Attraction (Elements of Chemistry #1) by Penny ReidAttraction by Penny Reid
Published April 2015
Series: Elements of Chemistry #1
Genres: New Adult, Young Adult
five-stars
Format: eBook
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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?

When school-nerd Kaitlyn Parker hears about complot against her lab-partner and secret crush Martin Sandeke while she was hiding in the chemistry lab closet (don’t ask), her instincts tell her to give him the heads-up. Not because that would earn her an IOU from the school’s most popular jock (who she shouldn’t fantasize about, to begin with), but because it’s the reasonable thing to do. What she didn’t expect from Martin in return though, are a kiss and an invitation to spend spring break with him.

Does Kaitlyn really want to spend a week with this self-centered jerk-face? And what is his agenda?

What I loved about this book:

  • The great storytelling
  • The humour
  • The main characters (especially Kaitlyn)
  • All the feels!

What I felt needed improvement:

  • Absolutely nothing!

I wasn’t much of a Penny Reid fan simply because the previous books I read from this author (i.e. the Knitting in the City series) were simply too tame for me – although absolutely charming, I must admit! But then, I read The Hermit and the Hooker and even though this was a collaboration with another author, it completely did it for me and I was definitely pre-ordering Element of Chemistry.

“I hoped Martin Sandeke had no idea that he affected the heat levels of my figurative Bunsen burner.”

And oh boy, it did not disappoint. And well, I just love, love, loved the storyline: high school jock is in love with geeky girl. Agreed, the storyline sounds pretty simple and average but completely evolves throughout the 3 books in the series. The pace is definitely there, and Penny Reid is not wasting away the words. Especially when it comes to character description – and that’s where you’ll just fall in love with the characters and see how this “average” storyline really isn’t one!

Kaitlyn Parker really isn’t your traditional female heroine: she’s a geek and socially awkward, but also extremely intelligent and still knows how to make fun of herself and take things with a pinch of salt.

“He must’ve known that nuzzling caused my insides to melt. I imagines he’d conducted methodical experiments into the fastest way to female self-lubrication.”

She’s also crushing head over heels on her lab partner Martin Sandeke, even though she know what a player he is. She knows very, very well that this shouldn’t be the kind of guy she should get involved with, but that won’t get her to stop swooning.

“Paired with his blue eyes, he was striking. I understood my previous reluctance to gaze at him directly. It was called self-preservation.”

And Martin, well Martin is exactly the opposite of Kaitlyn. He’s popular, social, king of the frat, heads-up the rowing team, and his great looks make girls fawn over him wherever he is. But he’s also this mysterious character who doesn’t speak much and offer up much about himself (while Kaitlyn often suffers from verbal diarrhea). And of course, there’s nothing she wants more than to figure him out.

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

Attraction definitely showed another, unexpected side of Penny Reid, especially since I am used to reading contemporary “grown-up” romance from her, and not New Adult! I would actually even qualify this as Young Adult given the age and themes. I simply loved Attraction, and read it in a single go, as I did with the two sequels. And let me tell you, it only gets better!

“The sight was indecent because the sight immediately made me want to do several indecent things to him, around him, near him, on top, underneath, adjacent to – if it was a preposition, I wanted to do it with Martin.”

Of course, Part 1 ends in a cliffhanger, so make sure you get Part 2 straight after! :)

Detailed Rating
Storyline
5 Stars
Characters
5 Stars
Writing
5 Stars
All the feels
5 Stars
Overall: five-stars