The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Secret Science of Magic
Melissa Keil
Genre: YA Contemporary Diverse
Publication Date: April 1st, 2017
Pages: 314 (paperback)
Publishers: Hardie Grant Egmont
4 star

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A captivating novel about two extraordinary teens, and the unsolvable problem of life after high school.

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.

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I have seen a lot of complaints that no one can get this book. You can find it on QBD if you live in Aus. However, I’m pretty sure QBD doesn’t ship international, so that kinda sucks for everyone else. As far as I can tell it looks like this book is only available in Aus atm!

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I love this cover! It’s really cute and matches the book so well. I also LOVE LOVE the colour of this book, the image above isn’t exactly the same colour but in real life this is one of my fave shades of blue. It’s gorgeous!

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I really enjoy the writing of this book, I did find a few errors in the book but not enough to be an issue. The only issue I had with the writing is that there is a lot of science references and quiet simply, words I did not understand or had never even heard before. It wasn’t a major problem, like you didn’t really need to understand what those things meant to understand the story, but I guess it would have helped at some points. I also liked the multi POV, it mainly follows Sophia but there is a couple of chapters in there that are from Joshua’s POV.

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So I really enjoyed the plot of this book. Most of you know that I’m not a huge fan of straight romance books but this was also a diverse book and I liked those aspects. I will go into more in the character section as to how this book is diverse. So in all honesty there isn’t a great deal that actually happens in this book, it’s in no way action packed of course, it is a contemporary romance.. I find that this book is definitely more character based than plot based. I don’t mind that about it, most of the books I read are plot based, so I enjoyed the bit of the change for me.

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So our main characters is Sophia. In the book Sophia mentions regularly that her and her best friend, Elsie are dark skinned and they make references throughout but they aren’t huge stand out things that the girls and their family aren’t Australian heritage. I read a review where someone says that Sophia is Sri Lankan, I am not 100% sure, I saw the references, but I didn’t know what nationality she was actually referring too. So I’m not saying that she is Sri Lankan, but that is just what I have saw. Also our MC has Social Anxiety. Neither of these things are mentioned in the Synopsis, so when reading the synopsis I was honestly kinda like ‘cool, just another basic love story’ but after reading this, it is not the case in the slightest! This synopsis really lets it down!

So no onto my actual thoughts of the characters.

I really enjoyed Sophia, she had a lot of internal struggles and I liked see her development as a character. I personally don’t have social anxiety, but I did still connect with her on some level. She was a really interesting character.

Joshua was also really interesting, I like how he embraces what other people would consider weird. I like the little tricks that he did at the beginning to kinda get Sophia’s attention. I honestly wouldn’t be mad at that haha.

Elsie I also enjoyed, I love that she was loyal to Sophia even if sometimes she wanted to make other choices, she was understanding. I wish we learnt a bit more about her though! We learn a bit but not enough that I can really say ‘yes she is awesome, I like her’ or not.

We didn’t get too much exposure to Joshua’s friends, only a couple little places but I do like Amy, his boss. She reminds me of myself a bit haha. I did like Elsie’s brothers, I thought they were fun and I liked seeing a good happy family as in so many books there is always problems and it gets a bit ridiculous! I also liked Gillian, Joshua’s sister, she was interesting and kind and just connected with Joshua so well that it felt real. I also wish we kinda understood Toby a bit more, Sophia’s brother, as I was just overall a bit confused with him but I also liked the development of his and Sophia’s relationship!

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I enjoyed this book! I reckon the synopsis is crap and doesn’t portray the book that well. I would never have purchased this book if I just read the synopsis, so I am glad that I got this book in a The YA Chronicles box. I love that this book was diverse in more than one way. Being diverse in the culture factor wasn’t a huge part of the book and I liked that, there was no racial comments at any time which I enjoyed because it just felt like a version of equality between races were it was just normal that the person was from another race and it wasn’t something that needed commenting on.

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