Sunday, March 1, 2015

Christie's review:Elements of Chemistry: Attraction by Penny Reid


Title: Elements of Chemistry:Attraction
Series: Hypothesis #0.25
Author: Penny Reid
Release Date: April 9, 2015
Rating: 5 stars
Cliffhanger: Yes

One week.
Private beach.
Invisible girl.
Jerk-faced bully.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner.
Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family's billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.
When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good?

In my last review, I made the following statement:

I should know by now, the moment you start imagining how a book is going to go, you're just asking for trouble. Expectations burn you every time.

Get ready, because I'm about to eat my words. Generally speaking, this is true. 99% of the time. But sometimes you have that one author. Maybe two. That author that produces books over and over again that not only live up to all your hopes and expectations but surpass them and wrap you up in pure bliss. The cold, hard facts are when a new Penny Reid book arrives, I can depend on reading something that will blow everything else I've read that week out of the water. Every time. Elements of Chemistry is no exception.


Katy Parker is everything you would expect from a Penny Reid heroine. She's the perfect brainy oddball with plenty of quirky personality traits to make her enchant you right from the start. Being raised by two highly intelligent parents, she grown into a no nonsense, straightforward type of woman who appreciates intellect over the usual superficial standards of society. She's a word nerd. She recites synonyms when she's upset or nervous. (I loved that! Loved! It ramped up her rating on the awesome scale.) She has a dry sense of humor and I couldn't stop smirking at her off the wall thoughts. But then, I expected nothing less with Penny's witty brand of humor.

He was so handsome I felt like filing a civil lawsuit against his parents, claiming punitive damages, pain and suffering to my psyche.

However, Katy has one secret, guilty vice-and that weakness is her chemistry partner, Martin Sandeke. The guy she likes to call "jerk faced bully". She's knows it's wrong to lust after the kind of person that has a very short leash on his temper and a stinging wit that no one is safe from. So she keeps her unrealistic, unobtainable craving locked up tight.

Penny is a maestro at building that pull and draw to an enormous crescendo. That constant tease that builds your anticipation to towering heights. Most of the time I didn't know whether I wanted to laugh or swoon at any given moment between Martin and Katy.

Katy is under the impression that he doesn't notice her as anything other than his lab partner during the last two semesters. Little does she know, he has his own attraction simmering on the back burner. Katy's seeming indifference to his wealth and family, her unconscious beauty, and her straightforward honesty are causing a little obsession of his own. Martin is a pretty uncaring guy at best, and scornful and cutting at worst. But when he's around Katy, you can see how he gravitates toward her and the yearning he harbors for this unassuming girl.

After convincing him to go away with him and his friends for a week on a private island (and then convincing her again) Martin makes it his mission to get Katy to give him a chance despite the bad impression he's given her these past months. Even though she has these feelings for him, she's too smart to not be cautious about his intentions and the possible consequences of putting her trust in him. And his possessiveness is noticeably freaking her out.

Even if I were Martin's girl-which I wasn't-there was nothing amiss with me sitting next to Martin's friend. I felt abruptly I'd just been peed on. I didn't want to be peed on.

One of the things I love about Penny's heroines is that she creates women who are strong and intelligent. No exceptions. You're not going to get a heroine who is supermodel gorgeous with 2 brain cells bouncing around in her head. She writes characters that are unconventionally pretty with a strong emphasis on humor and intellect. I value that SO much.

Based on the few sample chapters I read of this in Bunsen Burner Bingo, I knew I would love Katy, Martin I wasn't so sure. But after reading part one of this series, I not only grew fascinated with Martin, but I'm dying to know more about him. It's obvious why Ms. Reid ended up dividing this up into a story arc over three books. There is so much unexplored ground to cover with these two, I can't wait to delve into all the layers she's teased us with so far. Martin's hinted lack of love growing up, the incident with the attempted drugging, and hopefully getting some dual point of view in the following books in order to understand Martin a little bit better.

After that ending, I'm just hoping I don't have to wait too long for the next installment. That's my one and only complaint-you had to leave us hanging there didn't you, Penny?? I need more Katy and Martin-preferably yesterday.


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