by Simone Elkeles
Young adult romance
Perfect Chemistry 4 out of 5 stars
Rules of Attraction 4 out of 5 stars
Chain Reaction 3 out of 5 stars
I read all three books in the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles. These are realistic fiction, romance books aimed at young adult readers, high school age and older. The stories center around the Fuentes brothers — Alex, Carlos, and Luis. The relationship between the three Hispanic brothers is the strongest
feature in all three books. Each book focuses on a different brother and the romantic relationship that develops with a girl.
The Fuentes brothers were born into the gang lifestyle in Chicago. Their father was killed when they were very young, and Alex, the oldest of the brothers has tried to step into a man-of-the-house role and steer his younger brothers away from the gang. The glimpse into their life, and how difficult it is for adolescents in these dangerous gang neighborhoods to avoid gang life is enlightening and handled in a very realistic way by Elkeles.
I enjoyed the first book, Perfect Chemistry the most. The relationship and struggles between Alex and Brittany really pulled me into the story. Alex is a bad boy with a heart of gold, and Brittany is the wealthy cheerleader who tries to deny their attraction at first. While the storyline might sound cliched, Elkeles imbues the characters with life and manages to make the story feel fresh.
For me, Luis’ story, the final one in the series, Chain Reaction, seemed a little rushed. The time span of the story does stretch over a greater period, but the relationship between Luis and Nikki seem the most rushed and least developed. What I like though, is that the couples from the earlier books (Alex/Brittany and Carlos/Keira) appear in this book and I love watching the development of the couples.
All in all, this is a very satisfying series if you are looking for young adult romance.