I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Love & Other Theories by Alexis Bass
Published by HarperTeen on December 31, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Dating & Sex, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
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.
~ This was not love at first sentence. In fact, I was worried that this was going to be a dnf for me. The writing was good, and the pace fast, so I kept on reading until I had settled into the story.
~ The reason that I almost dnfed the book was because it’s a depressing look at dating in high school, and what girls think they have to do survive boys.
~ Aubrey and her friends are jaded, with a capital J. Maybe the entire word in caps, I don’t know, but they think they’ve figured out the secret to dating in high school. The point doesn’t seem to be that you date someone you’re interested in, only that you date a lot, and dump early. Don’t be a girlfriend, and don’t be possessive. So if the boy you dated moves on with one of your besties, you’re supposed to wish them luck. Because you’ve evolved. Or some shiz like that.
~ But then Aubrey meets a boy who actually seems pretty decent. And kind of perfect for her. And the rules help catch him, and keep him, but suddenly Aubrey is having trouble sharing new boy Nathan.
~ Do the first half of the book depressed me, saddened me, and at time, pissed me off. Aubrey and her friends judge every girl who isn’t as evolved as they are (this includes any girl that would actually try to make a guy her boyfriend) and write boys off as emotional wastelands, deciding that no teenage boy will be faithful. Which, okay, might be true of a certain kind of high school boy, but when I went to school (in the dark ages and all), plenty of boys were happy to be monogamous. Sure, there were the players, but they weren’t all that bad. I just hated all the stereotyping.
~ But slowly, the book won me over. Aubrey’s relationship with not-really-but-sort-of-ex Trip was complicated and sweet, loved the time she spent with him and his family (except his older brother, who is an asshat of the first order). I began to feel sorry for Aubrey, because I knew that no matter how tough she and Shelby were trying to be, that heartbreak was on the horizon. You can’t order your emotions around, those damn things feel how they wanna feel.
~ There was even a surprise that shocked me so much, I had to take a moment. That’s pretty rare in a YA contemp novel, but it was the sad cherry on top of a gloomy sundae.
~ And yes, this is definitely one of those books that you’re asking where the hell the parents are, because these kids party a lot. Well, not Aubrey quite as much, but jeez.
~ A few things happen that seem ripped out of the headlines. It constantly surprises me how stupid teenagers are. Seriously, it surprised me even when I was a teenager. All that youth, mixed with all those hormones, and then teens feel like they are the smartest people on the planet… except most don’t seem to know that it’s a felony to have a naked picture of a minor. However mind boggling I personally found this, I also unfortunately believe 100% that there are still plenty of teen morons out there who have no clue about the actually freaking laws.
~ Overall, this book made me feel a lot of emotions. Shelby with her misogynistic rules, Aubrey, Melissa and Danica following her lead faithfully, Nathan and Trip, and all the other guys, just being jerks and the girls just accepting that that’s the way it has to be. I think though, at the end, the main characters figured out more about themselves and others. I think this is a book that could be easily debated and discussed, I’m still personally having a lot of mixed reactions to it.
Aubrey- our main character, uses Shelby’s theory to snag new boy Nathan, but doesn’t intend to keep him.
Shelby- Aubrey’s bff and golden girl, she leads the group of friends.
Melissa and Danica- one of them is a virgin, and the other is not, but I can’t remember which is which, and I forgot to write it down in my notes. They were basically interchangeable.
Chiffon- no, I don’t know what her fictional parents were thinking when they named her that, but she used to be friends with Aubrey and Shelby, but she got excommunicated.
Nathan- cute nerdy new boy, tries to connect with Aubrey, but he’s got issues too.
Trip- College freshman whom Aubrey hooked up with last year, interested now in frienship… or something.
Zane- Trip’s older brother, Chiffon’s on again/off again flame, and baby daddy to a cute little boy.
Earl- the father of Trip and Zane, all three are referred to as the Chapman Boys.
Patrick, Robert, Sam- other boys in the girl’s orbit.
Leila- Patrick’s on again/off again flame. He strays but always comes back. For some reason, she allows this.
Jamie- the baby momma to Zane’s son. Their relationship can be summed up by any one of MTV’s Teen Mom seasons. Complicated, ugly and tenuous.
The night that Aubrey loses her shiz and calls Trip for help, only to have an unexpected someone come to her rescue.
Stop the Clock:
If you’re looking for a more raw contemporary YA book, then this is for you. If you’re looking for a light hearted YA contemporary romance, then no, put down the book now. Even most of the things I ended up liking about this book made me sad, which can make for a good read and by the end I was emotionally invested. I don’t know if I would have read this book if I’d known that it wasn’t a contemporary romance, but I’m glad I stuck with it. I am so, so glad I don’t have to be a teenager in today’s world.
Love & Other Theories gets a Midnight Book rating of: