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Love and Other Theories

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If you want more, you have to give less.

That’s the secret to dating in high school. By giving as little as they expect to get in return, seventeen-year-old Aubrey Housing and her three best friends have made it to the second semester of their senior year heartbreak-free. And it’s all thanks to a few simple rules: don’t commit, don’t be needy, and don’t give away your heart.

So when smoking-hot Nathan Diggs transfers to Lincoln High, it shouldn’t be a big deal. At least that’s what Aubrey tells herself. But Nathan’s new-boy charm, his kindness, and his disarming honesty throw Aubrey off her game and put her in danger of breaking the most important rule of all: Don’t fall in love.

376 pages

First published December 30, 2014

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About the author

Alexis Bass

4 books176 followers
Alexis Bass grew up in Washington, went to college in Arizona, and spent her early twenties in Seattle. She currently lives in Northern California with Dylan McKay, her gorgeous and rambunctious golden retriever. She loves good fashion and good TV as much as a good book, and is a huge advocate of the three C’s: coffee, chocolate, and cheese. LOVE AND OTHER THEORIES is her first novel.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 364 reviews
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews837 followers
December 30, 2014
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Love & Other Theories by Alexis Bass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
Rating: 1 star
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

Love and Other Theories is a fast-paced twist on the coming-of-age novel . . . and the romantic comedy.

Aubrey and her best friends made a pact to play by the guys' rules when it comes to dating. They're hoping the rules will keep them from experiencing high school heartbreak--they don't realize that these rules could just as easily keep them from opening their hearts and minds. And when new boy Nathan Diggs moves to town, Aubrey starts to think that some rules are meant to be broken.

With equal parts bite and romance, topped off with an irresistibly engaging voice, Alexis Bass's debut novel is one you won't want to miss.

What I Liked:

No. Absolutely nothing. *shudders*

What I Did Not Like:

There could be spoilers in this review. There might not be. I just know that this book pissed me off, so I might say too much specifically. You are warned. Here we go.

I really tried with this book. I wanted to DNF at so many points, but I did indeed finish the book. But I struggled so much. I struggle with many contemporary novels, but I wanted to give this one a shot. I participated in the cover reveal for the book, so I was more open to reading this contemporary novel than other winter contemporary novels. Gosh, I kind of regret that logic.

Aubrey and her friends are like the Plastics in Mean Girls. Literally, they are worst, more horrible girls I have ever met. They ostracized one of their friends years ago because a boy liked THAT friend, and not Shelby, who liked that boy. Seriously?! What is that!?

And it gets worse. The girls have theories, rules that govern how they act around boys and what they do, and basically, how to have "fun" and not get serious with boys. Enter new boy Nathan, a perfectly good person, whom Aubrey ruins. She ruins him, she turns him into an awful person. They start hooking up the first day of meeting each other, and she pushes him, even though he ISN'T LIKE THAT.

I hate Aubrey (and her friends) so much. They are the cruel b****es in high school (and college) that everyone hates, because they're fake and pretty and cruel and have sex/hook up with everyone and act like it doesn't matter.

Let's be clear about something - I'm a nineteen-year-old sophomore in college. I know allllllll about the hook-up culture that dictates the young adult world these days. I HATE IT. I hate how loose people are with sex and intimacy, and this book completely pissed me off, for that reason.

Like, here is something (spoiler ahead): Nathan and Aubrey have been hooking up for weeks, but then all of a sudden, they have a disconnect, and Nathan and Shelby start hooking up. Nathan, who acts like Aubrey hung the moon, and Shelby, Aubrey's best friend. WHAT?! HOW?! WHY?! Why would either of them do that?! If either of them had any respect for Aubrey, they wouldn't do that.

Not that I feel bad for Aubrey. She keeps going back to her ex-boyfriend/ex-f*** buddy, Trip Chapman. It's so pathetic. That girl does not have a spine, does not know how to say no.

Gosh, the amount of stupid decisions and stupid girls and fakeness and all-around stupidity that happened in this book almost blew my mind. Are girls in real life this DUMB?! Do they really throw themselves at any and all of the males like that?! Again, this reminds me of Mean Girls, except a hundred times more cruel, and we're following the perspectives of the Plastics, the girls we hate.

And we're supposed to root for them - Aubrey/Shelby/the rest of the girls. Um, no. The only girl I might have sympathized with was Melissa, because she was virtuous and innocent and intelligent, but even her decisions were questionable, towards the end of the book.

This book seemed to be one long party. Literally that is ALL that Aubrey and her friends do - hop from one party to another, every night. And of course, Aubrey and Nathan hook up basically every night. Look, I'm sorry (except not), but that is not appealing to me. I don't care if "normal" high schoolers do that - when I was in high school (just two years ago), that was NOT how I did things.

Honestly, if Aubrey or Shelby or any of the girls (or guys) in this book were real, I would hate them so much. I hate them in the book, but I would hate them so much in real life. And it's really hard to like a book when you straight-up ABHOR the characters. I would want to punch them all. Seriously. We would not get along.

