The cover for Love, In Theory by Elodie Cheesman

Title: Love, In Theory
Author: Elodie Cheesman
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Published: May 2021

Love, in Theory combines romance with mathematics to tell the story of Romy; chronically single and feeling mounting pressure from her mother to settle down. Author Elodie Cheesman poses the question: is there such thing as an ‘ultimate stopping point’ when it comes to finding a life partner?  

I really enjoyed how easy it was to settle in to Love, in Theory and its relatable cast of characters. Much like Bridget Jones’ Diary, the reader slots themselves into Romy’s friend group and observes the lives of the characters without feeling out of the loop. We witness the trials and tribulations of various romances with Romy’s dating life being the main focus of the narrative. The quick-witted dialogue and social observations were spot-on for twenty-somethings, and I found it to be a relatable read.

In the beginning we witness Romy navigate the world of dating apps and the disastrous dates that follow, until she meets Hans—the dreamy German who ticks all the boxes. On paper, at least. The sage words of her mother echo in her mind when she finds the chemistry lacking between them, relying instead on slowly falling in love with all aspects of Hans’ personality rather than diving straight into pure infatuation. As Carrie Bradshaw would say: I couldn’t help but wonder … is there such thing as love at first sight?

The target audience is very clear for this book. The pop culture references and general plot are something straight out of a 20-something’s vocabulary, and it’s clear who the author was aiming for in writing this book.

That being said, steeping the book in modernity results in it being quite niche content. I don’t feel as though this book will be as readable in a few years’ time. Romy’s inner dialogue is full of endless references and social commentary, which I found enjoyable at first. It is reminiscent of the conversations I have with my friends, however it felt disarming and took me out of the story when I had to stop and use intertextual knowledge to fully understand what was being said.

Overall, I found this to be an enjoyable Australian romance book. If you’re a fan of Dolly Alderton I think you’d enjoy this local take on modern-day dating. This is the perfect millennial book club read and judging by how I have seen this cover all over Instagram, it is already beloved by its target demographic!

Underground Team
editors.underground.writers@gmail.com

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