Beauty and the Brain
I was in the mood for a category romance and picked up Beauty and the Brain, the second in Elizabeth Bevarly’s Blame it on Bob miniseries. I’m a real pushover for books with scientists in them. The Bob of the title is a comet, Bobryzckolonycki, to give it its full name, which comes around every fifteen years and by some strange unexplained quirk, always passes over the town of Endicott, Indiana. The inhabitants of Endicott have a comet festival when Bob comes by, and they have a belief that if you make a wish when Bob is overhead, your wish will come true. Fifteen years ago, Rosemary March wished that her boy genius lab partner, Willis Random, would “get what was coming to him.”
Rosemary is now a travel agent, and Willis is a scientist with five degrees – two of them PhDs. He has come to Endicott to study Comet Bob. Rosemary’s mother, the town mayor, has put him up in Rosemary’s house which is directly under the comet’s trajectory. When Rosemary last saw Willis, he was a typical ninety-pound nerd-weakling with a complexion like a pizza, glasses held together with tape, and zero social skills. Fifteen years have made a difference in the outer man. Willis has been lifting weights and is now six-feet two-inches tall, with auburn hair, tan skin, and designer glasses. However, his social skills still need work. Willis was attracted to Rosemary in high school and thinks she is prettier than ever, but to put it bluntly, Willis is still an intellectual snob while Rosemary is totally disinterested in any form of science.
Rosemary suffers from low self-esteem. She has never been intellectually inclined, having quit the local community college and beauty school, and she thinks of herself as dumb. When Rosemary was in high school, and Willis was her lab partner, her poor ability in science was the cause of them getting a C in a chemistry class. As a result, Willis berated her as a dummy. Rosemary has always thought that smart is sexy, and all during high school she was attracted to Willis, pizza complexion, bad attitude, and all. She never let him know and spent her time dating sports stars. Now that Willis is a stud muffin, she is attracted to him more than ever, but they seem to spend all their time making cutting remarks to each other just like they did in high school. Willis finally finds out what Rosemary’s feelings for him are when he snoops in her old journals. There, he finds out about her teenage crush on him and also makes the discovery that she is a talented artist with a dream of writing and illustrating children’s books. Willis makes an abrupt about-face in his attitude in time for Rosemary’s old wish to come true.
Willis started out as a very unlikable character, but he softens up as the book progresses and becomes more and more sympathetic. Rosemary is better depicted. I could identify with her aversion to science since I have the same aversion to math. Beauty and the Brain is a category book that equates to literary cotton candy. It’s light and tasty – fluffy and insubstantial – but still good. Those who are fond of books featuring scientist heroes will like it, and it’s a sweet read for everybody else.
There are two reviews of this book.