The ending is mildly satisfying. I mean, not really, but kind of. I still hate everyone. But the ending is excellent, because I hate everyone, and in the end, there is no everyone. If that makes sense.

Also, for the record? I have so many problems with the summary. "Fast-paced"? Yeah right. This book went at a turtle's pace. "...you won't want to miss." - you can miss this one. Trust me.

Okay, no more, I think you all get what I'm saying.

Would I Recommend It:

Ha. No. Don't waste your time, energy, sleep, etc. Why in the world did I think that this book would be a good one. WHY.


1 star. No stars. This one gets nothing from me. Gosh, what an awful book.
Profile Image for Jen Malone.
Author 16 books517 followers
August 24, 2014
I so love this quote:

"According to Shelby, the longer you know someone, the more time they have to let you down. But sometimes, the longer you know someone, the more time they have to surprise you."
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,014 reviews1,050 followers
June 29, 2020
3.5 stars

A bold, a bit cruel but very honest and liberated take on a girl’s experience on young love and the brutal theories and rules these high school girls make to save face, to be in control and to avoid getting hurt when it comes to boys. Never fall in love, don’t allow thyself to be called a girlfriend because girlfriend leads to goodbye and never let a boy see through one’s emotions are just some of these theories these girls legislated among themselves.

The irony is how these girls became the very victims of their own theories because let’s face it, humans, especially girls are such emotional beings and they do fall in love especially when the guy shows attributes deserving of love. So inevitably, these girls find themselves trapped in their own snare and hurt far worse than if they would have just owned up to how they truly feel. Instead, their situations only became messier than necessary.

I do like how the story ended with Aubrey, the main character leaving high school with almost a clean slate and learning early in her life to fight for the things she really wants and that girl code is supposed to exist especially among best friends. No rules or theories should make it okay to share and toss around a guy like a game and vice-versa.

This is definitely not your typical romance with a happily-ever-after and I definitely do not approve of the things these young people did. In fact, if I were still in high school I would avoid these girls like the plague but the story is very realistic and quite eye-opening and it’s why I liked it.

If anyone asks me, my rules are simple and it’s definitely what I’ll impose on my baby when he grows up. “Don’t date, don’t flirt, don’t kiss and especially don’t do the deed unless you’re done with college and has a stable and good paying job.” Lol!
589 reviews1,031 followers
December 7, 2014
Alas, no. The romance was plain bad and the MC and her friends were so mean. Too much girl on girl hate for me. DNF at 40% (but I did jump to the last 3 chapters to see how everything ended--I was suprised that it ended that way, and I can see why some people said they cried).
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
2,981 reviews362 followers
December 18, 2014
Love and Other Theories was one of my most anticipated YA contemporary reads for December and because of that I feel I need to be completely honest with this review.

While I enjoyed this read, it left me feeling sad and a little bit angry. Sad for girls who feel they need to play games and have a misconstrued idea about what love means and sad for those boys that give them those ideas and thoughts.

To be honest, I am still not exactly sure if I loved Aubrey and her friends but I do know that I loved Nathan and my heart broke for him numerous times throughout the story.

I don't think I quite have all my thoughts and feelings together over whether I liked this story or hated it.

Like I said earlier, there were parts that made me angry and parts that made me sad and very little left me smiling.

The writing was fabulous but the messages weren't always great and the girl's attitude and ideas (their theories) about dating, boys, and falling in love were worse. I wanted to shake some of them and help open their eyes to the boys that weren't worth the time and especially, to the boys that were.

I didn't like that Brey went along with things that she shouldn't have. That she should have followed her heart so many times and didn't and because of it, hurt a lot of others along the way.

I didn't like that this didn't end on an upbeat and happy note and...well. I really don't even now how to express how much it is possible to love a book and hate it at the same time, but there you have it. I loved this and I hated it but because of that, I still have no idea how to rate it.

How do you rate something that you both loved because of the wonderful writing and because Brey did grow up and she did change, but hated because it was so awful seeing what these girls were doing to themselves and others around them?

I honestly still don't know but I will say this, the writing was fabulous and the messages while sometimes sad, weren't all bad, they were and are a very realistic part of what it is like growing up, a huge part of how you find out what you want, what you need, in life, so for that this deserves four stars.
Profile Image for Debby.
583 reviews540 followers
April 18, 2021
1 star

*sigh* I knew that I was taking a risk in picking up Love and Other Theories. See, it sounded like it could be AWFUL, but it could also be the exact kind of banterfluff I love. Because, I mean, what's more banterfluffy than a main character who stubbornly refuses to get into a real relationship? I mean, sex positivity and independence YES, but then to make it bantery and cute, an amazing guy could come in and convince her to take the plunge and it could be ALL OF THE ADORBS. Well. It was not. It was absolutely not.

