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The Secret Science of Magic

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  928 ratings  ·  225 reviews
Sophia is smart, like genius-calculator-brain smart. But there are some things no amount of genius can prepare you for, and the messiness of real life is one of them. When everything she knows is falling apart, how can she crack the puzzle of what to do with her life?

Joshua spends his time honing magic tricks and planning how to win Sophia’s heart. But when your best tric
Paperback, 317 pages
Published April 1st 2017 by Hardie Grant Egmont
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Kayla Although it's not technically a series, the story of Josh's friends Sam and Camilla is told in the author's previous book, Life in Outer Space.
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  928 ratings  ·  225 reviews

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C.G. Drews
Ohhh I was so excited for this book about a magical boy and a sciency girl. Plus Melissa Keil is SUCH an amazing author and I've adored her other two books (The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl and Life in Outer Space) so so much!! This new book, however, did fall a little short for me but that's mostly because I didn't really understand what it was trying to SAY. The characters were so nerdy and adorkable and the sibling relationships were the besssst. And I LAUGHED QUITE A LOT. So much s ...more
The Secret Science of Magic is the much-anticipated third book from Melissa Keil. Seventeen year old Sophia Reyhart is in Year 12 at a Catholic high school in Melbourne. She's incredibly smart, especially when it comes to maths and science. But she's started experiencing panic attacks, especially when she thinks about her future. Sophia finds herself obsessively interested in a former maths prodigy, Gregori Perelman, who now lives as a recluse in Russia. Joshua Bailey is in Sophia's year at ...more
(2/9/2019 ETA: I saw Melissa Keil speaking at the Melbourne Writers Festival yesterday and she said that Sophia is Sri Lankan so she's definitely a diverse character and also that makes this Own Voices okay cool bye)

Oof. This was...yeah. I really REALLY wanted to love this book, because I adored The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl last year.


There was just something about this that didn't work for me.

The gist of the story is that Joshua has had a massive crush on Sophia since th
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the story of a girl named Sophia and a boy named Joshua. Sophia is a child prodigy and a genius with debilitating social anxiety. She has no idea what she wants to do with her life once she finishes high school and becomes obsessed with Gregori Perelman, a recluse mathematician.

Although I am not a genius, nor was I a child prodigy, I found myself really being able to relate to Sophia because I had NO idea what I really wanted to do after school. I knew I wanted to go to uni, but was I go
Jananee (headinherbooks)
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
I featured this book in a discussion on my blog “On Rating Diverse Books Higher: The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil” —> you can read it here

I was provided a ARC of this book by Hardie Grant Egmont in exchange for an honest review. However, this is no way affects my thoughts!

When I first picked up The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil, it was because it had an interesting premise and a beautiful cover (no shame). But then I started reading and I was hit with the fact that Sophia
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Australian with Sri Lankan heritage, Sophia is an intelligent young woman, a prodigy mathematician enduring debilitating social anxiety and becoming increasingly infatuated with Grigori Perelman, a recluse Russian mathematician. Sophia is a wonderful character, ingenious and accomplished which often leads to a lack of perception. Unlike Elsie who is leaving for the United States, Sophia isn't optimistic about university and consistently devalues her own intuition. The depiction of Sophia's socia ...more
Karen ⊰✿
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: uno_2019
Told in alternating POVs between Sophia and Joshua, this is a story of two misfits who find each other in their last year of high school. Sound familiar? Sure, this story has been done before in many different ways and what makes this one slightly different is that Sophia is mega smart with no people skills and a long suffering best friend ; and Joshua is cool outside of school in his world of magic and other misfits, and doesn’t really care what people think.
I first read Keil a few years ago wi
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was lovely.

All the 2017 #LoveOzYA titles I've read so far continue to set the bar very high.

Listen to a Bookish Friends review of 'The Secret Science of Magic' on Omny, iTunes or on the blog.
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ozya

I have so much to say, but I'll save it for a review closer to release date. Just. Ugh, loved it.
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review has been posted on Happy Indulgence Books. Check it out for more reviews!

What does a teenage genius and a guy who loves magic tricks have in common? In The Secret Science of Magic, both Sophia and Joshua don't have a clue what they want to do once they finish high school.

I haven't read a book featuring a genius with an eidetic memory before, particularly in a contemporary high school setting. While she's clearly intelligent, reading research papers and obviously miles ahead of her p
Emily Wrayburn
Review originally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind April 21, 2017:

Melissa Keil would honestly have to try pretty hard to disappoint me. I may not read much contemporary YA, but I will pick up anything she writes. This is her most recent book, released at the beginning of April, and it does not disappoint.

Sophia is a certifiable genius, but she can’t always read other people correctly and the mysteries of what the future may hold are giving her panic attacks. Joshua is obsessed with magic,
Lots of really great elements here.

Loved it.

Sophia is a math genius. Joshua is magician.
Can he show her how magical he is before they graduate?

Told alternately from Sophia and Joshua's perspectives. Sophia's chapters begin with the illustration of her from the front cover, and a chapter title that references math in some way. Joshua's chapters begin with the illustration of him from the front cover, and a quotation from a famous, real life, magician.
Really appreciate the representation here. Both Sophia and her best friend Elsie are di
I received a copy of The Secret Science of Magic from Hardie Grant Australia to review.

