Title: Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions (Talking Nerdy #1)
Author: Six de los Reyes
Release Date: April 17th 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Falling in love is a chemical reaction.
Just ask Kaya Rubio, twenty-five year-old Molecular Genetics graduate student and research assistant. Fed up with her spinster aunts’ relentless reminders and unsolicited advice regarding her Single Since Birth status, she designs a scientific, evidence-based methodology to find her a suitable partner in time for her cousin’s wedding. As any good scientist knows, any valid experimental design requires a negative control. Enter the most unsuitable candidate for a potential boyfriend: the messy, easygoing, café owner Nero Sison. Her null hypothesis? Going out with Nero would establish her baseline data without catalyzing the chemical reaction she seeks.
But when Kaya’s recorded results refuse to make sense, she is forced to come to the conclusion that there are some things in life that are simply, by nature, irrational and illogical. And that sometimes, chemistry doesn’t always happen inside a lab.
“Often scientists are seen as cold and calculating, so out of touch with their emotions, they’re barely human. But science is passion and beauty. And if you’re willing to look at it from a certain point of view, science tells the greatest love stories. From the cosmic big bang to Watson, Crick, and Franklin’s elucidation of DNA are stories of man’s endless search for knowledge. For finding our place in this vast universe.“
As an Astrophysics major and avid Romance reader, Romance heroines that have careers in the sciences make me impossibly happy. Knowing that Kaya Rubio, the heroine, was researching Molecular Genetics and the fact that Beginner’s Guide was based on her trying to ‘science’ love had me excited going in. From opening Pride and Prejudice-esque line, I was hooked.
Beginner’s Guide had such a unique voice. Our heroine, Kaya Rubio, relies on science to understand the world around her. Since the story is from her point of view, we get to see her thought process and how she logically breaks everything into a rational science. I loved hearing all her inner thoughts. The way Kaya processes things might take a little time to catch on with at first, but I personally adored it from the start (#littlesciencemajorthings).
I related so much to Kaya’s journey. Throughout the Beginner’s Guide, Kaya struggles with her emotions. She attempts to ignore feelings in exchange with rationality, of course, this doesn’t work. Kaya also dealt with anxiety, and it manifested itself in a lot of the same ways that mine does in relation to performance, so that was really awesome. Seeing how Kaya’s confidence and self worth had grown by the end, was inspiring.
I loved how much Kaya and Nero grew as people, and helped each other grow. Kaya and Nero were complete opposites. She was the rational scientist who had never been in a relationship before, while Nero was the tattooed artist running a café. They had different character arcs that worked well together because they ended up in the place (albeit very different places) they were in for similar reasons. I loved how they built each other up.
Also, Kaya and Nero were ADORABLE. Six de los Reyes used Kaya’s Boyfriend Experiment to her advantage, and it created so many swoon worthy interactions between Kaya and Nero. Every time they had scenes together my heart warmed.
Even the cast of side characters in Beginner’s Guide, were excellent. Relationships between males and females in Romance that don’t involve one of them liking the other at some point are such a rarity, so I was pleased with Kaya and Eugene’s relationship. They were coworkers and roommates. Eugene always gave Kaya good advice, and obviously cared about her as a friend. Kaya’s quirky family were also amazing additions to the cast. I loved that they were present in the plot, and were important in some defining moments.
If you like New Adult, science, and great romance, then I would recommend Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions.
“Nero belonged to a world that rarely collided with mine. A world that valued aesthetics and feelings more than they did fact and evidence.”
“Nero laughed as he pulled me across the road. I’ve read before somewhere, that in times of extreme disturbance, your brain is capable of fooling you into thinking time moves slower than normal as the physical realm you inhabit falls away. All I could think then was that it might as well have been the first time I’ve heart him laugh.”
“You’re only human, Kaya. If it hurts, it hurts. It’s okay for your heart to break. That’s what makes us human, right? Nothing to be afraid of? Nothing to be ashamed of?”
“Happiness is not measurable. One could consider quality of life as proxy for comparing levels of happiness, even across one’s own timeline, but the scale remains unclear. For what makes a person happy is not one’s quality of life, but the moment at which one considers themselves happy.”
“Like feelings. Always feelings. People are always telling me to be more in touch with my emotions when they don’t realize how much of it is disappointment and frustration.”
“In conclusion, there is no conclusion. Because the truth is, when it comes to love, no one really knows what they’re doing.
And I think I’m going to be okay with that.”
I read this for the 2017 New Adult Reading Challenge Bingo.