The thing that immediately got to me in this book is that I freaking hate the characters. I mean, I suppose I'm meant to - because there is a clear and necessary character growth arc. But they're awfulllllll. The main character, Aubrey, is part of this clique of girls who have decided that relationships are the worst. High school boys are unevolved and will just cheat on you and break your heart - so don't get into these relationships and just have fun, going around kissing guys when you feel like it and whatever with no defined relationship. And that, in theory, is fine. The problem is that these girls go around and JUDGE everyone else who DOES choose to be in a committed relationship. They literally call those girls "unevolved" and stupid - because they're just going to get their hearts broken, and why don't they learn??? Fuck you girls. Fuck you. Choose your lifestyle - fine - but don't start being massive bitches to everyone who decides to go another way. The problem is that they are such a clique - they're constantly involved in groupthink. Aubrey narrates as, "We do this. We do that. We think this," and that just makes me CRINGE.

They are, in fact, bullies. They used to be friends with Chiffon, but one of the girls had a crush on some dude for a long time, and he ended up liking Chiffon better. Chiffon didn't even freaking DO anything with him, but him asking to hang out with her over the summer was grounds for severing their friendship for always and then going around calling her the worst things, claiming to everyone that she has STDs, pranking her to humiliate her... the list goes on. I was disgusted. The fallout with Chiffon is actually what started their theories about love, to never take it seriously or get emotionally involved. To always choose their friends above the guys. But the extent to which they take these theories is clearly flawed. And I mean, you freaking hypocrites! Why didn't the same go for Chiffon??? She didn't even agree to anything with that guy and you already dumped her and started bullying her!

I started getting a bit queasy thinking about these theories actually, although - yes - sex positivity and independence are good things. But the way that these girls behave, constantly hooking up with everyone, is also creating an image that guys should just take advantage of that. They delude themselves that they don't get hurt because they aren't emotionally involved, but they so obviously are. The prime example there is Aubrey and Nathan. Nathan comes to town as the golden boy and they're instantly smitten with each other. They hook up, but after a while Nathan gets disillusioned that Aubrey won't commit to him, and though he was clearly in love with her, . The. Fucking. Rage. I didn't even ship him and Aubrey, because frankly, it was instalove pretending it wasn't. Aubrey so clearly did have feelings for him but denies it - but not in a cute way, in an obvious and cliché way. But here was a good guy who was clearly all about committed relationships, and because of these girls promoting their hook up culture and claiming that anyone who does get into a relationship is LAME and UNEVOLVED, he changes - for the worse in my opinion. He becomes the douchey high school guy that they claim every guy is, which was what necessitated the theories in the first place. This is how these guys are made. And then Aubrey is heartbroken but HAS to put on a brave face because of course she wasn't emotionally involved - if she was, she'd be losing points for "Team Girl". So yeah, she's fine with it. Nathan was fair game for anyone.

Obviously this doesn't hold up. And fair enough, the character growth is there as Aubrey begins to see that the theories are crap and more damaging than anything, because they force her to lie about and deny her feelings. But by this point, I didn't care anymore. I disliked the characters. There was no romance to cheer for anymore. (I mean, there was one possibly good ship but Aubrey shuts that down for some reason.) Friendships fell apart and I thought GOOD RIDDANCE. But the growth was so obvious. I knew what revelations Aubrey would have. I knew it. It took a long time to get there, and then it was just thoroughly unsurprising and obvious. It never got me to care. She grew as a person? Good for her. Moving on.

Summing Up:

With a shit ton of unlikable and hypocritical bitchy characters, Love and Other Theories made me facepalm way more than once. It was actually painful to read - even if that pain was self-inflicted. It's not even funny, like Mean Girls or something! That blurb claiming it's a comedy is a LIE. This story had potential. I would have loved to see a close group of friends celebrating their freedom and flirting with guys whenever they pleased, until one day, one of them realizes a great guy is worth settling down for. Instead they are the most judgmental bullying bitches creating an absolutely toxic high school hook up and party culture and I do not care for any of it. They grew from it, at least a little, but I give zero fucks. I'd already made it to the rage phase and there was no going back.

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

Absolutely no one.

*Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the contents of the review.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,684 reviews1,266 followers
January 17, 2021
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

I’m crying, my kindle battery is dead, I’ve eaten a whole packet of jaffa cakes, and I’m slightly tipsy, and all because of this book!

I really liked the characters in this book. Aubrey was such a normal girl, with the normal sort of feelings that girls have, and Nathan was super sweet. How this pair went so wrong I don’t know, but it was seriously sad.

The storyline in this was pretty gripping, while it was in part about the ‘rules’ that Aubrey and her friends were supposed to follow, it was also a love story, and Aubrey and Nathan just seemed so right for each other! I spent the whole book hoping and praying that love would win through, and that this pair would admit that they were right for one another, but after a while it seemed evident that Aubrey wouldn’t be the only one with a broken heart at the end of this story.

