Chemistry Lessons

256p. HMH. Jun. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781328764645.
Gr 9 Up—Maya is working in what used to be her mother's lab the summer before her freshman year at MIT. She's doing okay after her mother's death because she has support from Whit, her boyfriend—that is, until he dumps her. Struggling to accept the end she didn't see coming, she goes back to her mom's research and discovers an off-the-books experiment that could fix everything between them—except her research partner wants to do a more controlled experiment with two other potential boyfriends first. This delightful romantic comedy doesn't shy away from exploring the ethical concerns of experimenting on friends and strangers, nor the aftermath of a parent passing away. Although the supporting cast is a little flat, Maya feels like a fully fleshed out character, confused and lost after her first breakup and floundering for a way out. She makes mistakes, owns up to them, and truly feels like a real person who would do anything to get their first love back.
VERDICT Recommended purchase for a library with a romance fiction following, especially those who can't get enough of Sarah Dessen.

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