Author: Alexis Bass
Synopsis: If you want more, you have to give less. That’s the secret to dating in high school. By giving as little as they expect to get in return, seventeen-year-old Aubrey Housing and her three best friends have made it to the second semester of their senior year heartbreak-free. And it’s all thanks to a few simple rules: don’t commit, don’t be needy, and don’t give away your heart.
So when smoking-hot Nathan Diggs transfers to Lincoln High, it shouldn’t be a big deal. At least that’s what Aubrey tells herself. But Nathan’s new-boy charm, his kindness, and his disarming honesty throw Aubrey off her game and put her in danger of breaking the most important rule of all: Don’t fall in love.
Huge thank you to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for this ARC!
Well, it’s been awhile since I read a book that I vehemently did not like, but here you have it. Love and Other Theories is a book I feel that should have been up my alley as someone who loves pretty-ugly people, but this book does pretty-ugly pretty darn poorly.
Truthfully, there wasn’t a single character that I liked in this book. Aubrey was just horrible to people and without good reason most of the time. She was judgemental, she slut-shamed despite doing similar things herself, and while she claimed to be anti-relationship (which I am cool with and intrigued by considering I’m a married woman), even that angle was just frustrating to deal with. I don’t mind an unlikeable protagonist if there’s good reason for what they are doing, I dislike it when there seems to be no purpose for it. Plus the female attitude towards men being stupid and only wanting sex — I’m sorry, but why is this still a thing that needs to be brought up? Yes, men in high school are immature, but guess what? So are girls! I mean, it’s irritating that this mentality still has to be brought up and in this book it’s written in such a degrading way. Plus the girls in this book talk down to the men in the story but then do stupid things with them! I’m sorry, I have no sympathy for that kind of behaviour.
Plus this book has such a huge focus on partying, drinking, betraying your friends, which I’m fine with depending on the context of the book (something like Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, it works perfectly) but it felt like there was so little consequence to what was being done by these characters, to the point where you expected there to be larger consequences. You know, I think what frustrated me the most is that Aubrey leads Nathan (he we assume is her crush throughout the story, she’d tell you it’s something different) and to the point where she then drops him, and then takes awhile to feel bad about it. REALLY? REALLY? I’m sorry but no, I just can’t buy into that. I can’t also buy into the idea that the person being lead on is OKAY with it for the most part. That them “being together” it just didn’t feel fully developed considering all the dramatic crap before.
This book is all dramarama, but it’s not even the fun kind of dramarama to read about. There’s no substance here and the characters are so hollow that it felt impossible to make any sort of connection. As I got to know everyone in the story, the more I had no desire to learn more (except, ha ha, you do). Nathan was the only character I tolerated and in the end even he makes enough stupid decisions that I found myself checking out of the book pretty damn quickly. The mentality this book presents is one I just cannot agree with. I finished the book, I tried to get on it’s wavelength and I just found myself more angry as I read on. I just cannot recommend Love and Other Theories with any sort of endorsement because remembering it just makes my blood boil.