Title: Can’t Beat the Chemistry
Author: Kat Colmer
Publication Date: April 20, 2019
Genre: YA Contemporary
Number of Pages: 274
Summary: From Goodreads: “Ionic and covalent bonds are a piece of cake for MJ. But human bonds are a little harder …
There are only two things MJ wants in her final year of high school:
1) Glowing grades and …
2) to convince uber-smart, chiselled-jaw Jason they’d be a winning team outside the science lab as well as in.
Tutoring deadbeat drummer, Luke, isn’t part of the plan. After all, he has average intelligence, takes disorganised notes and looks like a partied-out zombie at their study sessions! Not even his taut biceps will win MJ over.
But MJ learns that she could be tutored in a few life lessons too: That sometimes there’s good reason to skip chemistry tutorials. That intelligence is so much more than a grade average.
And that sometimes you can’t beat the chemistry.”
Review: I received an advanced copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
MJ is smart, driven, and focused on getting the grades required to fulfill her mother’s dreams of her becoming a surgeon. She thinks that tutoring her brother’s roommate, Luke, in chemistry is a waste of her time. She thinks that Luke is a deadbeat drummer and she’d rather focus on impressing her science partner, Jason. As the story unfolds, MJ discovers that people are so much more than they seem and that first impressions are often very wrong.
My favourite thing about this book was the characters. I absolutely loved MJ and Luke because even though they’re meant to be opposites, they’re quite similar. They both have drive and determination, and a voice in their head that won’t leave them alone. They’re both incredibly caring, and they help each other face some difficult demons and to make the decision that is best for them, not for everyone else. They’re both cinnamon rolls, and I will ship them forever.
I liked that this book was so much more than the bad boy and the good girl falling for each other. It’s a book about facing hard truths and making difficult decisions that might end up hurting people. It’s about re-examining your decisions and deciding to put yourself first. It’s about learning to believe in yourself when you’ve spent your entire life doubting everything. It’s about a brilliant group of kids with developmental disorders rocking out because someone took the time to believe in them.
The other reason why I loved this book is that it hit painfully close to home for me. MJ’s true interest is genetics because she discovered that there’s a genetic disorder in her family. When I was a little bit younger than MJ, I discovered that there was a genetic disorder in my family, and ten years later, I still haven’t dealt with it. This is the first book that I’ve read that deals with a teenager discovering something like this. I was able to relate to MJ because of her mixed reaction and emotions.
Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who likes books with cinnamon roll characters, a shippable pair, and dramatic realizations and love confessions.
Favourite Quote: “’I’ll understand if you don’t want to be tested. At least not yet. If it weren’t for you and Theo, I’m not sure I would have wanted to know.’”
Rating: 5/5 Stars!