Reviews tagging 'Biphobia'

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood

1 review

anastashamarie's review against another edition

Go to review page

funny lighthearted tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


So here's the thing. Love Hypothesis was a "lightning in a bottle" sort of book to me. It captured every bit of the experience of a woman in academia trying to navigate relationships and imposter syndrome. It made me feel seen and understood. Love on the Brain felt like it was trying to do the same, but unfortunately I didn't find it as successful.

🐝 I liked Bee a lot on the surface. She was written as quirky in a way that I wish more authors would write quirky. I loved all the Marie Curie facts and her love of cats. I loved her tolerance of and appreciation for Rocío's oddities. I loved how her unusual childhood experiences combined into her desire for stability. But for a character who seemed to value independence and confidence in Marie and herself, I hated how much she got in her own way throughout the entire book.  (Warning, this is where it gets into rant territory. I have never wanted to shake a fictional character so badly.)

🐝 In Love Hypothesis, I loved Olive's uncertainty in herself and her academic abilities. I thought it was realistic and meaningful and impactful. But Bee's insecurity was turned almost entirely towards a man, who she claimed not to like anyway--insecurity that happened BEFORE her traumatic, failed relationship; that was independent of any need for others to like/accept her (it's not like she talks a lot about wanting other people to like her so it's not really like wanting to be liked was a discernible personality trait overall). Insecurity over relationships in and of itself isn't a bad thing. In fact, it's very relatable, especially to someone like me who greatly values relationships. But she didn't even have a relationship with him at a first, claimed she hated him too! She even speaks of other men in a way that exhibits a bit of misandry (admittedly reactively from the misogyny she has faced). So why did she even care if he didn't like her or not until she got to BLINK and animosity could have been something that would hurt her career? I think that's why I liked the way Olive's characterization so much more...her core conflict wasn't focused on whether or not a man liked her, it was on figuring out how to carve herself a place in a field that didn't seem to want her to fit. There's just so much more interesting about women than some dude's opinion on us.

🐝 Also, for a scientist, Bee is not very good at processing and accepting alternative evidence or new information.
Spoiler Levi both showed and told her that he didn't hate her multiple times. I know she had a traumatic past and that she's felt abandoned and betrayed before but the DENIAL. Girl, no one can help you if you don't help yourself! Maybe starting with therapy again. Her internal monologue of "he's lying, he hates me" nears insufferable toward the end of the book. How many times does the man need to exhibit that he likes you for you to CHILL. Ugh.

🐝 I'm sorry, but baby Levi just deserves better.  Deserves someone who doesn't have the emotional maturity of a teaspoon. Deserves someone who puts in as much effort as he does and actually gives a proportionate amount of well-rounded apologies. He put in the work to do better for himself and his future partners. Tries to show people he cares. I'm not saying that people with trust issues don't deserve those things in a partner. But I am saying it's not your partner's job to fix your trust issues (because, as Bee showed, no amount of anything that anyone else says will help. You have to decide to trust and be vulnerable yourself). I hope epilogue-Bee is that for him.

πŸ˜’ Also, any time characters go from a deep emotional conversation to immediately boning in just a no for me. He just told you he watched his friend die a horrible death, and you're like "oh, let me sit in his lap. The trauma induced horniness is a constant ick. Process your emotions please and then go at it after if you need to physically express the emotional intimacy you just gained. Your therapist would be disappointed at your avoidance of his discomfort. (I'm sorry, my empathy sensors just can't do that rapid of a switch from devastated to horny.)

πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ Another also, the way the author writes queer characters irritates me to no end, in this book and the last.
SpoilerRocΓ­o goes from having a boyfriend she talked to often to dumping his ass and f*cking a female coworker? Why even give her a SO in the first place? It's scandalous enough to have an office romance let alone to end another relationship for it. There was a mention of "maybe they're poly?" which would have been refreshing to see, especially if it wasn't fetishized. But nah, she breaks up with the boyfriend for another girl,
and Hazelwood unintentionally perpetuates the stereotype that bi-presenting folks are just horny and inconsistent. Like why the stereotypes? Are you just trying to be inclusive for the sake of it? I've been stewing on this since the last book, too...idk, maybe I'm just being too sensitive?

🧠 Aside my frustrations, this wasn't a bad book. Predictable, maybe. But cute and still realistic to the academic/#lablife experience. Another adorable "book boyfriend" I just want to hug for being a good human. But everything this book did, Love Hypothesis had already accomplished and accomplished better. If you liked Love Hypothesis, then I still think this is worth the read (I read most of it in one evening because I couldn't put it down). But don't expect anything earth shattering.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings