Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Chemistry by Weike Wang

How I Heard About It:  While browsing the "Cloud Library" app, I came across this title.  When I saw the title and cover, I remember reading about this book in a couple of different reviews.  I decided to download it and give it a try.  

What It Is About:  The narrator of the story does not have a name.  Actually most of the characters in the book don't have names.  The main character is a female Chinese American in graduate school to get her PHD in Chemistry.  She has worked her lifetime toward this goal.  When in a particular Chemistry class, she "freezes" and isn't quite sure what she is doing.  This is both on the literal level of that particular day, and on a major level considering her entire life.  She does have a boyfriend.  He is also studying chemistry and doing very well.  She is asked to leave the program and ends up quite lost.  She isn't sure what to do with her life or the direction it is going in.  The boyfriend, and her best friend, try to help as much as they can; but she doesn't make it easy on them.  There is also pressure from her Chinese parents that push her for greatness.  The narrator finds herself questioning both her professional and personal life and may end up losing everything, and everyone, that is important to her.  

What I Thought Of It:  The writing style of this book was quite different.  It was very sparse and hard to connect with.  I thought it was odd that none of the characters didn't have names.  I'm sure the author had a reason, but I couldn't figure it out.  The story bounced around from different time periods in the narrator's life.  This made it difficult to follow the story.  I'm a reader that needs to connect with both the story and characters.  I wasn't able to do that with this one.  Toward the middle and end of the book, I ended up doing what I call the "skim" and "scan".  

Who Should Read It:  I'm not sure who would enjoy this type of book.  I know there are readers out there that did like the book because there are five and four star reviews online.  It is definitely a quirky type story and I know there are readers out there for this book.  It just wasn't me.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  2 STARS out of 5 Stars

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