Book Review: The Chemist

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

The Chemist
by Stephenie Meyer

3.5 out of 5 stars
Alex is a former spy interrogator on the run to escape the assassins being sent after her. She has one last chance to do a job for her former employers that might give her back her old life. But the job goes horribly wrong, and she finds herself in even more danger than ever before. Running for her life, she is weighed down by a budding romance with a man who is a liability in this cat-and-mouse game she is playing.

I’m not really sure what my reaction is to this book. There were some parts that I really loved, and some that I seriously didn’t like. I skimmed all the dumb stuff about the dogs. I skimmed most of the action scenes with car chases and guns. I got bored with the constant road trips.

But I liked the romance. It was sappy puppy-love stuff, but it was cute. However, it was just so blushing and blooming and adorable that it was a strange contrast to all the darkness in the rest of the plot. It was also awkward how quickly they fell for each other, and under such unusual circumstances. It felt a little forced.

I hated the violence and the torture. It gave me nightmares. Then again, if the writing was vivid enough to give me nightmares… that’s some good writing. Horrible subject, but effective writing.

There was a little bit of minor profanity, but it was not too much, so it didn’t bother me too badly. And it was appropriate for the setting, so at least it served a purpose. It wasn’t just randomly sprinkled in.

I hated the body count. How many people died in this book? At least a couple dozen spies, mafia, and civilians all died horrifically. I guess it was realistic, but it was a bit too much for me. I skimmed most of the murders and blood and guts.

I wasn’t that impressed with the mystery and spy stuff. I prefer more cerebral spy stories that have a puzzle aspect to them. This was mostly shooting and hiding and running and poisoning somebody and then more shooting.

And yet, the story kept my attention. I cared about the characters. I wanted them to live and succeed and have a happy ending. I was on the edge of my seat, hoping they would survive. I could feel their strong emotions right along with them. I felt afraid when they were afraid, and I felt relaxed and peaceful with them in the few safe moments they had.

As a character-driven reader, I loved the amazing way the relationships between the characters expanded and grew. It was so entertaining to see how their perceptions of each other would change with each conversation. I actually enjoyed reading about the hate-to-brotherly-love relationship between Alex and another character way more than I was interested in the romance.

So I honestly don’t know what I think about this book. Did I like it? Did I enjoy it? Did I hate it? I truthfully can’t tell. Either way, I’m glad that I read it. But never again! I don’t want any more nightmares about spies kidnapping and torturing me.

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