Love & Other Theories

384p. ebook available. HarperCollins/HarperCollins. Dec. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062275325.
Gr 9 Up—High school relationships aren't meant to last forever. So says Aubrey Housing and her three closest friends: Melissa, Danica, and ringleader Shelby. They've navigated high school living by their "girl code," which doesn't allow for relationships, jealousy, or hurt. When they are done with a guy, they move on, sometimes employing an "exit strategy" should he get too clingy. Any girl who doesn't live by these theories, like ex-friend Chiffon, is to be ridiculed and belittled or pitied. But when Nathan Diggs shows up in Aubrey's senior drama class, it sets into motion a chain of events that causes Aubrey to question why she was living by the code in the first place. She might just be falling in love and trying her hardest not to be. And when other girls, even Shelby, move in on Nathan, Aubrey finds it hard not to become the jealous girlfriend she's sworn she'd never be. While this is written in a style similar to Deb Caletti or Sarah Dessen, there's a little too much introspection. Also, the story feels far too long, which drags down the action. Plenty of drinking, sex, and profanity are met with a moral in the end, but it's too late to save the relationship, and the ending seems forced.—Kelly Jo Lasher, Middle Township High School, Cape May Court House, NJ
Aubrey and her friends have many rules about treating high school relationships casually, including advocating sex without commitment or expectation. But when Aubrey falls for new guy Nathan, the rules become difficult. This surprisingly deep look at the complicated dynamics of love and friendship doesn't shy away from flawed characters, questionable choices, or untidy endings.

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