The grief of losing a parent to cancer and the grief of a breakup—they may not be on the same scale, but for Maya, they feel connected.
After her boyfriend, Whit, breaks up with her the summer before she starts college, Maya goes through her dead mother’s scientific research papers and finds an experiment on romantic attraction. She decides to carry on the research herself, with help from her mother’s former assistant. After all, if she can get Whit to remember what it felt like when everything was good between them, he’d want her back, right? In need of more test subjects, she plays with the hearts and minds of two other friends, Kyle and Asher, with little consideration for their feelings. Also given little consideration? Her decision to ingest the serum made from her subjects’ DNA samples and other materials stolen from the lab. She keeps her two closest friends, Yael and Bryan, who are both gay, ignorant of her experiment in this science-y twist on the age-old tale of a broken heart. Some fun, quirky details give the story and its characters a boost, but in general, there is little to distinguish this novel from the rest of the teenage breakup genre. The characters are entertaining yet predictable, the action is well-paced but predictable, the premise is mildly interesting yet....The book assumes a white default.
Another teenager-with-a-dead-parent-gets-their-heart-broken tale. (Fiction. 13-15)