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  • Writer's pictureCourtney

What I'm reading - The Chemist

**Spoilers** This is my review of The Chemist and I may give a lot away. Don't read further if you want to read the book!

I think it's time I admit something. This may surprise you. This may shock you. Nonetheless, I feel it's time to be honest and come forward. I love Twilight. Yes, the books...the movies...Edward versus Jacob. It all. I read the series about 4 times all the way through and when I get bored I will start from the beginning and watch all of the movies.

With that said...I have never claimed that Stephanie Meyer was the most perfect writer in the world. Are any of us really? And no matter what people want to say to judge her....she clearly did SOMETHING right to have built a franchise the way she did. I believe one of her number one accomplishments was writing to her audience. She wrote exactly the story teens and even adults (yeah I was an adult when it came out) could enjoy.

Flashing forward to now and I decide to pick up The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer. Now I say pick up, but I really mean listen to. I find driving so much more enjoyable when I listen to books. So I grabbed The Chemist at Audible.

Here is the blurb from Amazon -

"She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn't even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They've killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it's her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of. "

Now, if you know anything about me you should know that a strong heroine, a woman that can handle herself and her own dirty work is what I love. So that paired with the fact that Stephanie Meyer has been able to turn not only a series, but also a stand alone book into movies....well I figured I could try this.

I can't lie, the beginning was really hard for me. It was slow and I gave up at first. I just couldn't get into the story the way I wanted to. I found my mind wandering away while the book was playing and I would have to back up to see if I missed anything specific. I never really did. So at one point I decided it wasn't going to capture me and I turned it off. A week or so later I was at one of my minion's basketball practices and another mom sitting on the hard cold gym floor was reading the book. Well I slid my happy ass next to her and asked her about the book. Without my prompting she said "The beginning is a little hard to get into, but once the story really gets going it's not bad."

Ok, so I decided I needed to try again, grit my teeth and get through the boring. Alex (Or Dr. Juliana Fordice, also called Jules) is an ex government employee who was previously tasked with interrogations that involved a variety of chemicals. The beginning of the book explains how she has been protecting herself the last few years, since she fled her job after all of her department was slaughtered by the government. She never names the department she worked for, just calls it "the department" insinuating some sort of black ops kinda crap. Her tactics to protect herself are so far overboard, it's hard to swallow. But in the end I decided since she worked with chemicals and not physical strength, maybe it could make sense.

Alex is given one last assignment from the man that has been sending assassins to kill her. The assignment seems clear to Alex, but little does she know she's still being used as a pawn. And the man she knew was trying to have her killed, hadn't really meant to give her immunity and let her walk away.

Here's a point in the story that bugs me. Alex is very suspicious of this offer. She takes a lot of time to think and research. She is told she needs to interrogate a suspect named Danny in regards to a man-made plague that was going to be released on US soil. In all this research and stalling she did, Alex never took a moment to realize....Daniel Beach had a twin brother named Kevin. After a crazy arrival of Kevin Beach to save his brother, Alex and Kevin realize they were both in the crosshairs of their respective government agencies. Kevin was ex CIA who had faked his death to get away. But his people also believed he was alive, so they used Alex to grab Danny, which flushed Kevin out.

It's pretty clear after the shaky alliance and plan Alex and Kevin make, that Danny and Alex are going to fall for each other. That part was so awkward for me, as Alex had just tortured Danny with her chemicals causing him severe pain and I would assume humiliation. But somehow the man forgives her and ends up loving her. What's further, he has no problem leaving his life behind of a teacher so he can be on the run with Alex.

The plan enacted by Alex and Kevin is complicated as other names get thrown into the mix, so you have to play close attention. There are also names of dogs that are involved so don't mix those up with people, as I almost did a few times. The book has it's own set of surprises, but for the most part I thought it was pretty obvious where things were going.

I wouldn't categorize this book as a romance, though there are romantic moments in it. It is much more action and suspense. As for the writing, it's full of technical jargon that goes along with Alex being a chemist, so be sure to pay attention to that. It's slow in many places so it's easy to give up. I would say it's middle of the road so if you're looking to try something, go for it. Just try to get through the beginning to get to the action and meat of the story!

- Courtney

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