The romance in this was super sweet while it was happening, and absolutely crushingly heart-breaking when it wasn’t. Every bump in the road that this pair faced I felt so deeply, and I could not put this book down without knowing what would happen! You know one of those books where what is happening is so painful that you can’t breathe? That’s how this book made me feel, and I was so, so upset as the storyline developed and things went wrong for Aubrey and Nathan.

The ending to this was really sad, and even though Aubrey was looking on the bright side, I just felt so sad! I totally felt like I was going through the events in this story with the characters, and I really felt the heartbreak with poor Aubrey. I really hate that this is the ending for these two – I want more!
Overall; heart-breaking YA contemporary romance,
8.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Nicole.
630 reviews263 followers
December 27, 2014
P.S.: Apologize for the allovertheplace review. It’s hard getting my thought together!

I’m going to be 100% honest–I wasn’t expecting to love this one. It sounded a bit corny with the theory of Don’t Fall in Love. The characters, even from the synopsis, struck me as the kinds of characters who grow from being bitches to being human, and I’m not always a fan of those stories. And Love and Other Theories honestly wasn’t my favorite at first…but oh man. It was amazing and stunning and gorgeous and so much more complex than I could even imagine.

I started out as not-a-huge-fan. The main character and all her friends were undoubtedly bitchy and stand-offish and cruel. I wasn’t in love with the way time passed in the story and how we were left hanging so much at the end of the chapter. The romance with Nathan seemed a bit rushed…and then I read more and I realized how complex each of Aubrey’s friends were. They were cruel and they were terrible and their skepticism of love was crushing, but so were they. They were so complex under their layers of fun and drinking and passing guys around and it was just…heartbreaking. Bass’s writing ended up being utterly unique in the way it was written and I just fell in love with that. And Nathan? Nathan broke my heart more times than I could count.

I, honestly, didn’t even notice when I started to love this book. It was such a small thing–I was close to DNFing it, then realized that it’d become decent…so I might as well continue reading. And then I read and I read and I fell in utter love. The romance in this is slow building and heart racing. We know they fall in love and from what it looks like, it’s almost instant–the fact that he’s so “different”. But there’s so much more than that and you can practically feel Nathan and Aubrey’s emotions leaping off the page into you. You feel a swell of adoration, then a sudden burst of despair, and everything all over again. View Spoiler »

Aubrey. Aubrey was such a fantastic voice throughout the story. We see her breaking down to Nathan. We see her starting to love him and break away from her theories. We see Nathan coming out of his shell. They break each others’ hearts and fix them all over again and honestly, I can’t say more than that because everything that happens are just so intertwined with each other it’s hard not to spoil anything. But there were so many moments where I swear my heart stopped and moments where I screamed into my pillow in frustration and there were definitely moments where tears managed to leak out of my eyes. The story inside is so much…I don’t want to say darker than I expected, but it was different from what I expected. It was compelling and gorgeous and it’s so hard not to just sing praises for this book because of how much I absolutely adored it. It’s not a book with happy endings, but it’s not a book about tragedies and disasters–it’s just about loving and loves and the things that hurt us and the things that help.

Love and Other Theories is a romance and it isn’t. It’s a book about falling in and out of love once, twice, maybe even three times. It’s about rebounds and second chances and maybe even third chances. First loves, last loves, new chances, and old mistakes–behind the pretense of what seems like maybe a light hearted read, there’s a simply mind-blowingly, breathtakingly, utterly stunning novel that broke my heart over and over. One of my absolute favorites of the year I don’t think this review can even express how much I adored this book and how many emotions these complicated characters handed over to me.
Profile Image for Yoda.
569 reviews110 followers
April 23, 2016
I'm not really sure how I feel about this one. I think I will have to let it sink it for a bit before I can decide whether its a really good book or a really bad one that has good moments.
Profile Image for Ashley.
667 reviews717 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
September 11, 2014
Nose Graze — Book reviews & blogging tips

I'm not a party girl, I don't drink, and I love relationships (even in high school). Going into Love and Other Theories I knew it was going to be anti-relationship, and I was okay with that. I was mostly interested in Aubrey's transformation and finally falling in love. But what I didn't expect was anti-relationship attitude COMBINED with practically every other thing I hate in high school (partying, drinking, backstabbing, lying...). And, I didn't expect that all of this would still be there at 42%.

I'm just going to throw these quotes out there go give you a sense of the book's vibe and the characters' attitudes:

If you want more, you have to give less.

The Girlfriend Stigma (TGS): a scientific term describing the disgrace girls face from guys when the girls appear to want to hold the title of girlfriend.
TGS. There isn't anything more pathetic.

Say "girlfriend" and boys say "good-bye."

We're doing what people do when they're bored on Saturday nights. We're wandering the mall drinking cherry Slurpees mixed with vodka and waiting for something to miraculously entertain us.

