Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass

Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass
Release Date - December 30, 2014
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 384 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Love and Other Theories is a fast-paced twist on the coming-of-age novel . . . and the romantic comedy.

Aubrey and her best friends made a pact to play by the guys' rules when it comes to dating. They're hoping the rules will keep them from experiencing high school heartbreak--they don't realize that these rules could just as easily keep them from opening their hearts and minds. And when new boy Nathan Diggs moves to town, Aubrey starts to think that some rules are meant to be broken.

With equal parts bite and romance, topped off with an irresistibly engaging voice, Alexis Bass's debut novel is one you won't want to miss.
After reading the synopsis for Love and Other Theories I thought I was in store for a cute, maybe a little fluffy, romance infused novel. I instead got a much deeper, more complex, character driven novel that really surprised me.

This novel is an example of characters that you may not like very much. Aubrey and her friends are not perfect. They make mistakes, and part of that involves making decisions that you may not make. The beginning part of the novel, in particular, showcases this. If you are a reader who normally gives up if you don't 'like' the characters, I URGE you to stay with this one. The notion of 'likability' is not something that motivates me with characters. Do I understand their motivations, and does it fit within the character being presented to make these decisions? If the answer is yes, the author has done their job. The character does not have to do what I would do for me to read about them. I want characters that challenge me. I want ones that make me think. These characters do this in spades. There are great parts to them too. There are moments in their friendship that made me smile. Even some of the 'theories' are founded in good intentions. It's the messy stuff, the grey area, that muddles everything. People are complicated and a good author captures that.

The most striking part of this novel is that as you are reading you feel your perceptions changing. As I mentioned, I thought I was getting one novel, and was presented with something else entirely. You learn about these characters, particularly the girls. It's much deeper than I anticipated from anything presented, this included the beginning of the novel. I like that it slowly unravels, and little by little sneaks it's way in. You care about these characters and are left wondering when exactly they won you over.  This novel will bring to mind your own highschool friends because of how well these characters embody the essence of girls I knew at this age. The most heart tugging part of this novel is the moments where the friendship aspect shines through and you see the carefree, fun times they have.

The theories themselves are, obviously, a huge part of the story. My opinion on the theories bounced around as much as my opinion of the characters themselves. Ultimately what it says about love, forgiveness and what you choose to risk is not simple; kind of like love itself. The book uses a Marilyn Monroe quote to open "A wise girl kisses but doesn't love, listens but doesn't believe, and leaves before she is left." and this novel shows that perhaps the wisest girl  is one who speaks up for what she wants, and chooses to whom she gives her heart. One that determines, for herself, what matters and what is worth the risk.

If you want something that will surprise you, and sneakily make you care about all the characters, you will not want to miss this one. A solid debut from an author, that while not perfect, shows tons of promise for future work, and establishes this author as one with a voice worth watching.

1 comment:

  1. Great review Kathy! I remeber seeing this cover and thinking the same thing, that it would be another fluffy ya romance read. So glad that you pointed out that Likability is not something that everyone looks for in characters, and even if you do that you should stick with it!

    Glad you liked this one, and I might just pick it up now!


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