Sometimes a book just hits you right where it hurts, only in the best possible way. The Love Study? Basically went above and beyond that.
I was offered an ARC by Book Sirens in exchange for a review. All opinions are strictly my own.
Declan has commitment issues. He’s been an office temp for literally years now, and his friends delight in telling people that he left his last boyfriend at the altar.
And that’s all true. But he’s starting to think it’s time to start working on his issues. Maybe.
When Declan meets Sidney—a popular nonbinary YouTuber with an advice show—an opportunity presents itself: as part of The Love Study, Declan will go on a series of dates arranged by Sidney and report back on how the date went in the next episode.
The dates are…sort of blah. It’s not Sidney’s fault; the folks participating are (mostly) great people, but there’s no chemistry there. Maybe Declan’s just broken.
Or maybe the problem is that the only person he’s feeling chemistry with is Sidney.
| C – characters |
A – atmosphere
W – writing
P – plot
I – intrigue
L – logic
E – enjoyment
Honestly, Kris Ripper knows what ze’s doing. That’s about the simplest way to summarise the experience that was reading this book. Declan’s struggle with anxiety and fear of commitment was expressed in such a tangible, real way I could almost feel it myself. Take his ramblings whenever he got nervous – they seemed almost too on point and too recognisable and basically exactly what I would do (have done) myself.
The way the slow growth of his camaraderie with his co-worker and his temp place mirrored his personal evolution. His need to make himself fit in a format that just doesn’t work for him? The level of maturing he has to do, and is conscious of having to do? All of it could have been too in your face – but somehow, it never was.
The same can be said about the rest of the cast of The Love Study. I mean, there’s a lot of very varied representation but it never felt forced. I don’t like to talk about an “ideal world” or anything like that, but the level of automatic acceptance each of these characters showed for the others? Kind of something to strive for.
The rating: 4.5/5
There’s this thing I do where, if I liked a book too much, I have a lot of trouble explaining exactly why I loved it so much. As should be clear by now – that’s true for this book as well. Reading it felt basically like an immersive experience… And I kinda really can’t wait to read the next book in this series! (Goodreads)