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9 July 2014

Review: 'Love by Numbers' by Sara Donovan (2014)

What if there was a scientific 7-step formula that triggered your heart into feeling passion? Would you follow it to fall in love with your 'nice guy' bestie - the sensible choice who was actually available?

 Set in the glittering lower north shore of Sydney, Love by Numbers follows the story of April, a successful HR executive who is in the middle of a serious man drought. To deal with her boredom, she fantasises more than she should about her hot, but uninterested-to-say-the-least office crush, Ryan. When April finally gets Ryan to drinks one night and she watches him fall for her flirtatious house-mate, April decides to never again trust her instinctual 'man-picker'. Her only solution is to rewire her brain, and create passion with the one guy she knows she can trust. 

This is a story about how far you can go to control your heart's choices, and what happens when you try.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by author Sara Donovan about possibly reviewing her debut novel ‘Love by Numbers’, which was released on the 1st of July and is described as a ‘romantic comedy about love, lust and neuroscience.’ I have to say the neuroscience bit on the one hand intrigued me but also scared me, because I was curious to see how much of the book would focus on neuroscience, a topic I know absolutely nothing about. However, I love a good romantic comedy, and I instantly really liked the colourful cove of the novel, so I looked forward to giving the book a chance and finding out more about this scientific 7-step formula to feel passion! 

April has had a big crush on her co-worker Ryan for quite some time now. However, all the daydreaming isn’t getting her anywhere, especially since Ryan doesn’t seem to be interested, not even when April is moved from HR to Sales, where Ryan works. April eventually manages to get Ryan to have a drink with her, but unfortunately this leads to him falling for her flirty roommate. April realises she has to get over Ryan, and the psychology course she is taking in her free time provides her with an answer. Apparently she is addicted to love, and if she can learn how to control her feelings, she can make herself fall for another guy. April comes up with a plan of 7 steps that will make her fall in love with the only guy she knows she can trust: her best friend Nathan. But is it smart to experiment with not just your own, but also someone else’s feelings, and will this really solve April’s problems?

The book started a bit slow, which is why I think it took me quite some time to really get into the story. I loved the plotline of the novel, though; a girl who can’t seem to find happiness and continues to fall in love with the wrong guys, who then decides to come up with a 7-step-plan to rewire her brain so she will fall in love with someone suitable, in this case her male best friend. I honestly love this concept and I think it would make a great film as well. As soon as April’s experiment with her best friend Nathan started, I found myself really enjoying the story and I was curious to find out what would happen and who April would eventually end up with. I didn’t end up really warming to April, I guess I just didn’t have a particular click with this protagonist, but I was intrigued by her story and how it would all end.

The book is set in Australia, but it could have been anywhere in the world; I would have liked it if the author had made more use of the location. I’ve heard Australia is a beautiful country, but the book is only set in offices and houses, instead of the outdoors, which I thought was a bit of a waste. The book has a great storyline at its core and some entertaining characters; I just personally think it could have been even more amazing, with some slight changes. Overall, though, ‘Love by Numbers’ is a light-hearted and fun romantic comedy which I think chick lit fans will enjoy!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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