Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
Release Date: 13th June 2023
Genre: Adult, Romance
Source: Publisher, NetGalley
The many lives of theoretical physicist Elsie Hannaway have finally caught up with her. By day, she’s an adjunct professor, toiling away at grading labs and teaching thermodynamics in the hopes of landing tenure. By other day, Elsie makes up for her non-existent paycheck by offering her services as a fake girlfriend, tapping into her expertly honed people pleasing skills to embody whichever version of herself the client needs.
Honestly, it’s a pretty sweet gig—until her carefully constructed Elsie-verse comes crashing down. Because Jack Smith, the annoyingly attractive and broody older brother of her favorite client, turns out to be the cold-hearted experimental physicist who ruined her mentor’s career and undermined the reputation of theorists everywhere. And that same Jack who now sits on the hiring committee at MIT, right between Elsie and her dream job.
Elsie is prepared for an all-out war of scholarly sabotage but…those long, penetrating looks? Not having to be anything other than her true self when she’s with him? Will falling into an experimentalist’s orbit finally tempt her to put her most guarded theories on love into practice?
You know what, I was really struggling with this book in the beginning and I was even contemplating putting it down for a bit and possibly not returning. Fortunately, I persevered, and I ended up really enjoying Love, Theoretically! It’s definitely not Hazelwood’s strongest book. I think a lot of readers will struggle at the start because the romance takes so long to get going. But if you are already a fan of her works, like I am, and have faith that it will get better then I would recommend continuing on through the somewhat difficult first few chapters.
It took about 100 pages for me to really get into this book and start liking the romance. While we’re introduced to the main character and her love interest and their dynamic quite early, it took a long time for me to connect with and understand their energy. But I loved it once I got used to it!
Of course, there are the usual tropes of the guy being Just So Big and the female main character being super tiny. I was expecting this from Hazelwood at this point, and I had a good laugh with my spouse about the “oh I’m so tiny” comments because we may or may not know some real people who come out with that in real life.
Also, I’m pleased to say that I think Hazelwood has improved in the sex scene department! After THAT scene in The Love Hypothesis, I kind of lost hope, and I can’t remember really being into the love scenes in her sophomore book. Thankfully, I ended up quite enjoying the scene in this one. It’s still slightly cringey and not really my thing, but it wasn’t as bad as the scene in her first book.
All that to say, I really enjoyed this because it was a fun, light read while also tackling slightly deeper topics, but not so much that it’s going to ruin your evening.
Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin
Release Date: 22nd February 2022
Genre: Adult, Dystopia
Source: Publisher, NetGalley
Beth and Fran spend their days traveling the ravaged New England coast, hunting feral men and harvesting their organs in a gruesome effort to ensure they’ll never face the same fate.
Robbie lives by his gun and one hard-learned motto: other people aren’t safe.
After a brutal accident entwines the three of them, this found family of survivors must navigate murderous TERFs, a sociopathic billionaire bunker brat, and awkward relationship dynamics―all while outrunning packs of feral men, and their own demons.
Look at that cover! It’s the whole reason I picked this book up because it’s just excellent. Unfortunately, the book itself was not. In fact, it was pretty awful. And I’m really sad about it.
I was really into this book at the start because I was so intrigued by the premise. I think the idea itself was a good one and had a lot of potential, but ultimately I felt like the plotting throughout was very basic and jumpy. I don’t feel like the book flowed very well at all.
I also found the characters’ dialogue to be very disjointed, which leads me to believe these issues are just down to the author’s writing style being blunt and to the point rather than them being inexperienced as a writer. It just wasn’t the writing style for me.
This book is super gory, which I didn’t really have a problem with since I was expecting it (again, see the cover!) but I just didn’t like the way it was written.