Series: Stella Blunt Book # 1
Author: C.L. Lynch
Publisher: One Tall Tree
Publication Date: November 2016
Category: Young Adult Fiction
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Okay WOW I’ve delayed the review for this book a whole lot! Aside from the chaos of December, which is my regular time flying back to the Philippines to celebrate Christmas with my family, I also really struggled with this book. Unfortunately, after weeks of trying to get through it, I decided to bite the bullet and mark it as DNF.
BUT before we get to that…
What is this book all about?
Chemistry, as you can probably tell from the book cover, is a parody of Twilight. Stella Blunt’s moved to a new school in Canada, and aside from the usual problems that comes with being the new girl in town, there’s also this one boy who can’t seem to take his eyes off of her. But the more she gets to know this guy, the more she believes that he’s hiding a terrible secret…
Well I mean there are some cool things about the book…
What did I like about the book the most? The lead character, of course! I really liked that Stella isn’t a pushover; she’s frank, has a crude sense of humor, and learned martial arts so she can fend off the people who bully her because of her weight. And yeah, she’s plus-sized, and I really love that she’s so positive about her body. She knows she’s good looking, she knows that being plus-sized is beautiful and she’s never uncomfortable with her body. That is so refreshing and so wonderful to read; I love characters who embrace who they are, even if there will always be jerks who will try to get them down.
Just a quick note: there are a lot of fat jokes in this book, mostly made by Stella herself. I’m not sure if it’s potentially offensive as my problem used to be the opposite of that (I’ve been underweight during HS and college) so I’m not exactly the best person to speak about it, but I’m mentioning it just so people know!
I also like the mythology in the book. I don’t really expect much from parodies except a good laugh, but Chemistry went beyond my expectations with world-building. Howard, the Edward guy, is a zombie this time around, and I was really impressed with the explanations on why zombies are out and about and why the government isn’t doing anything about it, and most especially why they aren’t eating everyone’s brains. So yeah, much appreciated!
But I DNFed it because…
Just like Twilight, the romance creeped me out. I actually really wanted to like this book. After all, I did read over 50% of it, because even though I felt uncomfortable reading the scenes between Stella and Howard, I tried to ignore it because at first I wasn’t sure why I was feeling uneasy. And then it hit me.
Although the creepiness of Twilight was addressed in Chemistry, Howard still… was kind of a creep anyway? Stella directly told Howard not to stare at her too much, and though he apologizes for it he still ends up… doing it anyway. Just, FYI Howard, just because you apologized doesn’t mean it’s suddenly okay to do the thing the girl told you not to do. There are more scenes that made me side-eye Howard, such as him stepping in front of a moving car just because Stella told him to, and him appearing in Stella’s front door without invitation because he can sense Stella’s brain waves and that she was thinking of him and apparently that… makes it okay? At first I thought it was just a jab at Twilight, but then Stella’s friends and parents start telling her that she should give him a chance because she might end up liking Howard, so. Huh???
And she does end up liking Howard. And out of nowhere, too! One day she’s so put off by him staring at her and almost drooling, the next she… kind of thinks he’s hot? I feel that there could have been much more development in terms of their relationship and romance (and probably also make it less creepy). It’s so disappointing, too, because I was really rooting for Stella and I really wanted her and Howard to get together, but not like this!
So that’s the reason why I DNFed the book: I got so uncomfortable reading it. Especially since I’ve been stalked before and know how scary it is to get unwanted phone calls and attention and to have the guy still do it despite my explicit attempts to tell him “No.” Which is a shame, because other than that, I really think this book has potential and I really love Stella.
So, that was a rant!
In summary: Chemistry is a pretty cool and funny parody of Twilight with a kick-ass female lead and a solid backstory. Unfortunately, the romance was a weak point, bordering on uncomfortable and skeevy, which is why I didn’t finish the book and will not read the future installments of this series.
My rating: DNF
Disclaimer: A free copy was provided to me by the publisher via Xpresso Reads in exchange for an honest review.
I hope you liked my review of Chemistry by C.L. Lynch! Have you read this book? Do you agree/disagree with anything I said here? Let me know in the comments below, and stay beautiful and bookish!