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Chemistry (Stella Blunt) (Volume 1) Paperback – November 29, 2016
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
"Lynch cleverly and dramatically subverts expectations, delivering a fast-moving and very fun zombie blood-fest that challenges ideas about femininity and teenage love." (BookLife Prize in Fiction)
"This was an AMAZING book! I could not put it down. Chemistry by C.L. Lynch is everything Twilight should have been. It is funny, empowering, and still romantic.... do yourself a favor and pick this up." (The Roadside Reader)
"Chemistry by C. L. Lynch begins as a humorous take on Stephanie Meyer's Twilight, but quickly turns into a story of a bullied teenager learning to trust others. Stella Blunt is not an easy character to like, which is why it's so great to see her lowering her guard and learning to trust." (IndieReader Discovery Awards)
"...funny and irreverent... Chemistry is a fun, clever novel that provides a welcome contrast to the more traditional young-adult romances of the genre, even while drawing on their warmth and familiarity." (Foreword Reviews)
"Delightfully funny, wickedly sharp... C.L. Lynch has a way with words that will make you smile at the right time and perhaps even tear up with the unconventional romance that blooms between two people society has thrown away." (Carole P. Roman, award-winning author of the Captain No Beard series)
BookLife Prize in Fiction:
Staging her story under the guise of a conventional paranormal romance, Lynch cleverly and dramatically subverts expectations, delivering a fast-moving and very fun zombie blood-fest that challenges ideas about femininity and teenage love.... Lynch's work is overflowing with wit and refreshing commentary on the horror genre.... The dismissal of familiar tropes in favor of creating more empowered, distinctive female protagonists, is admirable and executed with flair.
Stella graces the text as an unlikely heroine with her melodramatic, yet relatable teenage angst and desires. As the novel progresses, she gratifyingly develops from a fearful, self-conscious girl to a confident, chainsaw-wielding zombie hunter, all the while retaining her signature sense of humor.
Gr 9 Up--When her mother takes a new job across the country in Vancouver, 17-year-old Stella Blunt (who is blunt) refuses to cooperate. "They'll eat me alive!" Stella roars at her parents between strings of profanity. Her parents are refreshingly witty, intelligent, and clearly in her corner. The dynamic of a united front and comedic camaraderie even while surrounded by hordes of hungry undead is unexpected. The cover and name may invite comparisons to Twilight, but they are unfounded: Stella is no Bella. Stella is large--she knows it and uses it. She knows that jokes and catcalls will follow her at her new school. What she is unprepared for, however, is the adoration of a strange loner boy, Howard. He is unable to leave Stella alone; his instincts tell him she has a wonderful brain. Readers looking for a lighthearted romp laced with cynicism and salty language will be fans. Not your run-of-the-mill zombie book, this title has heart. VERDICT Purchase where there are fans of funny zombie YA, such as Kristy McKay's Undead, Carrie Harris's Bad Taste in Boys, and Jeff Strand's A Bad Day for Voodoo.
About the Author
C.L. Lynch lives in Vancouver with her husband, two children, several pets, and too many unwashed dishes. She enjoys smashing tropes and hiding from adult responsibilities.
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Top customer reviews
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CHEMISTRY by C.L. Lynch is the first book in the Stella Blunt series. It’s a YA, romantic comedy, told in first-person past tense, with a bit of horror and a lot of explicit language. Due to language and the sheer number of f-words, this book may not be suitable for readers under 16.
Stella Blunt has never fit in. She's overweight, under-confident, and she has some serious anger management issues. It took her years to make two friends at her previous school and now her parents are moving her to Vancouver. She's dreading the torment she'll likely receive at her new school, and sure enough, during the first class of her first day, she is literally being drooled over by the biggest loser in the school. Then after a cheating scandal with one of the popular girls, she can't walk down the halls without being verbally assaulted.
Howie, the drooling boy, has decided that Stella is the most perfect creature on the planet. He will do anything to be with her, and he doesn’t listen when she continually tells him to go away. When he finally wears her down and she lets him in, she finds out that he has a big secret--he may not be entirely human.
I loved this book. It was so silly and fun and sometimes that is the perfect read. This book was a play on the Twilight Saga, right down to the brilliant cover. Instead of the pale vampire hands holding an apple, it's pale zombie hands holding a human heart. The main character is Stella instead of Bella and her love interest is Howard Mullins. Although some of the circumstances are similar, (ie. Stella moves to a new school, the two meet in science class, there's a school dance, a fortuitous meeting in a book store, and a supernatural hero) the characters and specific details are not. Stella is not a popular girl and tends to yell throughout the majority of the book. I could have done with a bit less of that but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment. Howie’s idiosyncrasies leave him friendless apart from his brother and sister who also attend the high school.
