Sunday, June 16, 2013

Book Review: The Avery Shaw Experiment

When Avery Shaw’s heart is shattered by her life-long best friend, she chooses to deal with it the only way she knows how—scientifically. 

The state science fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic of her experiment. She’s going to find the cure. By forcing herself to experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests, she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself ready to love again. But she can’t do this experiment alone, and her partner (ex partner!) is the one who broke her heart.

Avery finds the solution to her troubles in the form of Aiden’s older brother Grayson. The gorgeous womanizer is about to be kicked off the school basketball team for failing physics. He’s in need of a good tutor and some serious extra credit. But when Avery recruits the lovable Grayson to be her “objective outside observer,” she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for, because Grayson has a theory of his own: Avery doesn’t need to grieve. She needs to live. And if there’s one thing Grayson Kennedy is good at, it’s living life to the fullest. Quoted from Goodreads


This book was exactly what I've been craving.  Seriously.  I'm actually pretty picky about contemporary books.  Put a little fantasy or paranormal creatures in a story, maybe a hint of action, dystopia, or scifi, even alternate history, and I'm much easier to please.  The thing is, I don't like books about cancer or teen pregnancy.  It's not that they aren't valid issues and they should be explored.  They can help so many people, but I read to escape and to be entertained.  If I want deep literature, I go to the tried and true classics  that have stood the test of time, not a book dealing with the death of her father. Again, valid issue, and I'm sure it's excellent and moving, etc.  It's just not for me.  This book, however, is exactly what I'm looking for in rom-com YA.  

What I like about this book is it is cute, sweet, and funny.  I love the banter between Grayson, Avery, and some of Avery's nerd friends (her best friend Libby was kind of hilarious).  I like how the girls in the school are nice.  It's not that there aren't mean girls, but Grayson makes sure Avery avoids them.  The parents were totally realistic.  They were involved in their kids lives, and though not perfect, they were trying. There's also very little angst in this book. That sounds a little weird since Avery suffers from anxiety and this is a high school book, after all, but it was really refreshing. 

I'll be honest, the biggest selling point is probably Grayson.  He's just an adorable character and so sweet to Avery. He's the perfect counterpart to Avery's anxiety-riddled, science-geek persona.  While this book focuses on Avery's growth and broken heart, Grayson changes just as much as she does.  He's a great character, and the book shows why they are absolutely perfect for each other as their relationship develops.

I also really loved the duel POV.  Most books like this are just from the girl's POV, so it's refreshing to see things from a guys perspective.  Plus the author had a lot of fun with Grayson's introduction into Avery's more nerdy social circle.  It also added character to the book switching between the two.  Both their voices were distinct, so you never wondered who was actually telling the story.

All in all, this is a light romantic comedy that I absolutely adored.  Yes, with the exception of the whole experiment angle it's a story that's been done before, but that didn't lessen my enjoyment of it at all. The relationship never moved too fast, but developed realistically.  It made me laugh and kept a grin on my face the whole time.  Sure there were awkward moments and sad parts, but it was, over all, a happy book, and I loved that.  Really it's a solid 4 stars for me, and has guaranteed that I'll be keeping track of what Kelly Oram writes from now on.

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