Review: Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame

Imperfect Chemistry

imperfectchemistrycoverBy Mary Jones
Publication Date: April 19, 2014
Genre: NA contemporary

Lucy London puts the word genius to shame. Having obtained her PhD in microbiology by the age of twenty, she’s amassed a wealth of knowledge, but one subject still eludes her—people. The pendulum of passions experienced by those around her confuses and intrigues her, so when she’s offered a grant to study emotion as a pathogen, she jumps on the opportunity.

Enter Jensen Walker, Lucy’s neighbor and the one person she finds appealing. Jensen’s life is the stuff of campus legend, messy, emotional, and complicated. Basically, the perfect starting point for Lucy’s study. When her tenaciousness wears him down and he consents to help her, sparks fly. To her surprise, Lucy finds herself battling with her own emotions, as foreign as they are intense. With the clock ticking on her deadline, Lucy must decide what’s more important: analyzing her passions…or giving in to them?

“Perfectly imperfect characters and situations make Frame’s debut novel sparkle…there’s a very real sense of character growth, brought to life by an evolving narrative style that parallels Lucy’s metamorphosis. The blend of humor and heart makes for a thoughtful, highly entertaining read.” –Publishers Weekly

This is the first book in the Imperfect series and it can be read as a stand alone. All books in this series feature different main characters in the same story world.

My Review:

Do you remember when Bones came out? Temperance Brennan’s stiff, scientific way of life was endearing. And we loved her for it. She was honest and blunt. Through friendships and personal relationships, she became more human over time.

When I started reading Imperfect Chemistry, this is what I immediately thought of. I loved the show, and now I love this book.

What made this book different from so many others that I’ve red is the humor. I was laughing from beginning to end, even to the extent I was reading excerpts to my husband at midnight (and he had to be up at 4 am for work). This in & of itself is a huge check in my book.

The plot-line was something I had never thought of: Lucy wants to study emotion as a contagious pathogen. She begins a journey that leads her to making friends with hilarious and certainly out there characters and to a love that she never truly expected or understood.

Lucy London is both relatable and not relatable. You don’t meet a person like her in everyday life. She’s funny without even trying because her way of thinking is so blunt and scientific. She sees things as they are without the preconceived ideas the rest of us have gained from societal conventions. She’s awkward and real, and I absolutely love her. Plus, she’s a go-getter. How many people would come right out to a guy they’re attracted to and ask them to be part of an emotional experiment? I mean, really. All for science, I guess.

Freya is the new best friend and she is a genius character. Not in the scientific way but in how easily she accepts how things are with Lucy. Lucy calls at 7 am to ask a question? OK. She just rolls with all of who Lucy is. She’s got her own issues and preconceived ideas (Freya gets her own book in Imperfectly Criminal). I cannot wait to see how her story builds.

And then there’s Jensen. Sweet, idiotic, emotional Jensen. He’s as real-life as we can get. His recent break-up tugs at your heart, but his eventual acceptance of who and Lucy London is is eye-opening. To him at least. Jensen moves from perfect son doing what he’s supposed to do to a man living for himself and no one else.

The personal growth and change, for both main characters, as well as her friends, was perfectly done. Pacing is usually an issue for me, but this book hit the mark. The change happened over a believable amount of time, it was reasonably paced, and the humor kept it all moving nicely.

I did find the ending lacking. I’m not sure what it was, but for some reason I wasn’t satisfied. That could be just me, and let’s face it. I’m hard to satisfy.

Debut novels are a scary thing. It’s the first time an author puts herself out there for people to read. Mary Frame wrote something amazingly funny and relatable.

Definitely one for the reread shelf. 5 Stars.


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