Elements of Chemistry by Penny Reid

Synopsis:
22607976Parts 1-3: Elements of Chemistry
This book has been split into 3 novels.
Part 1: ATTRACTION * Part 2: HEAT * Part 3: CAPTURE

PART 1: ATTRACTION
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?

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My Review:
4 stars overall — this series started off really strong for me in the first book, but while it maintained some of the greatness, it also added elements that frustrated me in the final 2 books.  In the end I was satisfied with the conclusion though.

ATTRACTION:
4.5 stars — Sucked in right from the beginning of this book, mostly because of our delightfully hilarious heroine Kaitlyn (or Parker as I remember her more often).  I mean seriously, how can I not love someone who hides in closets and doesn’t know how to interact with people?  She’s so honest and blunt and just plain adorable.  She’s everything I love in a heroine.

Martin, on the other hand, I’m still reserving judgement on.  He has some great moments, and I see the things that Kaitlyn sees in him, but just like her, he frustrates me.  But I kind of like that he doesn’t have this abrupt turn around into good guy…he’s still Martin, just showing his three dimensions more.  And it’s not like Kaitlyn is without her own faults.  It will be interesting to see how their relationship plays out!  Can’t wait to move on to the next installment….

HEAT:
3.5 stars — OK, major problem with writing this review — I was so sucked into the story that instead of following my modus operandi and writing the review immediately after finishing the book, I instead kept right on reading into book 3.  So this review is going to be sorely lacking, b/c I’m terrible at remembering my thoughts and feelings once I’ve moved on to the next.

The steam factor turned up to 11 in this installment, but so did the angst.  And I’m not sure how big a fan I am of angst….something I’m learning about myself.  The relationship between Kaitlyn and Martin went into overdrive, and passed through so many levels of feelings.  So with all the good stuff, we get some fighting too.  I appreciated how much more we were learning about the characters as they were learning about each other, but occasionally I was confused by their actions….but that could have been just me.  I was not always a fan of how Kaitlyn described Martin — how he looked at her with malice, etc — so it made it harder to always follow what she was falling in love with.  It’s not that he didn’t have 3 dimensions, but his faults could be kind of alarming (at least the way she described them).  So that would be where my half star loss came from….

I still really enjoyed the uniqueness that is Kaitlyn…she mostly made me laugh with her quirky habits and ways of seeing the world.  I also enjoyed the banter between her and Martin.  Don’t let my other comments fool you, the good stuff was GOOD.

Obviously I’m super happy that I had all 3 books in the bundle, otherwise the ending probably would have torn me apart more than it did.  Needless to say, I motored right on into the next installment…

CAPTURE:
3.5 stars — Interesting conclusion to the series.  I simultaneously enjoyed the way this one played out, and grew frustrated with the obvious plot ploys…I knew exactly what was going on, and so it was frustrating to watch my hero and heroine fumbling around missing each other.  Made me spend a lot of time wondering if *this* would finally be the moment where they would get it.  So that took me out of the moment a little while reading.  But like I said, I also kind of enjoyed the way their relationship played out.  So basically I confuse even myself.  😛

So what exactly did I enjoy?  I enjoyed seeing them both grow over the time that they were apart.  I enjoyed the way Martin was trying to reconnect with Kaitlyn, even if Kaitlyn was too oblivious to see it.  I liked their interactions with each other.  Their friendship did make me smile.  They still had their volatile moments, but at least Martin was less “evil” sounding from her perspective.  And when things finally started moving in the direction I wanted it to, I really enjoyed the way it ended and the bit of HEA we got to see.

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