Title: Love on the Brain
Author: Ali Hazelwood
Release Date: August 23rd, 2022
Genre: Adult Fiction – Contemporary – Romance
My rating in stars:
My rating in words:
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new STEMinist rom-com in which a scientist is forced to work on a project with her nemesis—with explosive results.
Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project – a literal dream come true – Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.
Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school – archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.
But when her equipment starts to go missing and the staff ignore her, Bee could swear she sees Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas… devouring her with those eyes. The possibilities have all her neurons firing.
But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there’s only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?
MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a community of women trying to mind their own business must be in want of a random man’s opinion.”
As someone who LOVED The Love Hypothesis and who devoured the STEMinist novellas, I think it’s safe to say that Love on the Brain was one of my most highly anticipated releases of 2022 and… boy, did it deliver! I think I love this one even more than The Love Hypothesis, but to be fair that may be because I just read this one last and my opinion may change when I inevitably re-read The Love Hypothesis.
Anyway, let’s talk about Love on the Brain! I finished this one in 24 hours, which is always a good sign. I was hooked from pretty much the first page and couldn’t put the book down. As usually with rave reviews I’m struggling a bit to find the words to do this review justice and not just turn it into a keyboard-smash-rave, so let’s do a list of everything I liked about Love on the Brain:
– Bee is an amazing protagonist. She’s fun and quirky (her inner monologues and explanations are perfection. Like, I’d want her as a friend for sure) and then she’s also brilliant and amazing at her job (she’s a neuroscientist) AND she runs a Twitter account focused on highlighting misogyny in STEM and it IS EVERYTHING. Okay, I may be crushing a bit on Bee, but then there’s also…
– Levi Ward may take the throne of 2022 Book Boyfriend of the Year (I’m sorry Charlie Lastra, Sam Florek and Benji Andor). He’s awkward and not super likeable at first as we see him through Bee’s eyes, but when we learn what he’s really like he’s just the sweetest. He pines so hard and has obvious hearteyes for Bee (obvious to us, not to her) and that one text he sent had me swooning.
– The romance development is perfection. The romance between Bee and Levi hit all the right spots for me. It has a bit of enemies-to-lovers, a bit of miscommunication (often a tough sell for me, but here I didn’t mind) and a whoooole lot of pining and longing. Also? This one is super steamy!
– The secondary characters are so much fun! Especially Rocio, Bee’s RA, stole the show. I loved her little random facts and her own little side-romance was just… *chef’s kiss*.
– The science, naturally. Love on the Brain felt more science-heavy than The Love Hypothesis, but I loved learning it all! Bee and Levi are co-leaders on a NASA-project that combines neuroscience and engineering and it was the most fascinating setting. I also loved how the book highlighted the issues women in STEM face AND gave some insight into the GRE (a standardized test necessary to be accepted into grad school) and its issues. Also, as Bee is obsessed with Marie Curie, I loved learning so much about her!
– The bonus penpal-romance-vibe. As I mentioned, Bee has her own Twitter account (WhatWouldMarieDo) and through this, she has been communicating and growing a steady online friendship with another Twitter user for a while. Though his part didn’t feel crucial to the story, and was perhaps a tad predictable, I’m a sucker for this kind of penpal vibes, so I adored every minute of it!
Overall, I highly enjoyed Love on the Brain. While I agree with some reviewers that it has many similarities with Ali Hazelwood’s other works, I still think it’s unique and different enough to stand on its own and perhaps even speak to a different audience. I personally had adored every single one of her stories so far and am already looking forward to the next one! Read Love on the Brain if you’re looking for a quirky heroine, a lot of pining and longing, steam and science!