Friday, April 24, 2015

Love & Other Theories, by Alexis Bass

Aubrey and her friends used to suffer from jealousies and snarky cat fights with other girls.  This was all before they evolved and figured out that guys in high school just don’t matter.  The relationships are too short and it’s not like the guys felt any particular loyalty, so why should they?  So, the girls developed the “theories” and learned to take hooking up and “detaching” with a grain of salt.

But when Aubrey meets Nathan, things change for her.  The relationship matters and her feelings are real.  Realizing that that means calling into question the theories, she initially hides and denies the feelings.  But ultimately, she comes to realize what a poor defense the theories have been for her and her friends.

It’s easy to marginalize this story as chick-lit.  It’s just another relationship book about girls angsting about guys.  And there is certainly nothing new about a girl who thinks she’s figured out everything there is to know about love and then being proved wrong by the Right Guy.  Yet, there is something quite enticing about the depth and detail of the relationships depicted here.  The dramas, while adolescent and petty, are real and authentic.  Bass handles her subjects with respect and does a good job of showing why so much of this is actually inevitable.  In a word, she understands the girls and is sympathetic to their plight.

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