I finally stopped reading because I was sick of the parties and the drinking. I was sick of Aubrey. I was sick of how she never explicitly told Nathan she was anti-relationship. She kind of led him on and I REALLY don't like that. If a guy does that to a girl, he's a scumbag. Why is it okay for girls to do it to guys? If she's anti-relationship—fine—that's her business. But she becomes a bitch if she acts like a girlfriend (going on dates, having sex, texting) but doesn't come up and say, "I'm only interested in sex or a short term 'hang out' thing".

I hated how Aubrey and her friends had planned escapes from relationships. They had a word for it (like 'escape plan' or 'out' or 'fail safe' or something else) but I forget. But the idea was this: when they got tired of 'hanging out' with a guy, they had to end it. But if the guy was clingy and didn't want to end it, they had to make it end. This usually involved staging the girl with another guy while the first guy was watching (so he thinks she's cheating and gets his heart broken). UGH! Not cool, girls.

Then, I got sick of Aubrey putting up with Trip, the guy she lost her virginity to several months before. Trip asks her to "help him study". Which translates to:

[Trip is] wearing a sly smile. He's waiting for it to hit me that he graduated high school not because he finished his homework and studied hard, but because he got girls to do his homework and study for him. By study, of course, I mean provide him with the answers.

So Trip asks Audrey to help him study, she thinks the above paragraph, then agrees to help him. I don't care if she's actually going to try to make him study for not... The guy is a right dick face! Screw him. Let him fail out of college. He might actually deserve it.

At this point I stopped reading

I had to deal with all this drama and I was sick of it. Yes, Nathan was cute and sweet. But Audrey and Nathan hadn't had a single REAL conversation yet, even at 42%. Nathan may have thought they did, but at least Audrey's side wasn't exactly real. I felt like she was two-facing him the whole time. I could sort of see the transformation happening because she acted like she wanted to be in a relationship with Nathan, but I was sick of waiting for her to act on it.
Profile Image for Lauren  (TheBookishTwins) .
447 reviews204 followers
May 21, 2016
I received a free copy from the publishers via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

First Impressions:
I can't say, at all, that I'm a fan of Love and Other Theories. I disliked a lot of the characters and disagreed a lot with their malicious actions towards other people, particularly Chiffon. I can see how other people would really love it, but too much nastiness going on for me.

Aubrey and her three best friends -- Shelby, Danica and Melissa -- have all made it to their last year of high school completely heartbreak free. It's all thanks to a few rules, the theories, such as don't commit, don't be needy, and don't mention the G word -- (girlfriend, in case you're wondering). But when Nathan Diggs, the new kid, falls into Aubreys life, it makes her learn the hard way that the theories are a load of bull.

I put up with all the bullying and generally shaming other girls for not being as 'evolved' as they were for about 30-40%, hoping it would VERY SOON be contributing to some serious character development, but unfortunately, Aubrey and her friends remained AWFUL people till about 70% through. Not only did they completely disgrace their previous best friend, Chiffon, for YEARS (throwing around rumours of STDs, calling her a slut etc.), but they shamed other girls for not being like them. Sexual freedom is completely fine by me. I think girls should be able to have whatever freedom they wish. But what makes Aubrey and Shelby horrible is that they bully and put down other girls for wanting a committed relationship along with sex and for wanting to be girlfriend-boyfriend and for not being as sexually active as they were. Unless of course they were in their friend group in which was PERFECTLY OK. Eventually they got over their shallowness but it took way to long for it to have any sort of impact on me.

Also, in a complete turn of events I ended up really liking Trent the jock who was a bit of a player over Nathan Diggs, the sweet and unassuming guy.
Overall, I can totally see how others would absolutely adore this, but the characters arrogant and patronising attitude really brought it down for me.
Profile Image for Leah Waters.
366 reviews55 followers
May 18, 2020
This is one of the best romances I've ever read!

And, that's because it was so much more than a romance. I don't want to spoil it or anything...but the end is super empowering and unique for YA contemporary.

Definitely read this book! It's both enjoyable and gut wrenching at the same time.
Profile Image for Andi (Andi's ABCs).
1,536 reviews188 followers
January 22, 2015
I’m don’t know what to say about Love and Other Theories. I know that at 82% I almost didn’t finish it. I know that things happened that didn’t need to happen. I know that I was frustrated with a lot of it. I know that I wasn’t happy with the end. And I know that this could have been a different book if it went in a different direction. It could have been a fantastic book. Instead I was left feeling annoyed, let down, irrationally ragey (especially for a fictional character), and all around sad for what could have been.

Love and Other Theories is the story of Aubrey and her 3 best friends Shelby, Danica and Melissa. Seniors in high school and they all have one thing in common, they have never had their heart broken. After watching scores of girls seem needy and get tossed aside, they come up with theories that help them seem available and easily unattached. The theories work like a charm until the new guy, Nathan, shows up. Soon what seemed simple is anything but. Aubrey finds herself brushing the theories aside but is a broken heart worth it?

