue but not the main story that was highly undeveloped and never tied up properly.

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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