Review : The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil
the secret science of magic
Each time I’ve seen Melissa Keil’s novels on the shelf in the last year, I have quite literally stopped, and gasped at their beauty, intoxicated by their names and their design.
Finally, last summer, I had the chance to sink into Keil’s vibrant young adult world. A world inhabited by the likes of Sam, a horror movie buff, who is head over heels in love with the new girl, Camilla, even though he knows she’s an impossible dream. Or Alba’s world, scented with baked delights, and the distant but inevitable whirr of the future.
Each time, I too fall head over heels for her characters. Keil creates believable teenagers, who break every stereotype. They banter in witty dialogue, tricking you into feeling like you are right there with them, wading through the last year of school and all the drama that comes with being at the brink of adulthood.
Keil’s new book, The Secret Science of Magic fell into my lap earlier this month. Like her other two novels, Secret Science centres around the lives of two central characters at the brink of adulthood. In their last year of school, ‘child prodigy’ Sophia and kind-hearted, quick-handed Joshua negotiate their lives as they know it, in anticipation of life still to come.
Because Keil does her research so thoroughly, we get to step straight into Joshua’s magical tricks, and Sophia’s fascination with maths and science. And although you wouldn’t necessarily pick the relationship between maths and magic, this book makes you feel like they belong together.
I can’t remember loving my last year of high school. And I am not sure you are meant to. But that’s what this book does so well. It doesn’t sugar coat any of it. And it brings all those Year 12 feelings back to the surface. So if I was reading this in Year 12, I’d feel pretty much right at home.
Recommended for young adults in need of an intelligent, witty coming-of-age romance.