Flash Reviews (6)

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
Source: Purchased

Summary (From Goodreads): 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?

Flash Review:  I’m a big fan of the Perfect Chemistry trilogy and the Fuentes brothers.  The stories are predictable, but the characters are engaging, the plots move quickly, and the relationships are exciting.  Luis is quite different from his brothers in the sense that he tries to avoid violence and the gang life, which was a nice change of pace from the other two books.  I would have enjoyed Chain Reaction more, however, if it would have been more of its own novel.  What I mean by that is Luis’s story was a mixture of Alex’s story and Carlos’ story.  Just like Alex, Luis and Nikki have chemistry together.  Very much like Carlos, Luis falls for a girl that’s tough around the edges and wary of him.  I felt like I was reading both Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction.  Luis was confronted with many of the same conflicts that his brothers were in their novels.  The story does become , but it’s not until later in the book.  I did enjoy reading it, it just wasn’t a 4 or 5 star novel like the other two.

The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
Source: Purchased

Summary (From Goodreads): In the world of Sheridan Wells, life is perfect when she’s decorating a cake. Unfortunately everything else is a complete mess: her mom ran off years ago, her dad is more interested in his restaurant, and the idea of a boyfriend is laughable.

But Sheridan is convinced finding her mom will solve all her problems – only her dad’s about to get a cooking show in New York, which means her dream of a perfect family will be dashed.

Using just the right amount of romance, family drama, and cute boys, The Sweetest Thing will entice fans with its perfect mixture of girl-friendly ingredients.

Flash Review: I need to say first that The Sweetest Thing had me going through all sorts of cravings.  Sheridan is an absolute perfectionist about her cakes, so her descriptions were quite detailed which made my mouth water more times than not.  Christina Mandelski has written a novel that girls who like novels by Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti will enjoySheridan is a character that a variety of readers can relate to, whether they aspire to be a baker, feel like an outsider, lack a relationship with their mother, or simply want to read a novel and empathize with a character.  While I enjoyed Mandelski’s debut, I did at times find myself irritated with Sheridan.  She is so stubborn about connecting with her mother and not cooperating with her father or friends.  It makes for a layered conflict, but it could have been resolved sooner without hurting the novel.  Still, Sheridan is a character that girls can learn from.  My girls in book club chose this as our first novel, and I’m really looking forward to discussing it with them this week.


Thank you for the Flash Reviews idea, GreenBeanTeenQueen :)

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