Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass
Release Date: December 31st 2014 by HarperTeen
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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.
What would happen if Taylor Swift and Tina Fey wrote a book? Well, this is certainly what they’ll come up with.
My initial expectation was oh, this is going to be another mindless read for me. The synopsis came off as another typical YA contemporary romance to me where there’s heartbreak and drama and a lot of stolen kisses. Colour me surprise when I finished this book at 1AM stifling sobs. This book literally handed me my expectations.
*I don’t believe in stress; I believe in living.
The whole setup of Love and Other Theories is very reminiscent of Mean Girls. You have a group of four friends: Aubrey, Shelby, Danica, and Melissa. All have completely different personalities but all are united by the so-called Theories. They believe that by following these theories, they can bypass the heartbreak and drama that come with a relationship. My first impression was these Theories are just ridiculous, but as I thought about it more and as the story progresses, it’s actually pretty clever.
The story is almost told in a diary-like fashion. It alternates between the present time and clips from the past as told by our narrator, Aubrey Housing. I thought the flow of the story was even; every chapter left me breathless, to be honest. And let me just say that once or twice I speculated that TSwift wrote this book because of some passages that sound like they came from one of her songs. Like this one:
*Something about him looks put-together. Something about him seems torn apart. Like when a rug is laid down to cover a stain but is still really out of place in the room.
Let’s talk about Aubrey Housing, for a moment. She is a smart character, one of the smartest heroines I’ve come across in YA, actually. I love reading what’s going on inside her head especially when she’s with Nathan. Oh man, here come the emotions. I JUST LOVED THEM TOGETHER. THEY ARE MEANT FOR FOREVER. UGHHH.
You might’ve already guessed, but let me just put it out there: this book doesn’t end with a happily ever after. In fact it ends with a realistic ever after (trust me, this line sounded way better in my head). And I applaud Miss Alexis for delivering such a compelling story. She’s definitely going to in my list of go-to authors.
But don’t let the ending keep you away from reading this! I think fans of Katie Cotugno will immensely appreciate this gem, but if you’re just into contemporary YA in general, then you are required to check this one out.
P.S. This review is basically me gushing over 1989, which I highly suggest listening to while or after reading this book.
**An advance copy was provided in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected my overall thoughts.