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Review: Elements of Chemistry by Penny Reid

Elements of Chemistry: Parts 1-3 by Penny Reid

This is the bundled version of the ‘Elements of Chemistry’ trilogy and includes parts 1-3 (ATTRACTION, HEAT, and CAPTURE)


ATTRACTION (45k words)

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?

HEAT (63k words)

Four days left.
Private beach (…and boat).
Not so invisible girl.
And maybe less of a jerk-faced bully than originally thought.
What’s the worst (or the best) that could happen?
Kaitlyn is finding life outside of the science cabinet of obscurity to be quite illuminating …and so are her pants.
When things heat up between Kaitlyn Parker and Martin–previously known as the jerk-faced bully–Sandeke, she places her trust in the one person she never thought capable of earning it, let alone keeping it safe. Fortunately or unfortunately for Kaitlyn, where she gives her trust she can’t help but also give her heart.
But how will the world beyond the sanctuary of their newfound connection react to their relationship? Soon senators, chinless billionaires, and elements beyond Martin and Kaitlyn’s control want to weigh in on the young couple’s future.
Navigating the chaotic inferno of new love might be more than Kaitlyn bargained for, and much, much more than her trust–or her heart–can handle.

CAPTURE (70k words)

One week.
Manhattan apartment.
Super-hot ex-boyfriend.
…What’s the worst that could happen?
It’s been nine months since Kaitlyn Parker has seen or heard from Martin Sandeke–nine months and five stages of matter. She’s lived through the worst of first-love heartbreak, and is most certainly stronger (and less likely to hide in science cabinets) than ever before.
But now Martin is back. And he wants to be friends. But he’s sending mixed signals to the Bunsen burner in Kaitlyn’s pants.
Will Martin re-capture Kaitlyn’s heart? Can Kaitlyn and Martin ever be just friends? Or, despite an abundance of chemistry, are some bonds just too unstable to endure?

About the Author

Penny Reid lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband, three kids, and an inordinate amount of yarn. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books.
You can find out more about Penny and sign up to receive exclusive books, stories, and excerpts of upcoming novels here:

What I Loved About Elements of Chemistry

I loved, Loved, LOVED this book. I actually read the first part (Atraction) free and it instantly catapulted Penny Reid to my “must read” list. If you are (or ever were) slightly dorky, introverted, or socially awkward, you will totally fall in love with Kaitlyn Parker. And yet, I also loved how fearless Kaitlyn could be in being honest with herself as well as putting Martin “jerkface” Sandeke in his place if warranted. This book is about rich kids so the best description that I can give is Gossip Girl without any bitchiness or backstabbing. Well, Martin goes after his dad but that guy totally deserves it.

What I Didn’t Like About Elements of Chemistry

Well, I wasn’t happy that the book was broken into 3 parts. Since I have the three individual parts, I don’t know if the book reads as one continuous story but it is a minor inconvenience for me to have to move from book to book on my Kindle to read the entire story. For me, the second part kind of drags in the middle. The best scenes was finishing up the ending of book 1 and the final chapters that introduce me to book 3.

A minor point is that my mind keep wanting to add an “r” and change the “e” to an “a” to Martin’s surname changing it from Sandeke to Sandrake. No clue why…

The two major issues with the characters that stuck in my craw all stem from Martin.

  1. Martin does that totally male thing of telling the lil’ woman what she wants to do with her life and calls her all kinds of mean names while doing it, bringing our girl to tears. And she instantly forgives him! Hell NAH! Right or wrong, watch your tone with me!! I forsee future problems in their relationship if this is how he handles problems…
  2. Martin is a bit of a snob, assuming that only another kid from a rich family wouldn’t use him for his money. Uh, not everyone is money-hungry. Maybe he should check who he is letting into his inner circle rather than dismissing millions of people.

I would also have loved to read parts of this story from Martin’s point of view.

Other than few things, I absolutely loved this book and I have re-read at least 3 times in the past year. Maybe even less than a year. Lol.

Would I Recommend This Book?

Yes, Yes, goodness gracious YES! I am notoriously hard to please with my reading materials but, overall, Ms. Reid accomplished it handily. A smart, lovable girl? Check! An alpha male without having to be a smirking, dominating jerk? Check! Character development and growth? Check!!!! This is one that you won’t be able to put down until the very last chapter.

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