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review 2016-08-10 11:00
Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles Review
Chain Reaction - Simone Elkeles

Goodreads Synopsis: Luis Fuentes is a good boy who doesn't live with the angst that his big brothers, Alex and Carlos, have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when he falls for the wrong girl,

Luis enters a dark world he's never known, and just when he thinks he's got life all figured out, learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father?





Okay so I didn’t like the first book very much but was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and read the second book, liked that a bit more so moved on to the third, with this one I felt like I was reading the first one again and not in a good way.


Lets start at the beginning….We have Nikki who has not had a great experience with a boyfriend in the past who chose to be in a gang over her and in the process broke her heart. She has a distrust of guys in general especially ones who say ‘I love you’ …Okay understandable because of what she went through but her putting every Mexican guy she comes across in the same category as her ex was so stupid! I did not like her character one bit, I really wanted to but it just didn’t happen.


Then we have Luis the youngest brother in the Fuentes family, he is an adrenaline junkie with great abs and a face that makes all the girls swoon, nothing new there. However, unlike his brothers Luis has his future planned out. He has big dreams of going to college and becoming an astronaut, so why would a boy this smart and this determined join a gang? Your guess is as good as mine!


This whole storyline just didn’t make sense! Not only that but the gang storyline got seriously old. I understood Alex and Carlos getting mixed up in that as they thought of that as their future but Luis is way too smart to get himself in that mess. I know he only joined to find out information (stupid excuse) but the author could have come up with something else to keep it interesting.


I was hoping going into this that we would get a flipped situation where we have a good boy from the north side who meets a sassy girl from the south side and the trials and tribulations of that relationship. Instead we got the same tired storyline of the first two books, yawn!


Also what was that epilogue? It seemed like the author was setting us up for a story about Junior but that obviously wasn’t where she was going with it. It was really random and unnecessary.


I know it seems like I’m totally dissing this series but I don’t mean to. A lot of people loved this series but unfortunately it just wasn’t for me.

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review 2016-08-08 11:30
Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles Review
Rules of Attraction - Simone Elkeles

Goodreads Synopsis:  Carlos Fuentes doesn't want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him in Boulder, Colorado. He wants to keep living on the edge, and carve his own path-just like Alex did. Unfortunately, his ties to a Mexican gang aren't easy to break, and he soon finds himself being set up by a drug lord.

When Alex arranges for Carlos to live with his former professor and his family to keep him from being sent to jail, Carlos feels completely out of place. He's even more thrown by his strong feelings for the professor's daughter, Kiara, who is nothing like the girls he's usually drawn to. But Carlos and Kiara soon discover that in matters of the heart, the rules of attraction overpower the social differences that conspire to keep them apart.

As the danger grows for Carlos, he's shocked to discover that it's this seemingly All-American family who can save him. But is he willing to endanger their safety for a chance at the kind of life he's never even dreamed possible?





This book was slightly better than the first book but I still didn’t love it.


Right off the bat I didn’t like Carlos, not exactly what you want when he’s our main protagonist. He was cocky and could be really annoying at times. I think I also just couldn’t imagine him as a 17 year old and kept thinking of him as Alex’s younger brother. He grew on me as the story went on though.


My favourite characters of the story were Tuck (he was freaking hilarious!) and Kiara’s family, especially her dad. These characters brought the comedic aspects to the story and I loved how welcoming and loving her whole family were. I think it was these characters that made me like this book more than the first as they were well rounded and gave the story a more realistic feel.


One thing that was also present in the last book that still annoyed me in this one is the author having her main characters get together with no build up! Kiara and Carlos were in a fake relationship for all of 2 seconds before they realised they have actual feelings for each other. When there is no build up to the relationship and it just happens out of nowhere it’s not believable.


Overall though this was much better than the first book, I especially liked it being set in Colorado instead of Chicago. That epilogue also wasn’t as cheesy, it actually made me laugh at the irony of the situation. I gave this 4 stars on Goodreads but it was actually more of a 3.5.

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review 2013-07-04 10:39
Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry #1) by Simone Elkeles
Perfect Chemistry - Simone Elkeles

I really loved this whole story! I was so invested in the characters and the plot.

It was addictive from start to finish, and that epilogue... Cuuuuute.

Can't wait to see what happens with Alex's brother, Carlos, in Rules of Attraction.

