Weike Wang’s Chemistry

Coming of Age, Fiction


Brief review of a fictional chemist’s introspective ramblings.

This book is utterly frustrating — I get that that’s the point. Here’s this nameless character who’s at a turning point of her life: finishing her PhD program and deciding on a long-term boyfriend’s marriage proposal(s). This is where she begins to question everything and starts to wonder what it is that she wants out of life. That plot makes for most coming of age books, doesn’t it?

Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star

Fiction, Romance, Young Adult

A serendipitous encounter of two teens as their lives are about to embark on two very different paths. 

Have you ever come across a resume with all the credentials you’re looking for yet when you meet this prospective candidate in person, it isn’t a good fit? No? How about this: have you ever swiped right on someone who sounded perfect on paper to only meet in person and discover something was amiss? No? Well you’re one lucky person.

For everyone else, that’s how I felt about this book. Logically, it seemed to have the makings of a good read. It provided a love story with relatable themes of dual cultural identity, high parental expectations, serendipitous encounters, and alternative perspectives. On top of that, New York was the backdrop with deportation looming all around (cue current political climate, how more relatable can we get). The book was also sprinkled with Korean phrases (validated by my coworker to be authentic), knowledge on the black hair market (which is dominated by the Koreans – who knew?), and the science behind love (still don’t get it but has a lot to do with hormones). All in all, it looked promising enough to quench my thirst for relatability, new knowledge, and a feel good read.