• by Weike Wang
  • Narrated by Julia Whelan
  • 4 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A luminous coming-of-age novel about a young female scientist who must recalibrate her life when her academic career goes off track, perfect for fans of Lab Girl and Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You.
Three years into her graduate studies at a demanding Boston university, the unnamed narrator of this nimbly wry, concise debut finds her onetime love for chemistry is more hypothesis than reality. She's tormented by her failed research - and reminded of her delays by her peers, her advisor, and most of all her Chinese parents, who have always expected nothing short of excellence from her throughout her life.
But there's another, nonscientific question looming: the marriage proposal from her devoted boyfriend, a fellow scientist whose path through academia has been relatively free of obstacles and with whom she can't make a life before finding success on her own. Eventually the pressure mounts so high that she must leave everything she thought she knew about her future and herself behind. And for the first time, she's confronted with a question she won't find the answer to in a textbook: What do I really want?
Over the next two years, this winningly flawed, disarmingly insightful heroine learns the formulas and equations for a different kind of chemistry - one in which the reactions can't be quantified, measured, and analyzed, one that can be studied only in the mysterious language of the heart. Taking us deep inside her scattered, searching mind, here is a brilliant new literary voice that astutely juxtaposes the elegance of science, the anxieties of finding a place in the world, and the sacrifices made for love and family.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Sweet and Sour. Light and Heavy. Perfect.

Perfect book for summer-full of just the right contrasts. Sweet but sour. Both light and heavy at the same time. About nothing, about everything. About the Chinese, about Americans. Children and Parents, lovers and fighters. The yin and the yang, the push and the pull. Chemistry. Trying to figure it out and making a mess of it. Finding truth. Just perfect.
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- SydSavvy

What is chemistry without chemical reactions?

This book was very disappointing. It has a very dark character and a heroine who is lost and without love. Fortunately she has a very funny dark humor that has some redeeming value in the novel.

I would not recommend this book to anyone except for someone who appreciates the dark humor.
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- Maureen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-23-2017
  • Publisher: Random House Audio