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review 2013-05-02 00:00
Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry Series #1)
Perfect Chemistry - Simone Elkeles (As reviewed on my blog, Paper Riot.)First thoughtsTHE EPILOGUE WAS SO CHEESY! But I loved Brittany + Alex's chemistry (ha) and it was a great read for this sunny day. More thoughtsHere's something you've probably never heard before: a good, rich girl who falls for a poor, bad boy. Yes, Perfect Chemistry was cliche that way. I can handle only so much cliches in a book, but surprisingly, they didn't both me in this one. I honestly hadn't expected was to be completely drawn into the story, to be unable to put it down and to fall completely in love with it. Because from the moment I started reading, I was sucked into the world of Brittany and Alex, two characters who were so well-written and alive, that I was experiencing their story rather than reading about it.They both had their issues - I loved Brittany's relationship with her sister, and I was very invested in finding out more about the gang life - but when they were together, it just worked. They really did have great chemistry, and I had to fan myself a few times because things got pretty... intense. But it wasn't just the main characters who were great: the side characters were just as well-written and real. Paco and Isa were my favorites, but I also liked how both Brittany and Alex's families played a big part in this story.Yes, this was just the book to read on my beautiful day outside, and I couldn't stop reading until I finished it. Perfect if you need a passionate love story and lots of kissy scenes. And even though I wanted to stab the ending (man, that was SO CHEESY), this was a real love story rather than a high school romance, and I loved it. Yes, it was kind of cliche. But I didn't mind it one bit.
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review 2013-04-15 00:00
Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry Series #1)
Perfect Chemistry - Simone Elkeles Oh man. Sigh. My heart.---I love bad boys. Let’s just get that out of the way. And I really loved Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. It has the very popular “star-crossed lovers” plotline with less of the star-crossed and a whole lot of loving. Basically it’s: bad boy meets good girl, they fall in love, and chaos ensues. Well, maybe not chaos, but unrest at the least. Either way, I loved it.Perfect Chemistry was pretty much what I expected it to be. What surprised me was how much I ended up enjoying it. The story was super corny at times, sometimes the dialogue (spoken and inner) was a little awkward, and I was constantly yelling at the characters to stop being so stupid, but I could not put the book down. I swear, I got so connected to all the characters (ahem, Alex) that I would worry about them while I wasn’t reading. I know. It’s so ridiculous. I feel like Elkeles put a lot of thought into the story in every direction and was just so thorough with her storytelling.Honestly, I thought I wouldn’t like Perfect Chemistry for one huge reason. Gangs. Not necessarily the gangs themselves, but the violence that comes along. I don’t do very well with violence. Sometimes it’s fine, but sometimes it turns my stomach and I can’t deal with it. I loved how Elkeles was able to show the violence without being too gruesome about it. It didn’t make me sick, and for that I thank her. (I don’t have a weak stomach, honestly. It’s hard to explain, I guess.)The characters in Perfect Chemistry were great. I think I liked all of them, even the mean/bad ones. (The bad ones as “bad” ones, of course. I didn’t like them as individuals.) Brittany was an interesting character to follow because outwardly she was strong and confident, but inside she was struggling to keep it together. Her story wasn’t about finding strength, but allowing herself to stop hiding the fact that she wasn’t perfect. She knew she wasn’t perfect and really just wanted to stop being fake. It was a nice twist. It was refreshing to have a character aim to be real. Period. (Rather than real plus this, this, and that.)Here’s the part where I start swooning and fangirling over Alex. Alex, oh Alex. Alejandro. I loved Alex from the very get-go. Yes, he was being kind of a jerkface for a while. No, I didn’t really care. There was a lot more to Alex than it seemed. He had secret dreams that he couldn’t act on because he was a part of a gang that would basically kill him before letting him stray. Everything he did was to protect the people he loved, and that is totally sdfkgnhttaxscd. I love Alex. I can’t stop fangirling over him long enough to form comprehensible sentences about him. Sa-woon.I also loved a million and one of the lesser characters. As always, I would love to learn more about them. Here’s to empty wishes for more companion novels! Here, here!For the most part, I think I fell in love when I read Perfect Chemistry. With who or what is completely blurred. I loved it all. I laughed, I swooned, I got a little misty, and I think I found a new favorite book. If you like bad boys at all I definitely recommend this book. The same with rocky romances, familial problems, et cetera. I basically just recommend this book. Read it and swoon, people!
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