This definitely wasn’t a me book even though it seems like it from the description. There wasn’t much that I found myself hoping for or rooting for. I think a lot of that was how the book started. When we meet Aubrey, we are told she is the Joey Potter of the group (be prepared for me to make all the Dawson’s Creek references!). She was the smart one, the one going to college, the one that studied and didn’t party. But we don’t get to see that part of her. Instead we are introduced to Jen Lindley, the party girl that is boy crazy and has messed up ideas about love and the world. It just didn’t sit right with me. I wanted to see the Aubrey that we were told she was. I didn’t want to see only the girl that goes out on weekends and drinks until she throws up.

I also had trouble with Nathan. At the beginning of the book he was this sweet new guy that was taken by Aubrey. Did he do things that a good guy might not have done? Sure. But he is a teenage boy so it is almost to be expected. What bugged me was that he seemed to completely change from one chapter to the next with no rhyme or reason. He was almost a jerk by the end and it didn’t fit with what we was supposed to be.

But really even after all of that, there was one thing that really bugged me. These people never talked to each other. I mean there was literally no conversation that had any meaning that was longer than like 2 pages. It was so frustrating. I wanted to jump through the pages and tell them they needed to start getting all Dawson’s Creek and talk about things, even use a big word or two that we would have to look up. Everything was just told on such a superficial level that it grated on my nerves. These kids were playing games and acting like these ‘evolved’ individuals and all they were were scared kids that didn’t want to face heartache and rejection.

I know it looks like there was nothing redeeming about this book for me. But there are people that loved it and you could too. I just had too many issues to get over when all is said and done. I felt like the book was written to be more like a typical teenage movie that didn’t translate into a book. There was just too much that bugged me when I read this one (and that is me not even touching on one part that made me CAP LOCK text a friend to complain) and the end that disappointed me. Sadly not every book is for everyone, and this is one of those books for me.
Profile Image for Deniz.
1,139 reviews100 followers
December 14, 2014
DNF 40%
Ok I just can't deal with the level of bitchiness
Like seriously?!

I went back and skimmed through the rest of the book. But I really couldn't find redeeming thing fro Aubrey.
Which is why I did DNF in the first place.
So much backstabbing, back bitting and general bitchiness.
I could not relate to Aubrey or any of her friends. I never could and probably never will. I loved to party and was fairly popular in high school. So to a degree, like the first few pages I thought I get Aubrey... then the bitch-vibes were turned on.
I probably could overlook the drinking and cheating and all the crap. But what I really couldn't stand was the totally dishonesty of the girls. I mean they supposedly best friends but they definitely are fake with each other and none of them trust each other or anyone else.
Shel and her wisdoms were at total and utter nightmare.
I did like Nathan well enough- he was cute and all that. But I really didn't his relation ship with Aubrey, he is totally smitten- then he behaves the way he does... and well, I guess I didn't like him much either.
My biggest issue however was Aubrey herself. I think she not only lacked honesty, she led on Nathan long enough- she also never was honest with herself. She simply wanted to fit in be popular and did everything she thought would make her look goo in the eyes of Shelby.
Her justifications for all her disgusting behaviour were dumb at best.
All in all this book was a string of making-out, parties, dramas and backbiting in bitch-ville.
Sorry but NO can do.
Profile Image for Katy Upperman.
Author 4 books306 followers
January 29, 2015
This book reminds me a little bit of 17 First Kisses, a little bit of Before I Fall, and a little bit of the movie Mean Girls. And… I love it. I’ve read a few not-so-favorable reviews of this novel, reviews that knock MC Aubrey and her friends for being mean and shallow and (gasp) slutty. Just… ugh. (Have I mentioned that the “unlikeable teen girl” is one of my most loathed literary gripes?) Admittedly, Aubrey and her BFFs are not perfect. They make some choices that are dangerous and selfish and worrisome and immature, but who hasn’t? These girls have reasons for behaving as they do, and it’s their unapologetic realness (the good, the bad, and the ugly) that makes me a big fan of this debut. Along with characters who leap of the page, Love & Other Theories brims with earnest romance and unavoidable loss and enviably authentic voice, plus an examination of that pivotal time in high school when you start to become the person you’re meant to be — when you feel powerless and confused and you’re grappling with identity and life’s just hard. Alexis Bass captures it perfectly. (Also, Trip. I adore Trip!)
Profile Image for Rosa.
269 reviews7 followers
November 27, 2014
I hated it. I hated the characters, none of them were likable except maybe Trip and those two girls at the end. I hated the lack of respect for themselves and others the characters had and I know this is a work of fiction but holy shit, pardon my french, DO NOT GIVE THIS BOOK TO YOUR TEENAGE DAUGHTER! They set a TERRIBLE example for girls and I'm not one to say that quickly. There were no redeeming factors and no resolution at the end. It was awful. Don't read it.
Profile Image for Aly.
2,515 reviews
August 16, 2022
I was not impressed with this book. It started out okay and I liked that the girls owned their bodies and sexual relationship. They did what they wanted and had fun. Then things took a turn and I realized that they're actually mean girls who put other girls down for having feelings for a guy or a relationship with one. They actually pushed out one of their friends because a guy liked her and one of the other girls was jealous. Get over yourself.

