I really love Kelly Oram’s writing. It’s like she can look in my brain, see what type of book I want to read, and then magically create the perfect chI really love Kelly Oram’s writing. It’s like she can look in my brain, see what type of book I want to read, and then magically create the perfect characters to go along with the brilliant plot of my dream book. It’s amazing, honestly. It really is. I’ve read The Avery Shaw Experiment twice. I wanted to write a review for it right away, but I couldn’t gather my thoughts and properly translate them into a review. I’m going to try to do that now, though.
The story: Avery Shaw has grown up as half of a duo. She and her (male) best friend, Aiden, were practically raised together and don’t really know how to be separate people. On New Year’s Eve, Aiden drops a bomb (more like eight of them) and tells Avery that he wants some space to do his own thing (meaning he has also bailed on Avery for their science fair project). Avery, being head over heels in love with Aiden, is absolutely devastated to hear this and even more heartbroken to learn Aiden has a secret girlfriend.
Enter Grayson Kennedy, sudden hero to Avery and older brother to Aiden. Grayson was there for Avery during her first moments of heartbreak and in being so, has seen a side of her he never knew existed. ("When a girl lets you be the one to hold her as her entire world falls apart, even though you're ass naked, it changes the way you see her.") She’s always been a little sister to him and, despite suddenly seeing her as NOT a little sister, he wants nothing more than to help her through her heartbreak.
…Which now leads us to the main point of the story. Avery Shaw decides her science fair experiment will be testing her theory that by going through the seven stages of grief, she will be able to cure her broken heart. Grayson, needing the extra credit, and Avery, needing the science fair partner, join forces in this experiment.
This was Oram's first novel from both male and female perspectives and I feel like she really succeeded in her endeavor. The plot was perfect for the dual perspectives because of the tie-in of the science experiment. Avery is experiencing the heartbreak and stages of grief first hand and Grayson is helping her transform and grow throughout the whole experience. So seeing the story from both sides also adds to the whole scientific aspect of the plot as well.
The characters in The Avery Shaw Experiment were lovable and well-developed for such a fun read. Avery was cute and vulnerable, but not in an annoyingly helpless way that some female characters tend to be. She suffers from an anxiety disorder and with the addition of her geek factor, she’s awkward and needy without being an embarrassment to the female gender. Which is perfect, because Grayson is a dream come true with his tendencies to swoop in and rescue Avery from total meltdown. He’s the whole package—blond hair, blue eyes, sports star, and armed with charm 24/7. And on top of that, he’s turning over his girl-hopping ways as he becomes smitten with Avery.
So really, I think one of the ways in which this book is most successful is that The Avery Shaw Experiment takes clichéd plot elements and character qualities and uses them in such a way that the story is original and the characters are entirely new, not just recycled from dozens of other novels and used in the same way with different names as per usual.
This isn’t a book to read for an hour of thought provocation post completion. But it’s fun without lacking any depth. It’s a new spin on the geek/jock mesh that is so popular in teen media. The Avery Shaw Experiment has become one of my go-to reads for whenever I want that warm-fuzzy feeling I love so much! ...more