Chemistry Lessons Reading Companion

I put together a reading companion for my new novel Chemistry Lessons so you can look at photos of the settings, outfits, and dishes described in the book and experience everything along with Regan and Ky. 

I hope you enjoy Chemistry Lessons and this reading companion!

Chapter 1

The first scene of the book starts in Ky’s apartment in Southeast Portland, Oregon. It’s based on an actual apartment. For a video tour of that apartment, visit YouTube. I also created a floor plan for her apartment:

Kylie's apartment floor plan

In the second scene, Regan, Kylie, and their friends are in their favorite restaurant. The Observatory actually exists. Here’s the link to its website and menu, and here’s a link to a photo of the window booth. 

Do you have a snack in front of you? If you don’t, you might want to get one, because I’m about to show you pictures that might make you hungry. Here are some photos of what Kylie, Regan, and their friends are eating: Regan and Ky share the chicken curry salad wrap and the pulled-pork sandwich. Eliza and Denny ordered the oregano fry bread as a starter. Heather has the sesame chili chicken salad, and Miranda has a burger with garlic fries. 

Chapter 2

In the first scene of chapter 2, Regan prepares a chemistry lab for her students. Here’s a YouTube video of one of the experiments—putting a piece of magnesium into hydrochloric acid.

In the second scene of chapter 2, we see Ky at work in the school cafeteria. One of my beta readers works in a school cafeteria, and she shared pictures of pasta day with me. 

cafeteria

The sauce is cooked in a device called a tilt skillet. If you’d like to see how it works, here’s a YouTube video of a tilt skillet.

The third and fourth scenes of chapter 2 take place in Regan’s apartment. It’s based on an apartment in Montavilla, Portland, that actually exists. You can watch a YouTube walk-through here. Of course, I drew a floor plan for her home too. 

Regan's apartment floor plan

If you love to cook and you’d like to make some of the spicy pepper spread they put on their sandwiches, you can find the recipe here.

Chapter 3

In chapter 3, Regan and Ky meet Eliza and Denny at the Saturday Market, an open-air arts and crafts market. This YouTube video gives you a good impression on the different booths. 

Regan buys a polymer clay pizza charm from Eliza, which you can see here. 

To tide them over until their date that evening, they get empanadas from the PDX Empanadas stand on the market.

Empanadas

Chapter 4

In the first scene of chapter 4, Regan gets dressed for their date. Here’s what I imagine Regan’s button-down dress might look like, and Ky’s plum-colored jacket can be seen here.

In the second scene of chapter 4, we get to meet Regan’s parents, who live in Lake Oswego. Here’s a YouTube video that offers a walking tour of Lake Oswego. At about minute 1:30, you get a glimpse of the restaurant (It’s the one with the red chairs & blue umbrellas). 

You can also see the restaurant and the red chairs on the patio in this photo: 

Lake Oswego restaurant

Here’s a photo of Fortuna, the sculpture in the center of a traffic circle close to the restaurant. 

The Romanos’ family restaurant is based on a restaurant that actually exists. The real one is called Pizzeria sul Lago. You can find its menu here. Their Instagram account also has a photo of the blue-tiled pizza oven. And, of course, here’s what the pizza looks like: 

Pizza pushed into oven

Don’t say I didn’t warn you about getting hungry! 

Chapter 5

In chapter 5, Ky and Regan meet Denny and Eliza for a walk at the waterfront. 

Portland Waterfront

If you have read Wrong Number, Right Woman, you might remember the Dragon Boat Race. This is what the dragon boats look like: 

Dragonboats in Portland

They watch as the lift span of the Hawthorn Bridge is raised to allow the Portland Spirit to pass underneath. Here’s a YouTube video that shows the bridge being raised.

Chapter 6

In chapter 6, they go on their second date. Here’s what Regan’s date outfit looks like. They head to the same restaurant that was already featured in chapter 2, so scroll up for pictures.

