About the Book:
Title: The Soulmate Equation
Author: Christina Lauren
Page Length: 368
Publication Date: May 18, 2021
Publisher: Gallery Books
Synopsis: Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents—who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno—Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.
But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: this Jess understands.
At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought.
Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.
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Jess is a single mother to seven-year-old Juno and a data statistician who works hard to provide for her daughter and make ends meet. She lives across the street from her grandparents, who raised her and now help with Juno. Content with her life, Jess has no interest in dating, and when she is convinced to try a new dating app, she is more interested in the data behind it than the actual matchmaking. She never expects to find a match.
River is the founder GeneticAlly, a matchmaking app that uses DNA to match its customers. He is shocked when Jess’s DNA proves almost perfectly compatible with his. Determined to use this rare match to his advantage, River’s company convinces Jess to “date” him, which, in turn, promotes the success of GeneticAlly.
Neither expects to fall in love. They can barely stand each other. Jess is stunned that this grumpy scientist could be her soul mate, even if he looks like Keanu Reeves. Jessica is certain the data is faulty and agrees to date River so that she can fully analyze the situation. However, both might just realize that GeneticAlly’s compatibility matching is more accurate than expected.
Jess is a fantastic protagonist. A loving mother and granddaughter and a great friend, Jess is the kind of person I’d want to hang out with. She’s smart and a bit skeptical, and she doesn’t trust easily, which makes sense considering how people in her past hurt her. The sting of rejection and abandonment runs deep, and it is difficult for Jess to let people get close to her because of that. However, once they do, Jess loves deeply and fully.
Though I didn’t love River at the beginning of the story, he quickly grew on me. He isn’t the jerk he initially appears to be and instead is more of a shy and awkward man. As Jess gets to know him, she begins to see him for who he truly is too. I love their love story, and though it had many obstacles, I wholly rooted for this couple and their slow-building romance. Often fear, miscommunication, and secrets hinder a relationship, and it’s interesting to see how this couple handles these situations and their feelings for each other. Plus, their chemistry is off the charts! Even when they spar, their attraction and connection are clear.
I also love the supporting characters in the novel, especially Fizz, who is a total scene stealer! She and Jess are friendship goals, and I adore their relationship. Juno is also fantastic, as are Jess’s grandparents. All of the characters are richly developed and add so much to the story. I can easily see a sequel to the book that focuses on Fizz. That would be fantastic!
A fun, original, and intelligent story that will make you feel all the feels, The Soulmate Equation is perfect for readers who enjoy rom-coms and contemporary romance. I also think people who enjoy STEM-related romances will love this one! Some technical and scientific explanations totally went over my head but really made me think about the existential issues involved in genetic matches. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Gallery Books, and Christina Lauren for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- The romance!
- The characters.
- The strong and positive themes.
This is a great story for readers who enjoy contemporary fiction and romance. I think readers who like the following will also love the book:
- fake dating
- soul mates