The story moves from Stella’s abuse of Howie to a serious love connection. Then to an apocalyptic event that may not only mark the end of Stella’s relationship, but may also mark the end of her life. Although there are these overt similarities to Twilight, this felt like an entirely different story with endearing characters that I could relate to considerably easier than the sparkly vampires.
This book earns 4 North of Normal stars. I cannot wait for the next book entitled HISTORY. CHEMISTRY ended with a sneak peek that promises another hilarious and fun read.
“For my mother, who always believed that I would write a book, but never dreamed that I would put in so many swear words.” (loc 41-43)
Then there is this at the end of the book. I take it as a given, perhaps mistakenly, that authors write descriptions of themselves. This particular description so accurately mirrors and expands the character of Stella (main protagonist) that I felt it deserved a quote.
“C.L. Lynch is a thirty-something socially awkward introvert. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, two kids, various pets, and far too many unwashed dishes. She enjoys smashing tropes and hiding from adult responsibilities.” (loc 4536-4538)
Stella might be described as a socially awkward teenager. She has few friends, seems to be mentally gifted, and is physically “big built.” While that may be a politically correct term, Stella carries the words “fat” and “obese” around in her head. Admitting and even embracing reality, Stella works from a position of “Here I am, take it or leave it.” She doesn’t care about others’ opinions of her but she doesn’t enjoy receiving insults. Stella is not above using her martial arts training to answer offensive behavior directed against her. At home, she has a remarkably open relationship with her parents. They feel comfortable joking with her almost as an adult equal. She feels comfortable with sharing and revealing sometimes shocking truths. Stella’s character is well developed, the characters of the parents less so, and some readers might find this unrealistic. But this provides the opportunity for the author to write some great dialogue.
Howie or Howard (but not to be confused with Howard the Bear) is the other principal around which the tale progresses. Howie is socially inept, a nerd, a geek, wears the stereotypical glasses, and is completely smitten with Stella at first sight. He is so smitten that he wanders around with a deer-in-the-headlights look that is apparent to all other students. Stella is also amazed by his blue eyes and the attention paid by Howie but she is also put off by the constant minute-by-minute attention paid. Although flattered, Stella suspects she might have a stalker. For Howie’s part, while he tells Stella she is beautiful, he emphasizes he is primarily in love with her brain. At this point, I should have heard alarms.
No alarms until Chapter Nine when Stella says “Okay, I need to hear you say that you're not zombies.” (loc 1647). This was said to Howie and his family at their home. I was as surprised as Stella that I was in the middle of a zombie story. The fast moving dialogue was so entertaining up to this point that I knew there was something to be revealed about Howie but that wasn’t one of my guesses. I don’t read zombie tales (I thought this was horror) but there was no way I was going to put this book down; I was having too much fun. Then the story took on other elements equally entertainingly offered through clever dialogue.
Zombies exist alongside humans although neither group is aware of the other. There are very few zombies; Howie and his family of a sister, brother mom, and dad are one such zombie family. Dr, Mullens, Howie’s dad is a research doctor (and zombie) who has been recruited by the government to theoretically control the virus which turns people into zombies. But the Canadian government research project has become corrupted by the efforts of an ultra-right wing extremist fanatical Canadian zealot. This creature may be rarer than a zombie. Agent Baum believes Dr. Mullen’s research could be more positively used to create a zombie army that could be used in an upcoming war with the US, a necessary war to prevent American culture co-opting and wiping out Canadian culture. Baum also worries Howie and family might go to the US and participate in the upcoming struggle on the American side. Baum is further morally horrified by the prospect of a romantic relationship between human Stella and zombie Howie.
While I found all this fascinating, for me, the dialogue did it. So, two examples. In the first, Howie is announcing his undying (think about it) love for Stella and she answers.
Howie: “How could I not love you? The way you can wield a chainsaw, the way you karate chop your way through every problem to cross your path?”
Stella: ““It’s kung fu, not karate,” I said. “It’s a style of wu-shu, and it’s Chinese, not Japanese. And I don’t chop much. I’m more about the kicks and the hand blocks.” (loc 3505-3512)
My second example shows the open dialogue relationship between Stella and her parents. Stella is going to her bedroom to study with zombie boyfriend Howie.
“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” called Dad as we went upstairs.
“Would you pee sitting down, Dad?”
“Would you wear a v-neck top, Dad?”
“Would you have long chaste conversations with your boyfriend?”
“Yeah, yeah. Just don’t have unprotected sex.”
“Thank you for the reassurance that you wouldn’t have unprotected sex. I’ll leave you and Mom to work out the mystery of my paternity and go upstairs, shall I?” (loc 3081-3086)
I highly recommend this book to the YA and above crowd despite, as the author noted, the swear words. This book was fun and I enjoyed writing the review.
Most recent customer reviews
You don't need to read Twilight to enjoy Chemistry.Read more
This is the first book in the series.Read more