Love & Other Theories
HarperTeen, imprint of HarperCollins 2015
376 pp. $17.99
Love/Friendship, Relationships/High School Culture
Aubrey, Shelby, Danica, and Melissa—last-semester seniors—survive high school relationships unscathed because they create the “theories.” They understand how to leave, not be left; not to demand or expect; to give less if they want more. They hold the power, feeling superior to female peers and to high school guys of no depth or commitment. Until this semester, Aubrey focused on school over relationships and having a “life.” Holding an acceptance to Barron University frees her to join the party scene with her best friends. Enter newcomer Nathan Diggs; will the “theories” protect Aubrey and her friendships?
On the surface, Love & Other Theories presents self-centered, arrogant, and risky young women. Are the “theories” solely for their benefit? Is their cruelty to others who don’t “get” the theories justified? Bass creates in Aubrey a complex narrator who raises valid questions, but often fails to see beyond her needs.
Reviewed by Mary Warner
San José State University
San Jose, CA