Elements of Chemistry (Hypothesis, #1; Elements of Chemistry, #1-3)Elements of Chemistry by Penny Reid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Warning: review for the whole series! Spoiler if you haven’t read any or them!


5 beautiful, attractive, pretty, good-looking, pleasing, alluring, prepossessing stars.


I could not put this series down and devoured the three books in three days. It was physically painful to stop reading to prepare meals, wash etc. I loved the humor, I loved the drama, the angst, the bettering of the characters. I swooned, I blushed, I cried, I raged…I was HAPPY!



I won’t lie: I had read other books by Penny Reid and they I found them nice, just nice. I bought Elements of Chemistry part 1 a long time ago as it was free or 0,99 USD. It was soon forgotten among other books I’ve not read yet.
Three days ago, I was in the mood for some college romance and I stumbled upon this book. It seemed fitting what I was looking for. I remembered it had many good reviews but did not expect nothing more than an enjoyable read.


That’s when I was wrong, so, so wrong! This series was not just enjoyable, it was fr****ng fantastic!
I laughed so hard at their banter. I was also mesmerized by Kaitlyn. She was so unique. A fascinating mix between smart, controlled, rational and innocent, clumsy with that adorable quirk of chanting synonyms each time she was nervous or hiding in any closet available to “recover”.

”Why did you hide? Did they make fun of you?” “No, they ignored me. I think I hid because hiding made it my choice. You can’t be ignored if no one can see you.”


Kaitlyn’s mother is a Senator and her father is the dean of the college medicine at UCLA. She also is the granddaughter of an astronaut and her grandmother outfitted the first nuclear submarines with nuclear weapons. As one of the characters said, she is like US royalty, a national treasure. She does want to meet her family’s high expectations. She is your typical nerd: always in her books, clothed with baggy pants and oversized tee shirt she is more of a tea/cookies/book evening girl than frat party girl.


For months now she has a crush on Martin Sandeke, her chemistry partner and heir to Sandeke Telecom Systems. Six-foot three, unrepentant manwhore, temperamental and captain of the university’s rowing team. Kaitlyn is mesmerized by Martin but fears what he could do to her heart. He is so “cosmically unobtainable” he would crush her in a heartbeat.

”I did my best to ignore his body, because it still put me in a state of duress and gave me lusty pants.”


When Kaitlyn overheard two people plotting against Martin (she was hiding in the chemistry cabinet), she’ll gather her courage and will attend her first frat party ever to warn him of the evil plans. But Martin has other ideas and wants to take her on a trip for spring break. You see, Martin is very, very cocky and self-assured.

”If multiple orgasms are a myth, then you can call me Hercules.”


He is used to have his way with girls and did not expect Kaitlyn resisting his pursuit. He did not expect her being a virgin either, a virgin with no mouth filter under stress.

”So if I hadn’t been a virgin then we would…what? We would have just, just…” “You would have impaled me with your penis while I face planted against the closet?”


Anyway, Kaitlyn will follow Martin and his teammates and go on a “dating bootcamp” for one week on his family property in the Caribbean. Kaitlynn does not want to push her boundaries but she feels she could be missing something and she’ll agree to try something new.

”A large part of me was strangely excited about the trip. I was nineteen years old and the dodgiest thing I’ve ever done was drink peach schnapps and drunk dial my ex last summer.”



I loved the interaction between these characters. Kaitlyn is conservative, brilliant and funny. She wanted to please her parents so much. Her family has a very weird dynamic, her mother being a very busy senator, her father and Kaitlyn would submit agenda items to her mother’s PA and, on Sundays, they would skype and discuss the various items. Her mother was very driven, always collected and imparted her wisdom to her daughter

”Even though you don’t feel calm doesn’t mean you can’t be calm.”

When Kaitlyn showed talent to play music, her mother told her about the good and bad of her passion for music. Kaitlyn did not choose to major in music as she was good but not extraordinary good and “her passion would not have a positive lasting benefit so society.” Result of her upbringing: Kaitlyn suppressed all passion to listen only to the logical side of her brain. She appeared always in control and if she had no control over something, she chanted a litany of synonyms or hid in closets.


When Kaitlyn met Martin, he pushed her out of her comfort zone. I loved how they both helped the other to become better.

”Martin was right. I was analytical-overly so- and I’d been using it as a way to suppress passion. Everything could be reasoned away or made look silly with enough rational scrutiny. Faith, love, hope, lust, anger, sadness, compassion – everything. And that’s what I’d been doing with every feeling an demotion that was confusing or difficult to control.”


I loved Kaitlyn but I did not always love Martin. He was too arogant, he was sometimes obnoxious and very calculating. He confessed he would never be selfless. He was a real jerk sometimes. But he was also brilliant, very handsome and honest with Kaitlyn. He did not lie to her and always spoke about his feelings freely. He tried to give her what she needed, even if he did not always like it and sometimes made mistakes (ignoring her at a party to give her room), hurting Kaitlyn’s feelings.

”Boys are stupid. I needed to explore becoming a lesbian. I needed to add this to my to-do list and bump it up to the top. How had the male gender managed to survive millions of years? The male portion of the human species should have been extinct by now.”  Ha! It’s maybe my favorite quote of the book 😆


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