The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keli | Book Review

Sophia is smart, like genius-calculator-brain smart. But there are some things no amount of genius can prepare you for, and the messiness of real life is one of them. When everything she knows is falling apart, how can she crack the puzzle of what to do with her life?
Joshua spends his time honing magic tricks and planning how to win Sophia’s heart. But when your best trick is making schoolwork disappear, how do you possibly romance a genius?
In life and love, timing is everything.
From Melissa Keil, the award-winning YA author of Life in Outer Space and The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl.
I want to start that I am not a big contemporary fan, the book has to be extra special to even consider reading it. What hooked me into this book was the cover, it is so pretty. Also, the book seller literally shoved it in my hands after we had a chat and found out we had similar tastes. Also this book is not available in US or at least in Amazon US.
The story is the simple young adult contemporary template: boy and girl meet, boy likes girl, boy woos girl, they kinda get together, then there is a problem, boy and girl are no longer together, finally boy and girl find the solution and end up together. (This the reason why contemporary bores me)
This book is special not because of the plot but of it’s characters. Keli gives the reader a character that deals with panic attacks and anxiety, and it felt very realistic. Keli doesn’t just say “Oh Sophia got a panic attack” she shows us the symptoms and how Sophia tries to handle herself as she tries to calm down. If you have ever suffered from panic attacks ( I know I have suffered through my fair share ) you will relate to Sophia immediately.
While this does follow the template teen romance stuff, Keli makes sure to focus on the friendships the characters have with each other and the characters own personal geekiness. For example, Joshua loves magic tricks and illusions to the point that he uses that to woo Sophia, but he also lives and breaths its history and theory which is beautiful. Then we also have Sophia and Elise’s friendship where you can feel the love in their friendship, and even though they suffer metaphorical injuries in their friendship they pull through because of their understanding and love of another.
It is a very lovely novel and I would recommend it to those who want to indulge in a quick YA contemporary read.

My Rating: 3.5/5
GoodReads: 3.99/5


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