I didn't think Aubrey and Nathan were that great of a couple and didn't think they'd survive high school. The only character I enjoyed was Trip, who's cute and funny and seemed to really love Aubrey. That's the couple I wanted, one based on friendship that could last.

This wasn't for me and I'm sad I didn't enjoy it. Oh well.
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,007 reviews15.7k followers
May 8, 2016
***If you want more, you have to give less***
This Book left me in tears, it was probably One of the more realistic YA contemporary books I have read. I'm kind of disappointed this book has such low ratings, because even though these girls weren't always kind to each other, they were definitely real. Aubrey, Was such a good character, we really could understand where she was coming from. I think being a teenage girl is hard, you want to please everyone around you, and sometimes you do that at your own detriment.. And I think when I came down to it, even though this group of girls has some pretty ridiculous rules, and did some pretty mean things to one another, they definitely truly cared for each other. I also might be in the minority, because I wasn't always crazy about Nathan, I'm not sure if he even deserved Aubrey. On the other hand
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,976 reviews584 followers
June 8, 2015
Actual rating - 3.5

It took me a while to warm to the main characters, but when I did, I really liked them.

There was a few parts in this that dragged a bit, so I lost interest at points. Apart from those bits though it was an enjoyable read.

Overall, A decent read.
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,525 reviews
October 7, 2014
Love doesn't have a definite set of rules. It's different for everyone, for every couple, for every culture.

I felt absolutely depressed the entire time I read this book. I know love and romance can't be perfect but this book took it to extremes. Aubrey, Shelby, Melissa, and Danica were girl versions of "Players". They didn't get attached, they hooked up with guys and tossed them away to protect themselves from heartache. But see, here's the thing, you can't really avoid heartache. Whether you care too much or too little you will always be vulnerable. I liked Nathan and I was saddened by his betrayal. I thought he would be loyal.

I felt sorry for Aubrey because all she really wanted was someone to love her the way she wanted to be loved. Trip couldn't give her that even though he cared for her in his own way. It was all a bit unrealistic to me. I believe that when a person hurts you, you have the right to feel the pain but you should not let it turn you into a bitter fool like Shelby. Because when you finally find the person you're meant to be with all the pain from your past would be worth the joy.

I've always expressed my disdain for bff's who steal boyfriends. I understood Shelby's predicament but she should have kbown better. I wanted to kick something when I found out what she'd done although it was painfully obvious.

So what's my main point? I didn't like the book. It stirred up negative emotions and made me doubt my own beliefs about love. It's as if people are unable to show compassion and warmth, as if everyone is fixated on satisfying their animalistic needs when that is clearly untrue. People evolve in good ways. One of our basic needs is love and belongingness. Even guys seek this. So the theories were wrong. You can't control anything, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.
Profile Image for Gisbelle.
770 reviews218 followers
December 22, 2014

My thanks to HarperTeen


I'm not sure where to start without sounding offensive. The truth is I thought the whole book was uncalled for. It was so boring. The characters weren't interesting, and neither was the storyline.
Profile Image for Jessica B..
327 reviews63 followers
June 26, 2014
Eeeeeek been waiting so long for this cover and for this book to enter the world! I was lucky enough to read this once upon a time while interning and it's so phenomenal. So excited for the finished version!
Profile Image for Karen Barber.
2,470 reviews59 followers
August 12, 2022
Aubrey is part of a group who think they have their life planned out. They have theories to explain their actions, and all seem to be intent on acting in a way that appears liberating but which is actually just as restricting as the rules followed by those they laugh at.
The leader of Aubrey’s group of friends, Shelby, is manipulative and pretty unpleasant. She has them all running round following her rules and then does exactly what she likes. Her behaviour was perhaps meant to be seen as positive, but it made me so mad.
From start to finish we see little happening. The group of friends party and socialise, with not much actually happening.
When new boy Nathan appears, Aubrey finds herself caught up in something new and exciting. She doesn’t label it, doesn’t tell any of her so-called friends about her feelings and then gets fed up when Shelby hooks up with Nathan.
Why it’s all about the girls reminds me of all the things I hated about female friendship at this age. So frustrating.
I’ve gone for three stars - even though I really found myself hating so much of it - because I think it was quite accurately written. It’s just so depressing that it was so accurate!
Profile Image for Miguel.
239 reviews
December 7, 2014
What would happen if Taylor Swift and Tina Fey wrote a book? Well, this is certainly what they'll come up with.

My initial expectation was oh, this is going to be another mindless read for me. The synopsis came off as another typical YA contemporary romance to me where there's heartbreak and drama and a lot of stolen kisses. Colour me surprise when I finished this book at 1AM stifling sobs.  This book literally handed me my expectations. 

