*The book discussed in this post was kindly gifted by Electric Monkey.
I was ridculously excited when the new release by Laura Steven dropped through my door a couple of weeks ago. It was posed to me as a gay rom-com, that was full of fun. I admittedly haven’t finished one of Laura’s books before, not due to a dislike, it’s just not something i’ve ever felt was completely in the genre of what i liked. The Love Hypothesis changed that completely for me.
The Love Hypothesis is very much a contemporary rom-com, almost every page had me laughing out loud, with such a wonderful wity tone to the writing, it was hard not to be a little amused by the characters and exellent one liners. The story follows Caro, a self confessed genius, rule follower and adopted daughter of two gay dads. She’s hopelessly in love with someone at school, and they don’t know she exists. Caro finds any way she can to get herself noticed, even if you don’t think it will be the ‘classic’ YA way of being noticed.
The one thing i did not expect in this book was the slight twist of reality. Caro purchases some pills online that supposedly make people fall in love with you, or at least take more notice of you. Whereas i thought this might be quite subtle written in to the story-line, i was incredibly wrong with plenty of scenes of guys literally staring with their tongues out at Caro. It felt a little strange at first with such a weird alternate reality where these pills existed, but once you see it fitting in with the story i certainly found it incredibly funny, and a little more realistic than i thought.
This book covers a lot in one. Not only a questioning sexuality, but gay parents, adoption, consent and friendship difficulties. The consent aspect of this book was a huge importance to me, and honestly not something i completely thought of until it was mentioned in the story. Caro starts to panic that her taking pills means that the other person is not consenting to liking her, kissing her or pretty much anything else, as they are technically under the influence. It was a really interesting discussion of her coming to terms with it not being a consentual relationship and the big changes it made to her at that point. I also think it was really important to add in.
I absolutely adored the characters in The Love Hypothesis. Caro’s dad’s were two of the best YA parents i’ve come across for quite some time. I loved their humour and their relationship with each other. They were also easily the funniest characters in the entire novel. This then lead on to, not an indepth, but serious discussion about adoption in the story. Not many YA novels discuss adoption, and it was really nice to see a book talk quite openly about it in some ways. Caro was never treated like a child about the situation, and it was a relief from listening to the story.
Towards the end of the novel there is also a lot of positive discussion about sexuality and questioning your sexuality. Admittedly, i kind of expected the ending from about half way through the book, but it didn’t stop me smiling ridiculously when it happened. The comments about sexuality were so natural, never discussed as a negative and no-one had to ‘come out’ during the course of the book, and honestly that was just incredibly refreshing to read.
Overall, i think i’m addicted to Laura’s writing. I cannot wait to jump in to her previous books now. The Love Hypothesis made me fall completely in love with her characters and her story arcs. It was just so much fun, so funny and discussed the right amount of important topics to make it a worth-while, knowledgable read.