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LOVE ON THE BRAIN by Ali Hazelwood


by Ali Hazelwood

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-593-33684-7
Publisher: Berkley

A neuroscientist is forced to work with her academic nemesis on a career-changing project in this STEM-celebratory contemporary romance.

Bee Königswasser is over-the-moon excited when she's asked to lead BLINK, a joint project between NASA and the National Institutes of Health designed to build better technology for astronauts. The invitation to the team is enough to get Bee out of the funk she's been in since she discovered her fiance cheating and her engagement fell apart. Her excitement is short-lived when she discovers she'll be co-leading the project with engineer Levi Ward, her grad school nemesis, whose cold, cutting behavior and outspoken inability to work with her on an assignment have stuck with her. Their work on BLINK is an improvement though, as Levi doesn't immediately bail on the project. But when little things start to go wrong for Bee and her team, she begins to wonder if her co-lead isn't above sabotage. Adding an additional layer to Bee and Levi's rivalry is the fact that they run two very popular anonymous social media accounts. Since the accounts are both rooted in science and academia, Bee and Levi unknowingly frequent the same internet circles and have even developed an online friendship without knowing each other's identity. While the epistolary elements of the book, including tweets and direct messages, are novel, it often feels unnecessary. The quiet, pining hero in a lab setting isn't new territory for Hazelwood, and readers may wonder if she pushes it in a new direction here. The answer is no. While Hazelwood is clearly a talented writer who's tapped into readers' desire to find powerful, proudly nerdy women in science getting happy-ever-afters, she's missed the opportunity to try new character types that don't feel like The Love Hypothesis (2021) with slightly different packaging.

A quick read, though less than fresh.