Titles: Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction, Chain Reaction
Author: Simone Elkeles
These books… They’re intense. I have that much to say. Also, there is sexual content, so just be aware of that.
When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she’s worked so hard for – her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.
Rules Of Attraction
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?
When he returns to Illinois and the gang culture on the south side of Winnetka after six years in Colorado, high school senior Luis Fuentes, who dreams of becoming an astronaut, falls for the wrong girl, enters a dark world, and learns some disturbing news about his family.
Each book is about each Fuentes brother. The first about Alex’s devotion to the LBs, which is only brought on through his fierce devotion to his own family, in hopes of keeping his other brothers from the violence, the gangs, and the danger. When he falls for Brittany Ellis, though, his life takes a jump off a cliff as he and Brittany break through their reps, break through the gang, and break through all the rules. The second book, is about Carlos. He’s gotten himself into quite the situation and brings that with him as he begins a new life, in Colorado. Dragged back into the darkness of the gangs he had affiliated himself with back when he lived in Mexico, he finds solace in Kiara, the one girl who seems to be able to make him challenge everything he’s done, everything he may do, and everything that he is. The third book is about Luis, the last Fuentes brother. The black sheep in his family, with his smarts, his out-worldly goals, and his utter lack of interest in gangs when growing up, set him apart from his brothers. When his family moves back to their old house, in Illinois, he finds himself sucked back into the world his brothers had strived so hard to get out of, and keep him out of. Hanging with the wrong people, he finds himself in a deep hole. Realizing that it was more than just his goals that set him apart from his brothers, he begins to hang out more with the LB, while studiously keeping these activities hidden from his new girlfriend, Nikki. However, with his brothers, Nikki, and the help of those around him, will he be able to get himself out of his past, his decisions, and his family’s history?
A lot of questions, and only one answer. These books were intense, captivating me from the start. Maybe it’s just because I’m a sucker for a good romance, or because of the intensity of the novels. With Elkeles’ writing, you can picture the gangs, feel the struggle, and sympathize with the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this series of novels, and loved all her other novels as well. Yes, having the two characters make out in every cover, in this series, is a little much, but it’s a romance novel, what else do you want? Lots of romance, lots of suspense, lots of gangs, and a lot of Fuentes.
These books are taken from switching prospectives between the two main characters. Alex and Brittany, Carlos and Kiara, and Luis and Nikki.
World Building: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: ~4.25/5
“You are the one girl that made me risk eveything for a future worth having.”
-Alex [Perfect Chemistry]
“Miss Ellis?” Mrs. Perterson says. “It’s your turn. Introduce Alex to the class”
“This is Alejandro Fuentes. When he wasn’t hanging out on street corners and harrassing innocent people this summer, he toured the inside of jails around the city, if you know what i mean. His secret desire is to go to college and become a chemistry teacher, like you Mrs. Peterson.”
Brittany flashed me a triumpnet smile, thinking she won this round. Guess again, gringa. “This is Brittany Ellis,” I say, all eyes focused on me. “This summer she went to the mall, bought new clothes to extend her wardrobe, and spent her daddy’s money on plastic surgery to enhance her, ahem, assets. Her secret desire is to date a Mexicano before she graduates.”
-Brittany and Alex [Perfect Chemistry]
“Tofu tacos are not Mexican. I think putting tofu on anything and calling it Mexican is an insult to my people.”
-Carlos [Rules of Attraction]
“This is a team of gay dudes, isn’t it?”
“What gave it away? The pink shirts, or half our team drooling over you?”
-Carlos and Kiara [Rules of Attraction]
“You Fuentes boys are nothing but a pain in my rear. If you and your brothers ever have more children, make sure they go to another school.”
“Fairfield is home,” Luis tells her with a cocky grin. “And the best place to raise a family. I wouldn’t be surprised if all of our kids went to Fairfield
High. Admit it, Mrs. P. You know you’d love that.”
“Yes, but …” Mrs. Peterson looks up at the ceiling and puts her palms together as if she’s praying.
-Luis and Mrs. Peterson [Chain Reaction]
“Because I have to, Nik. It’s my legacy. I was born a Latino Blood,” he says. “And I’m gonna die one.”
-Luis [Chain Reaction]