Series: Elements of Chemistry #1
Published by Smashwords Edition on April 6th 2015
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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?
The uniqueness of Kaitlyn Parker’s shenanigans – in that dorky, geeky but endearing manner – is the sparkling highlight of Penny Reid’s writing. Told wholly in her bizarre, out-of-the-world perspectives that frame all the events in this story, I simply turned the pages because I couldn’t wait to read just what funny and unexpected things she’d say.
But my unhappy rating really, reflects the questionable male lead of Martin Sandeke, who isn’t above using sex and desire – the basest and most likely the most unreliable of measurements – to act on his inexplicable attraction to Kaitlyn. Damaged and not above using people (and women) for his purposes, I simply thought Martin was a classless and self-centred act. Crassly dangling his vast sexual experience in front of her was an absolute turn-off for me, and much of the book – and beyond – felt like he was simply manipulating her with behaviour that her logical mind can’t handle, especially in sexual matters.
Nonetheless, it’s a short-read and one that ends on an unsatisfactory note, intended as a NA/drama series of sorts. Thankfully, the next 2 volumes are well within reach, even though I’ve got this gut feeling that it isn’t going to end well, if the trajectory of both Kaitlyn and Martin’s skewed relationship continues the way I think it will.