Remedial Rocket Science (Chemistry Lessons #1) by Susannah Nix

Remedial Rocket Science book coverI stumbled across this book because of the STEM-association—the main character is a freshman at MIT in the prologue and a fresh graduate at the opening of the main book. Her degree is in computer science, so I figured I’d like reading about her. And I did.

After getting stood up by her boring sometimes-date during her freshman year, Melody hooks up with Jeremy, who’s passing through visiting friends. They get along and he gives her his number in case she’s ever in LA. A few years pass and she’s looking at a few job opportunities. She interviews for one in LA and meets up with Jeremy, only to find out that he’s got a girlfriend. After she accepts the job, she learns that his mom is the CEO of the company that hired her even though he swears he didn’t intervene to get her hired. They become friends and Melody becomes even better friends with his girlfriend, Lacey. It takes a while for Jeremy to become a free agent again and even long for them to reconnect on a more meaningful level.

The book’s billed as a rom-com, and it is very funny, although you might have to be in-the-know to get all the jokes. But there’s plenty of clever and self-effacing humor to keep the less technically-informed reader amused.

Her mom says:

“Don’t be silly, baby. It’s not like it’s rocket surgery.”

When Melody’s at an fancy shindig with Jeremy, the author tells us:

It was a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman with a much wealthier and more successful boyfriend, must be an opportunist angling to marry into money.

I just loved that. And when they finally managed to get together again for the first time since MIT, it’s funny:

...he spun her around and carried her toward the bedroom.

It took them a while to get there, because they got distracted a couple times along the way. She nearly had her way with him up against the wall in the hallway. After that there was a minor collision with a lamp, but she never liked that lamp anyway, so whatever.

I have to say, this book is so tame that I struggled to really think about it as a romance. I know there’s such a thing as sweet romance, and this qualifies, but it really felt more like contemporary YA with a love story featuring older characters. I’m not saying this as a criticism, but it is a thing I felt. So. I would have liked more sexual tension, personally. You can see what I mean in that last passage—that’s about as risqué as it gets.

Anyway, I did enjoy the short book and will pick up the next two in the series. If you like nerdy heroines, check it out yourself.