Book Review | The Chemist

Title // The Chemist
Author // Stephenie Meyer
Publication Month // November 2016     
Publisher // Hachette Australia
Genre // Young Adult, Contemporary


She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning. 

Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon. 

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realises it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous. 

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.


I’m the first to admit that I have love-hate relationship with Stephenie Meyer books, but The Chemist intrigued me because it’s a step away from the young adult genre into a genre that I usually enjoy – adult spy thrillers.

Overall, I enjoyed The Chemist. I found that it was a slow-to-start read, as Meyer sets up her world and we learn the history of the main character and why she’s on the run. This is something I’ve noticed is a bit of trend with Meyer’s writing style – slow beginnings, but often a quick-paced mid-end section – so be aware of that going in. 

I liked the main character, who goes by many names throughout the book, but for the ease of a review I’ll refer to as Alex. She’s a strong female character who’s also very aware of her strengths and weaknesses. There were definitely times when I questioned whether she was [i]too good[/i] at certain things, but in the context of a book that is reminiscent of a Jason Bourne-style read, it was reasonably easy to suspend some of my disbelief.

Parts of the relationships developed within the story did feel almost insta-love-like, so beware if that’s not your thing.

Ultimately I was looking for an entertaining read and while it’s not the best thing I’ve read this year, I did enjoy the book. While I originally gave it a 4 out of 5 stars, upon reflection, it’s probably more a 3.5 out of 5 stars for me because I wish there had been more friendship development.

3 Replies to “Book Review | The Chemist”

  1. I loved The Host (except for the slow start). The Chemist doesn't really live up to The Host – even though they're completely separate. While I liked the characters in the Chemist, I didn't really connect with them. But it wasn't a terrible read, either and I enjoy mystery/thriller/spy type books.


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