*I don't believe in stress; I believe in living.

The whole setup of  Love and Other Theories  is very reminiscent of Mean Girls. You have a group of four friends: Aubrey, Shelby, Danica, and Melissa. All have completely different personalities but all are united by the so-called Theories. They believe that by following these theories, they can bypass the heartbreak and drama that come with a relationship. My first impression was these Theories are just ridiculous, but as I thought about it more and as the story progresses, it's actually pretty clever.

The story is almost told in a diary-like fashion. It alternates between the present time and clips from the past as told by our narrator, Aubrey Housing. I thought the flow of the story was even; every chapter left me breathless, to be honest. And let me just say that once or twice I speculated that TSwift wrote this book because of some passages that sound like they came from one of her songs. Like this one:

*Something about him looks put-together. Something about him seems torn apart. Like when a rug is laid down to cover a stain but is still really out of place in the room.


Let's talk about Aubrey Housing, for a moment. She is a smart character, one of the smartest heroines I've come across in YA, actually. I love reading what's going on inside her head especially when she's with Nathan. Oh man, here come the emotions. I JUST LOVED THEM TOGETHER. THEY ARE MEANT FOR FOREVER. UGHHH. 

You might've already guessed, but let me just put it out there: this book doesn't end with a happily ever after. In fact it ends with a realistic ever after (trust me, this line sounded way better in my head). And I applaud Miss Alexis for delivering such a compelling story. She's definitely going to in my list of go-to authors.

But don't let the ending keep you away from reading this! I think fans of Katie Cotugno will immensely appreciate this gem, but if you're  just into contemporary YA in general, then you are required to check this one out.

P.S. This review is basically me gushing over 1989, which I highly suggest listening to while or after reading this book.

*Quote(s) are subject to change in the final version of the book.

**An advance copy was provided in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected my overall thoughts.
Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
511 reviews298 followers
October 29, 2015
This wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Initially after reading some of the reviews I didn't want to read this. After some thought I changed my mind and ended up reading it. It was a pretty good and fast read. If you are looking to read this for the romance you should know that the romance wasn't that great. If you do not like reading about drama, partying and drinking then I would recommend that you don't read this book. But if you like me would still like to least try then go right ahead. This book isn't like the normal chick lits, in fact it's very different.I personally found that it was more about the friendships and the idea of high school. Aubrey does actually get with Nathan but because if her and her friends thing against labels she didn't consider him her boyfriend. Which is what created a drift between the two of them. Nathan and Shelby (Aubrey's best friend) then end up hooking up for two weeks. I know it sounds terrible. Her and Shelby's friendship gets tested along with the belief about the theories the girls created. Towards the end of the book Aubrey stops believing in the theories, she and Shelby get into a fight, and Nathan and her end their relationship. She and Shelby make up and Nathan and her end up becoming friends. There isn't a discussion between all of her friends about the theories but I assume that at least Aubrey and Shelby scrap the theories. In a sense this novel was realistic especially the idea of high school and leaving for college. I'm going to be honest when I say I didn't like most of the characters. I only started liking Aubrey near the end of the book. I liked Aubrey's family as well as Trip and his family. While I didn't like the rest of the characters I understood them and why they did what they did. The author did an amazing job with Aubrey's voice. I have never read such a definite voice in a chick lit before. I will definitely read her other upcoming book which is called What's Broken Between Us.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Beth  (YA Books Central).
415 reviews115 followers
December 21, 2014
"Love doesn't have a definite set of rules. It's different for everyone, for every couple, for every culture."

Love & Other Theories is a young adult contemporary romance that is very different from any other contemporary I have ever read.

Here is a quote from the book that I found rather interesting:

"TGS-The Girlfriend Stigma- a scientific term describing the disgrace girls face from guys when the girls appear to want to hold the title of "girlfriend."

The main character, Aubrey and her three friends Shelby, Danica, and Melissa have agreed on a "girl code" where they make a pact to play by the guy's rules when dating in order to prevent themselves from experiencing heartbreak. They all want to focus on "no strings" attached dating, no steady relationships, and everyone is available to date.

They are abiding by their pact until Nathan Diggs arrives in town. Nathan is sweet, charming, and very handsome. Aubrey and Nathan immediately hit it off and Aubrey breaks every rule in their pact....She falls in love.

Love & Other Theories is a story filled with teen drama, partying, drinking, lying, double-crossing, and LOTS of bad decisions. Bullying is also portrayed by several of the girls in this book which tended to draw me away from the focus on the book. I wanted to focus on the romance between Aubrey and Nathan and I had high hopes that their relationship would surpass the girl code and allow these young girls to experience all the happiness that love can bring.......BUT....there was a lot of sadness and anger instead. Overall, I enjoyed this book but still not sure about the ending and the main focus of the story...
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