Our unnamed narrator is three years into her post-grad studies in chemistry and nearly as long into her relationship with her devoted boyfriend, who has just proposed. But while his path forward seems straight, hers is 'like a gas particle moving around in space'- her research is stagnating, and she's questioning whether she's lost her passion for her work altogether. The demands of her Chinese parents - who have always expected nothing short of excellence - don't help. Eventually, the pressure mounts so high that she must leave everything she thought she knew about her future, and herself, behind. And for the first time she's confronted with a question she won't find the answer to in a textbook- What do I really want?
Over the next two years, this winningly flawed, disarmingly insightful heroine learns the formulas and equations for a different kind of chemistry - one in which the reactions can't be quantified, measured and analysed; one that can be studied only in the mysterious language of the heart.