Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: A beautiful man is the devil’s most potent weapon.
Attraction, Heat, and Capture are the names of each serial in Penny Reid’s NA debut- Elements of Chemistry– the first book in her Hypothesis series. This is the full novel/continuation of the short story ‘Bunsen Burner Bingo‘ from the Breakaway anthology. No one does geek romance better the Penny Reid in my opinion and her debut into NA is a sure fire winner. I was given each serial part individually to read though it will be released all together in one book June 1, 2015. All three parts are available for purchase now if you don’t want to wait.
I’m going to be honest, this review is a bit spoil-y. So proceed at your own risk.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!!
Humor and heartbreaking emotion go hand in hand, aligning perfectly when Attraction, part one, introduces us to a socially inept brilliant young woman and the well-known gorgeous and intelligent playboy who has her girly parts singing and her brain screaming. When Kaitlyn Parker overhears a conversation from a cabinet she is hiding in, Kaitlyn is reluctantly dragged into Martin Sandeke’s orbit in order to stop a pair of unscrupulous people from taking advantage of him.
“Do you hide in the cabinet often?”
“Is this an everyday thing?”
“No. Only special occasions, like when strange people arrive to plot your demise.”
Having wanted to gain Kaitlyn’s attention for a long time, Martin uses her “good deed” to coerce her into spending Spring Break with him at a private island. Kaitlyn is probably the only girl on campus who doesn’t see Martin as the second coming. Kaitlyn agrees, rather grumpily, and this opens the way for a romance whose emotional and mental intimacy makes your heart sing while it breaks. Kaitlyn is simply a delight with her charming awkwardness and need to be completely honest. Martin is certainly every girls’ fantasy (and he’s starred in quite a few of them) with his good looks and commanding presence. This opposites attract romance delights and enchants as we watch Kaitlyn and Martin circle around one another trying t understand the elements that attract them to one another. The story is further enhanced by a dynamic cast of personable characters whose advice is decidedly mature for this particular age group.
Heat, part 2, certainly brings the heat when the adorable (insert sarcasm) Reid lifts us up and dusts us off from the zinger of a cliffhanger she leaves us with in Attraction and takes our hero and heroine to new and decidedly racy levels. Kaitlyn lays down some hard truths to Martin and the energy between them boils and bubbles…
“I’m not willing to settle for being with someone who sometimes treats me well. I’d rather be alone.”
Layers are peeled away, leaving us with just Kaitlyn and Martin. On the island with friends, their family and social expectations are pushed to the wayside as they slowly learn each other physically and emotionally. Both characters show amazing growth, striving to break through the bonds placed on them and exploring not only the potential of their relationship, but the potential of themselves. Intensely sexual and primed with the perfect amount of angst in drama, Reid does her couple justice as their seek their own rewards away from prying eyes. When family issues begin to intervene, our couple is forced to reexamine their wants and needs against external pressure. Of course, we are left with another whammy of a cliffhanger *imagine me hyperventilating in shock and despair* which leads us into the 3rd book, Capture.
Capture, the 3rd and final book, focuses mainly on Kaitlyn and wraps up the story beautifully. Oh my poor, poor heart. It broke. It shattered. It laid in a puddle of pain and sorrow, wallowing around like a fish out of water. She and Martin were tested and Kaitlyn now finds herself adrift, struggling to understand what happened and at a lost on where to go from here. In terms of parts; I enjoyed Attraction the most due to the meet-cute and the sheer funny times but in terms of conflict and growth, Capture was the clear winner. The story flows at a rapid pace as Reid gathers all the pieces of Kaitlyn and begins to put her back together. We see her grow into her own skin as she learns to accept and love who she is as a person. Family and friends all stay firmly in the background, offering what they can to help, but in part know this is her journey to make regardless of the outcome.
“She’s my BFF, do you know what that means? It means ‘Boy I will Fuck up your Face if you mess with my girl’.”
“Wouldn’t that be BIWFUYFIYM…WMG?”
“No, nothing counts towards the acronym except Boy, Fuck, and Face.”
Elements of Chemistry is the real deal with its dynamic characters, realistic dialogue, compelling scenes, and a love story that speaks to the heart. Reid excels at geek romance and her voice clearly sings in this one.