Usually, I would be all over a romance starring a plus-size woman and a nerd-cute guy set in the academic world, but this might be my biggest disappointment of the year.
Allison comes from an academic background, doing well in every aspect of academia until she was accepted into her dream Ph.D. program. Upon arriving, she realizes the person she is supposed to co-TA with for the semester is her ex, Colin Benjamin. Of course, this is the setup for the romance that follows throughout the book.
Except Colin Benjamin is a bologna sandwich of a human being. The most interesting things about him are all awful. When your main love interest is most interesting for being an asshole and wearing cardigans, I am not inclined to root for his romantic life. Colin not only broke Allison’s heart years ago, but he also committed academic fraud and stole her work. And we’re supposed to just like this dude and hope for them to get back together!? Really?! Allison has no agency when he’s around, and more than once he makes choices for her and the book goes with it rather than calling him out on his behavior. I genuinely was waiting for there to be a swerve where Allison ends up with someone else because Colin is so boring. I hated him with all my being, and he is the perfect depiction of every dude in a college class that decides to play devil’s advocate “for the sake of it.” No one cares, Colin; shut up.
Allison was fine as a character, but I didn’t care. She had a shitty dad whom they attempted redemption of who did not deserve it. The only saving grace was her relationship with her body, as I thought that was done well, but that’s the only thing worth it. Everyone in this book is supposed to be incredibly well-educated and in their mid to late twenties, but they all speak and act like high schoolers or undergrad students. I wouldn’t recommend it to any of my female romance reader friends.
Title: The Make-Up Test
Author: Jenny L Howe
Three Descriptors: Engaging, Heartwarming, Romantic
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