I don't read a lot of contemporaries but when I picked this up I was glad to take a break from the books I normally read.

I really liked both Sophia, Joshua and their friends. I didn't understand why some people got so annoyed with Sophia for not picking up on how others were feeling sometimes. It was obvious her brain worked differently to the people around her and she can't pick up on a lot of facial cues.
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I know a lot of bloggers that quite actively promote #LoveOzYA. For those who don't know what this is, this is a movement trying to gain more popularity for Australian YA novels. I personally don't do a lot of promotion for the movement, but I do have to admit, there is a lot to love about Aussie YA. Often, the novels are set in Australia and we're able to see familiar scenes and themes. There's something strangely gratifying about seeing novels set in Sydney or Melbourne although I don't live t ...more
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have come to really love Melissa Keil's writing and I was eagerly awaiting the release of this, her latest title. The Secret Science of Magic was one part wonderful, one part heartwarming, and totally teenagery (yes, that's a word).

Sophia is a genius. She excels at maths and calculations, but struggles with social situations. Without her friend Elsie, she would be isolated. Joshua sees Sophia. For years he has longed to connect with her, really get to know her rather than observing from afar.
Bec (booktineus)
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review first appeared on Readers in Wonderland

I’m apologising in advance that this review is going to be vague and probably poorly written. I finished this book a month or two ago but have been too busy studying for exams (which I passed btw) to actually finish this review until now.

Our fantastic Australian talent is so underrated in the overseas market. A few big hits that to make it are super successful, but there are so many true blu

This one just fell a bit flat to me. I had no care for the general story or characters, in fact, I didn't really feel there was a strong story at all and what was there of a story felt a bit rushed. I will say the characters felt three dimensional, each harboring different personalities, but I still just didn't really care for their story in general.

Also not sure if the kindle version or the book in general, but there was a couple editing issues with not separating different people speakin
Cassandra Page
I know I've said this before (possibly in my last review of a Melissa Keil book), but I want to be Melissa Keil when I grow up. She writes the most amazingly geeky and relatable (to me) characters.

In The Secret Science of Magic, we have Sophia, a maths genius and Doctor Who fan who has all the hallmarks of being on the autism spectrum disorder (although she is bafflingly never diagnosed), along with a massive helping of anxiety attacks and self-doubt (presumably from the lack of diagnosis and tr
I was really expecting to love this book for a number of reasons:

1) lead girl is a physics/maths nerd,
2) each chapter is named after famous physics/maths theorems (although the connection is confusing sometimes),
3) the lead guy is geeky magician guy, and
4) There is lots of hype going around the booktube channels on this.

This YA story is about a girl (clearly Asperger-like, although this is never really addressed) navigating through the difficulties of being a teen, trying to live up to expec
Sprinkled Pages
Apr 03, 2017 rated it liked it
debating between a 3 or 3.5 star rating

i thought this was a really cute and fluffy read. i loved the characters and they were both so unique and had such indentifiable personalities. i thought the side characters were also quite precious and they all made such a cute family i just wanted to reach through and give them a hug. i thought the friendship between sophia and elsie was also super adorable and well written.

however, i didn't really connect with the characters, i found the start pretty ha
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow. Really wow. That was adorable.

I have a million thoughts running through my mind and I read it all so quick it was a bit of a blur. Solution: I shall read it again and then follow with a detailed review. There's really no other option hehehe.....

Update- 29th April 2017
Second reading

This story was truly nothing short of magical, and completely warmed my heart. Such a perfect mixture of adorable, complex characters and an intriguing storyline that made for a really sweet novel.

I found mys
Melissa Keil can do no wrong! I loved this story and the characters were fantastic. I thought it perfectly captured what high-school is like when you are trying to navigate your first crush, sucky drama classes and fights with your best friend. And the science and magic theme worked incredibly well.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF AT 20%

Ok I started off not liking this book that much so I'm going to put it away and try again later. I don't know whether it's because I live in Australia but I always find myself disliking books set in Australia? Idk just not feeling this but maybe another time because I do want to finish it.
rachel ☾
i didn't like that,, at all

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Apr 29, 2017 marked it as did-not-finish
DNF @ 28%

Not necessarily a bad book, but just too juvenile for me.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was ok

I had such high hopes but .. nope.
Ava N
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
This review also appears on Happy Indulgence.

I received a review copy from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Secret Science of Magic is an incredibly relatable contemporary story about figuring out who you are and what to do with your life. It features two charming characters who you can’t help but root for and if that’s not enough, there’s also lots of science and a sprinkle of magic.

Sophia is a math genius and has always had a hard time making friends because of her socia
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Melissa Keil was born in Melbourne, Australia, and has been a giant book nerd for as long as she can remember. She studied Cinema and Anthropology at university, and then spent a few years dabbling in graduate study, including Professional Writing and Editing. In between she has been a high school teacher, Middle Eastern tour guide, waitress, community theatre dogsbody, and IT help desk person. No ...more

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