(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Series: Solving for Ex #1
Published by Createspace on October 2nd 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
1 crush on your best friend +1 gorgeous, scheming new girl +1 Mathletics competition =1 big messSIMPLIFY.Ashley Price doesn't have much in life after being bullied so hard she had to leave her old school to live with her aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh. But the camera she borrowed from her best friend and secret crush Brendan, and her off the charts math abilities, make things a lot more bearable. Plus, since Brendan is the captain, making the school Mathletes team should be easy.But when gorgeous new girl Sofia rolls in and steals Brendan, Ashley's place on the team, and her fragile foothold on the Mansfield Park Prep social totem pole, it's on. Sofia is everything Ashley left her old school to escape. The only thing Ashley didn't count on is Sofia's sexy twin brother Vincent.Vincent is not only the hottest boy in school, he's charming, sweet, and he's got his eye on Ashley. He's also not taking no for an answer. There's no real reason Ashley shouldn't like Vincent, but with the battle lines being drawn between her and Sofia, Ashley's not sure which side he's on. Or which side she wants him to be on.She does know Sofia is trouble with a capital T, and she's determined to make Brendan see it.SOLVING FOR EX is a YA contemporary romance that remixes Mansfield Park as Clueless meets Mean Girls in a crazy mix of high school society, mathletic competition, and teenage romance.
Who doesn’t love math? Okay, I know the answer to that question is a lot of people, but Ashley Price loved math—lived, breathed, spoke, and dreamt of derivatives and imaginary numbers. Honestly, that was what what got my attention. Everyone loves a nerd romance, but I haven’t read many where math is the love of that nerd’s heart. A one-click buy and I had my next read.
Ashley was a realistic narrator. Sometimes her thoughts were sporadic, but I think it made her character more believable. That being said, because she did not hold back her thoughts, there were moments when I didn’t like her that much. Other times, when I could sympathize with her, I really got her character. She had been obsessed (in love, however you want to define it) with her best friend, Brendan Thomas, since he became her knight with a shining new TI-Inspire CX CAS (my mom’s a math teacher—can you tell?). Sometimes I wanted to bludgeon her over the head, but a large part of that had to do with Brendan’s actions. As far as teen drama goes, Kopans got it right—spot on, even.
Brendan…well, I liked him for most of the book. That’s about it, though. Just like, not love, not next book boyfriend material. I think I friend-zoned a book character, and I’m not sure how mentally stable that means I am. Anyway, he finally redeemed himself and made himself crushable toward the end of the book. He was as real as Ashley, and, while the book didn’t switch perspectives and Brendan didn’t have a voice, I got a sense of who he was and who he had been through Ashley. He definitely acted like teenage boys act—completely unaware that the girl right next to him is head over heels in love, but in the end, he kind of makes up for it by saying something that makes us all swoon.
I had so many mixed emotions reading this book. There were moments when I had no idea whose side I needed to be on (except for Sophia—I was never on her side during this book). Vincent had the lovable personality and alluring smile, and he had my vote for about sixty percent of the book. I’m interested to see if he’ll be in Sophia’s story, and I would have liked to know more about the side of him I didn’t see.
I enjoyed reading something that didn’t sugarcoat the high school experience. Parties, bullying, relationships, and the stress of academics were shown in a realistic light. Kopans is a new author for me, and I’ll definitely pick up more of her work.