After dinner, they see a movie at the Academy Theater in Portland, which really exists. The movie they watch is basically the plot of my novel Heart Trouble. 

Chapter 7

In chapter 7, Ky and Regan go on their third date. Regan is wearing her milkmaid top, which looks like this.

They see pop star Jenna Blake a.k.a. Leo in concert. Leo is the main character of my novel Perfect Rhythm, by the way. The concert takes place at the Moda Center (formerly known as the Rose Garden, photo by CrispyCream27/CC BY-SA 4.0).

Chapter 9

In the first scene of chapter 9, Ky takes the breakfast cart over to the science wing. This is what the cart looks like. 

The last two scenes of chapter 9 take place in Mount Tabor Park in Portland. Many of the photos for this section have been supplied by fellow author KC Luck, who went up Mount Tabor to take photos for me. 

This is what the gatehouse at the lower level, where Ky and Regan meet up, looks like. 

gatehouse 6

They walk around the reservoir on the lower level, which is rectangular-shaped and looks like this (Copyright: Another Believer on Wiki Commons): 

Lower reservoir

They then climb the 100+ stairs to the next level. 

stairs at the reservoir

This is what the view of the lower reservoir looks like from the middle level: 

Sunset at reservoir

The gatehouse on the middle level—Regan’s favorite—is round, not square like the one on the lower level. 

gate house at reservoir

The reservoir up there is oval instead of rectangular-shaped too. 

Sunset at reservoir

Take a look at the bench they sit on to talk here. While they talk, the sun sets and the city’s lights start to come on. 

Sunset at Mount Tabor

If you are in need of some sugary treat after that walk, here’s the recipe for the almond chocolate biscotti Ky makes for Regan at the end of the chapter.

Chapter 10

In chapter 10, Ky and Regan help Eliza move in with Denny. The townhouse looks like this. 

Chapter 11

In chapter 11, Regan makes tuna melt sandwiches. Here’s a recipe. 

Ky and Regan watch their usual show, Rizzoli & Isles. Here are some scenes from the episode they are watching. 

Chapter 12

In chapter 12, Regan’s parents invite her over to have parmigiana di melanzane, an Italian eggplant dish. You can find the recipe and some yummy-looking pictures here.

Chapter 13

Chapter 13 takes place at the Romanos’ home in Lake Oswego. It’s based on a house that actually exists. For a virtual walk-through, watch this video. Nice, huh? The end of the video also gives you a good impression of the forested area behind the house, where the tree house is. 

Regan’s father made chocolate panna cotta with espresso syrup—the recipe Ky sent him in the previous chapter. Check out this decadent dessert, but don’t blame me for any cravings you might get!

Chapter 14

On their first “real” date, Regan cooks. She’s trying to make panzarotti (Italian potato croquettes) but ends up making her grandmother’s potato cake (Gattò di patate) instead. Here’s a recipe—or if you prefer a YouTube video, you can find one here. 

Here’s a photo of the sleeveless wrap dress Regan wears for their date. And this is what Ky is wearing. 

Chapter 15

This is the T-shirt Regan wears for their Netflix Night date. 

Chapter 17

In chapter 17, Regan and Ky help out in the Romanos’ new restaurant, which is based on Twigs Bistro at the Waterfront in Vancouver, Washington (not the Vancouver in Canada!), half an hour from Portland. 

Regan makes a cocktail called Rhubarb Fix for a customer, while she mixes one for Ky that is called Dark ’n’ Stormy.

Epilogue

Here’s a photo of the T-shirt Ky gets Regan as a first-day-of-school gift, and this is the T-shirt that Regan gets Ky in return. 

I hope you enjoyed Chemistry Lessons and this reading companion! 

Stay tuned for a free short story sequel that I’ll share with you soon. Feel free to sign up to my newsletter below to get it in your inbox. 

Happy reading! 

Jae

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