Reviews

Love on the Brain, by Ali Hazelwood

giorconi5's review

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4.0

3.7

pretending_sara's review against another edition

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I haven’t read it, but I know it will be PERFECT.

estherhuang's review against another edition

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1.0

1.5/5
requested this after having a Not Bad! time reading the love hypothesis, but this one doesn't measure up. falling into derivatives (bee and levi are just olive and adam in a different font), hysterically cringeworthy humor, and odd commentary about generational gaps (we know bee is a millennial; you don't need to tell us again), love on the brain had all of the love hypothesis' ridiculous rom-com plot points with exponentially more reason for irritability.

firstly, i think that switching to first person was a detriment. while it allowed hazelwood's distinct voice to shine through and gave bee more characterization, it amplified all the tired traits of 2000s rom-com leads: blistering self-deprecation; catastrophic pessimism; the implicit i'm-not-like-other-girls distinction. what were supposed to be endearing quirks ended up being more reasons to dislike the main character, and having her narrate the entire story could be kind of bothersome sometimes — it heightened the heteronormative character designs (levi is big. huge. ginormous, even. he has a masculine scent and rippling pectorals. bee is small, itty-bitty, and you'll be sure to be reminded every 3 pages), accentuated the painfully millennial humor, and reinforced a general insufferable vibe in the book.

trying to implement race and gender-consciousness was commendable, i guess, but it often backfired for me. there's this one point were bee says "I was initially a bit distrustful of him — his bio says 'he/him,' and we all know how cis men on the internet can be," and it just came off as strikingly ignorant: pronouns don't indicate anything about cisness! while i can appreciate the fact the hazelwood attempts to be more inclusive, some of the times — many of the times, actually — it felt like an overstep or misstep on her part.

one of the most glaring issues, aside from everything else, was the plot: it was laughably predictable. perhaps it's because it's so similar to the plot of the love hypothesis, but
Spoilerhaving the stoic man pine for years after his unassuming muse should only be recycled, well, zero times. it was visible that levi was schmac, noticeable that all of his aloofness was due to his Irrepressible Male Urges, and exasperatingly discernible that he's had the hots for bee ever since grad school. also, miscommunication? it only works if it's done well, and in this book, it wasn't.

the only thing that i doubt anyone could have seen coming was the moment where guy whipped out a g*n and attempted on bee's life, which was utterly jarring and ridiculous to the point where i almost wanted to stop reading right then and there. bringing weapons to a rom-com tussle was never something i anticipated, which, i guess, points for being unexpected?? never let them know your next move.


anyway, i can see how this book might work for some people — if you really like marie curie facts, for example, you'd love it — but this was just not it for me. it gets an extra 0.5 stars for being an extremely quick, light novel (even if i didn't necessarily enjoy all of it); i did need a break as finals week approaches.

Much thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the free eARC in exchange for an honest review.

jennjennx3x3's review

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funny hopeful lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes

5.0

ebs's review

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funny hopeful lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

siddhi's review

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

4.5

I really really liked this book!! Bee was wonderful, I found myself laughing at her internal monologue several times. I admired her tenacity and strength. Levi started off pretty irredeemable but he turned out to be such a wonderful character as well. There were several moving pieces in the plot which kept the book interesting and the pacing of their relationship was pretty good.

I don’t like comparing books too much, but this book is VERY similar to The Love Hypothesis. Some of the tropes are basically the same, but I think I liked Levi better than Adam? I can’t really tell but I felt like he had a stronger backstory, more character development, and felt more authentic. 

Anyways now to a few things I didn’t like:
Spoiler 
1. The miscommunication trope lasts almost half of the book. It’s not super painful but it was glaringly obvious. 
2. The “twists” were predictable to me, I guessed almost every single one.
3. The “enemies to lovers” trope was hard carried by Bee who was convinced that Levi hated her even though he said the opposite SEVERAL TIMES.
4. Personal preference but there was a lot more sex in this one, and it’s just not my thing.
5. What’s with the trope of the guy falling madly in love with the girl from the first time he sees her? It happened with Adam in the bathroom and then with Levi in grad school. Just seems very unrealistic.


Overall, a great lighter romance read that had my stummy hurting and me giggling in bed at 3 am. 

jorodgers56's review

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funny lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

trishb's review against another edition

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5.0

I feel so blessed for receiving this ARC.




Love on the Brain has surpassed every one of my expectations and even had me enjoying a trope I usually despise. Everything was done right, the build up, the subtle clues, the unexpected twist. The academic setting is something I crave in my contemporary novels but don't often see. Love on the Brain not only gives the setting, but doesn't talk down to its audience when the time comes to talk about science. I'm not a big fan of miscommunication, but wasn't bothered by it as much as usual. I will say the plot often felt like it was following very similarly to Love Hyppthesis at some turns, but in the end was different enough when it mattered.

reading_in_lala_land's review

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funny lighthearted fast-paced

3.5

I will say overall I really enjoyed this book. However, I really didn't like the main character Bee. It was super frustrating that she wouldn't just listen to Levi and take what he was saying at face value instead of continuing with the narrative that he hated her. Thankfully Levi saved this book. He was a great character and I loved reading about him. I did enjoy the characters together. They had great chemistry and good banter. The plot was pretty good as well and the side characters really added to the story.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy to review.

rachaellee's review

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4.0

Many thanks to Edelweiss and Berkley for the early copy of Love on the Brain! All opinions are my own.

I absolutely loved The Love Hypothesis, so I knew I wanted to pick up Ali Hazelwood's next novel. Love on the Brain, while still excellent in its own way, did not top The Love Hypothesis. Maybe I shouldn't compare the two, but it's a natural thing to do after you read two books by the same author.

What I really liked about Love on the Brain
- Enemies-to-lovers is one of my favorite tropes (besides forced proximity)
- Levi and Bee were interesting characters

What I didn't like:
- Miscommunication trope. HAVE A CONVERSATION GUYS.
- The twist. I didn't like the twist at all. No spoilers, but it was not a trope I like.

Overall, I really did enjoy the book. I read it in four days. And I work a full-time job at a bookstore. So if that tells you anything.