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Chemistry Lessons

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  493 ratings  ·  133 reviews
From advice columnist Meredith Goldstein, a dazzling, romantic, and emotionally resonant YA debut about a teen science whiz in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who tries to crack the chemical equation for lasting love and instead wreaks havoc on herself and the boys in her life.

For seventeen-year-old Maya, the equation for happiness is simple: a dream internship at MIT + two new
Hardcover, 247 pages
Published June 19th 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  493 ratings  ·  133 reviews

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Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-3
This book had an interesting premise. What if you could create a love serum that could make someone fall for you using your pheromones? When Maya’s boyfriend dumps her, she’s desperate to get him back. Her mother’s old chemistry journals detail an experiment in its early stages that could potentially help. With the aid of an old lab partner, they set about testing the serum on a series of unsuspecting boys.

Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really liked this synopsis, so I was pretty eager to get to it.

Maya is a decent character. She’s smart and even though she’s heartbroken, she has good intentions. Sadly, those intentions didn’t translate to character growth. I get that the experiment was important; however, she was quite careless when it came to the feelings of others.

Plot wise, it was sort of boring. I didn’t see the appeal of the boyfriend and the other “test subjects” are kept at a fairly shallow level. And since the enti
Brina (Brina and the Books)
4 Stars

Read my full review on the blog on June 14th: 5171 Miles Book Blog

First of all, let me put your mind at ease: you don't need to know anything about chemistry. Maya, however, knows everything there is to know about chemistry which is all thanks to her late mother who was a renowned scientist for epigenetics at MIT. Maya wants to follow in her mother's footsteps and study epigentics herself, and landing a summer internship in the lab at MIT her mother used to work at is only the beginning o
Brooke Haverkamp
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was so cute!! Not your typical contemporary it had a cool science twist!

I do wish we got to know the characters a little bit better and that the book was slightly longer but I loved it!!

comes out June 19 2018! I recommend picking it up!!

*Thank you to HMH teen for providing the ARC at Yallwest2018
Brenda A
Jun 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: yallwest-2018
Say it with me:


The entire premise of this is so flimsy I don’t know how it got greenlit for publication.

“I will change my pheromones to win my ex back who broke up with me.”

See how dumb that is?

Never mind that a PhD student would never risk her place in MIT (of all places!!) for a stupid high schooler to get her frisk on.

Never mind that the girl is fucking 17 (almost 18) and has had a boyfriend for more than a year and acts like little miss prude-y pants Anastasia Stee
Amanda Hanson
I have so many mixed feelings about this. The writing was good and the characters were engaging. But the premise was inherently flawed, as I see it.

1. Whit dumped you, Maya. For someone else. You really shouldn't want him back.


3. Why did you have to do Kyle like that?! He was my favorite.

All in all, this was a quick read, but not my favorite book. I found it to be scientifically problematic, and I couldn't get past
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: june-2018


I received an ARC from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.

It's not the first time I've done this but I requested this book based on the cover and of course, a quick glimpse of the synopsis. It sounded like an adorable romance YA contemporary novel that will kick off my summer festivities. Chemistry Lessons did not disappoint me. With a fun plot, Chemistry Lessons follows a young scientific genius who is dealing with heartbreak. After discovering her deceased sci
Aishwari Krishna
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly a wonderful read—I breezed through it on a flight. I really enjoyed how relatable Maya seemed... She was flawed, but admirable, and had enough character development through the story to visibly understand how the plot had affected her. I couldn't put the book down (mind you, I lost a lot of sleep and am now severely jet-lagged) and loved it from start to finish. I only took off a star because it was a little conventional for me and because I don't love teen fiction; I'm more of a fantas ...more
Claire is looking for Bloodlines series ARCs
Currently going through my Yallwest haul and deciding which book to read. I thought it would be apt to select the second arc I received from Yallwest. I actually missed an upcoming ARC drop because of this book so I might as well read this one first.

If you want to read about my *first* Yallwest experience, click here. But if you just want to read my review for Chemistry Lessons, then just stick around (and read on)!

Chemistry Lessons was such a delight to read! I think everyone can relate to
Laura Mauro
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
* I got this book from the publisher for my honest thoughts*

This was a great book to kick off my summer reads season. I really loved how this book was focused on both grief but also science and experiments with love twist. I really found the self discovery path in this story to be super strong. I also really realated to the female/male friendship dynamics because that was something that defined my high school experience. I also liked how this book tackled grief but in a unique way. I flew throug
Colleen's Conclusions
Did not finish mostly because I lost interest in the story and I didn't like the direction it was going. I was actually more interested in the science part of it. Might check it out in the future again to give it a shot again.
Genie in a Novel
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Maybe about 3.5... review to come soon(:
May 22, 2018 added it
Shelves: 2018-releases, hmh
This is really sweet, though not without its share of super cringe moments, as all the best romance-with-misunderstandings novels have. It's a smooth read, but probably not how I would've paced or balanced it; it's definitely heavier on the science and lighter on the romance than I anticipated. (Also, heavier on the ex than the guy who actually matters.) Still, I have a soft spot for female science nerds, and for Jewish MCs, and for Israeli characters, and also I love how every secondary charact ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, arc, ya, contemporary
I will admit that I side-eyed this premise (high school chemistry intern decides to carry on her dead scientist mom's research into pheremones, in an attempt to get her boyfriend to get back together with her) but really enjoyed the book! Maya and her BFF Bryan are great characters. I also enjoyed all the fun Cambridge/MIT-specific details to the setting. I also appreciated that the cast is fairly diverse. Without going into too many details, I do think the ethical/scientific questionability of ...more
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. And I feel a little guilty for loving it so much. I mean, the plot is like something lifted straight out of a Disney Channel original movie. The teenaged protagonist hilariously and cluelessly makes a mess of all of her relationships through a series of ridiculous and unethical scientific experiments before she finally learns that you can't artificially engineer a relationship. (Maybe, it's schadenfreude that kept me reading? That has to be it, definitely the schadenfreude.) R ...more
Just Another Bookish Blog
I recently finished reading Chemistry Lessons, by Meredith Goldstein!
Oh look, I finished this book right on time for Valentine's day
Note: I received this book as an eARC from NetGalley! This does not affect my opinion on the storyline, plot, writing, or any other point of interest. Thank you for sending it to me!
This will be published on June 19th, 2018

This book was not what I expected, in any way! You have Maya, a student working on her internship before joining MIT to study epigenetics. Her m
Ellen Klock
First of all, I’d change the title from Chemistry Lessons to Love Potion Number Nine, at least that’s the tune I was humming while reading this G rated love story perfect for young teens. A loving family is torn apart when Mom succumbs to cancer. Dad turns to physical activities to work out his grief, while daughter Maya finds an internship transcribing notes at the MIT lab where her mother did research in Epigenetics. A high school graduate, Maya is looking forward to her Freshman year at Cambr ...more
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, young-adult
This review can also be seen on: NicoleHendersonReads


I honestly don’t know how I’m gonna start this review, but here goes nothing. So, I wasn’t expecting to receive this copy (thank you Raincoast for the book), but I was willing to give this book a chance after hearing mostly good things about it. And now I have to say it’s not my favourite book ever, but it’s still a good and (somewhat) predictable contemporary that will still get you in the summer mood. So I would recommend this book for
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Goldstein, Meredith Chemistry Lessons, 245 pages. hmh, 2018. $18. Language: G (20 swears); Mature Content: PG13 (dating, kissing, talk of sex); Violence: G.

Things couldn't be better for Maya -she is going to MIT in the fall to follow in her now deceased mother's footsteps, she has a great boyfriend Whit whom she is about to lose her virginity to, and she has a great group of friends both at work and home. But her world is shattered when her boyfriend dumps her for someone else. Now Maya is desp
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, young-adult
One of my coworkers picked up this book at TLA and thought I'd enjoy it. They were right. I didn't go to work until 10 this morning so my early morning was spent in my home library reading this book. I continued it at lunch and then didn't do anything but read when I got home. I've missed the feeling of finishing a book in a single day. It's so nice.

I really enjoyed this book. Goldstein does a great job of creating an interesting plot as well as solid characters. There really wasn't a time I did
Juliet Harrison
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This isn’t normally the type of book I would pick up in the bookstore, but after receiving it as an ARC at Yallfest I’m glad that I did. It was a cute, quick read that involved a breakup, a girl gifted at science, and her trying to experiment to see if she can win the boy back. The characters were fun and the plot interesting, although slightly predictable. My issues with it came up behind the ethics of the project, which are discussed in the book and addressed, and the ending of the book, which ...more
Karen Parisot
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Maya Leschinsky is seventeen going on eighteen. Gifted in math and science, she’s an incoming freshman at MIT. She’s also the daughter of a world-renowned geneticist. After Maya suffers her first breakup, she finds out that her mom had been working on a serum to make love last. She’s determined to continue her mom’s research and get her boyfriend back, but at what cost?
There’s a lot to like about this book. The whiff walks sound heavenly, like a chocoholics dream, and who wouldn’t be tempted by
Mara (marasfoldedpages)
It was a cute story about finding yourself during that last summer between high school and college. It had science involved with the story but was more of a love story and was based on the relationships the protagonist had with pretty much everyone around her. I read this book in a day and give it a 3/5 only because what she was doing was unethical, and her intentions seemed to be for her and her womanly needs alone, not for the greater good.
started okay and i really liked the family dynamics (and Bryan!!) but the MC and the writing felt so flat & unrealistic.overall a quick easy read,that could have been great but was not quite there.2.5 ⭐️ ...more
Sarah E.
Jan 20, 2018 marked it as to-read
After reading an excerpt from Buzz Books and Netgalley: Chemistry/science-y nerd stuff - YASSSSSSSSS!
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
2.75 stars
Enjoyable but not anything special- I could've gone without reading it.
Catherine Muller
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Really enjoyed all of the Boston details weaved throughout
Debbie Gilvin
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very good book. . it maybe could have been shorter, but I am also hoping for a sequel. one of those books that makes you fall in love and want to know more about where the characters are headed.
Jan 08, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry but I thought this book was BAD. The plot was really bad, and I thought that this book was also pretty boring. :/
Jan 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ive read " chemistry lessons " ,, i thought it would be much better ,, it was so pointless ,, i gave it 1 out of 5 stars
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Meredith Goldstein is an advice columnist and entertainment reporter for The Boston Globe. She's written two YA books, a memoir, and a novel about a bunch of single guests at a wedding. She also hosts the Love Letters podcast, which explores all types of relationships.

Meredith's latest release is the YA book "Things That Grow," a fictional take on her real-life experience bringing her mother's ash

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