Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Bailey “Mink” Rydell is pretty sure her soul mate is a fellow film geek she only knows online as “Alex.” When she moves across the country to live with her dad, it just happens to be the same town where Alex resides, but since they agreed to keep the personal stuff to a minimum, she doesn’t know how to find him. But, she does find the annoying, yet charming, Porter Roth. As Bailey and Porter grow closer, she begins to wonder if finding Alex is still a priority. She just doesn’t know she’s already found him. Jenn Bennett creates a delightful YA take on You’ve Got Mail with Bailey and Porter. Their quips back and forth create an undeniable chemistry as does the snippets of their online conversations that intertwine with the story. That chemistry is what pulls the whole story together and kept me reading when I should have been sleeping.
Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials that Shape Our Man-Made World by Mark Miodownik
Do you want to know why glass is transparent or why you only taste the food and not the spoon? “Stuff Matters” is an introduction to materials science and will answer these questions plus others you never knew you had. It delves into topics ranging from why stainless steel makes the sharpest knives to how sand goes from being opaque particles to transparent glass when heated. Mr. Miodownik has written a creative and absorbing look at some of the materials that surround our everyday lives. He skillfully navigates the fine line between pure entertainment and pure science through excellent writing. The book also includes hand-drawn illustrations which makes the whole thing feel more like a journal than a text book. Fun snippets of history + easy to understand chemistry = a phenomenal good time with materials.