contemporary · Reviews

ARC Review: Prom Theory | Ann LaBar

Prom Theory | Ann LaBar

Book Info

Page count: 400

Publication date: March 30, 2021

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genres: YA, contemporary, romance


“In this heartwarming and whip-smart YA spin on The Rosie Project, a teen girl is determined to prove that love, like all things, should be scientifically quantified…right?

Iris Oxtabee has managed to navigate the tricky world of unspoken social interactions by reading everything from neuroscience journals to Wikipedia articles. Science has helped her fit the puzzle pieces into an understandable whole, and she’s sure there’s nothing it can’t explain. Love, for example, is just chemistry.

Her best friend Seth, however, believes love is one of life’s beautiful and chaotic mysteries, without need for explanation. Iris isn’t one to back down from a challenge; she’s determined to prove love is really nothing more than hormones and external stimuli. After all, science has allowed humanity to understand more complex mysteries than that, and Iris excels at science.

The perfect way to test her theory? Get the popular and newly-single Theo Grant, who doesn’t even know Iris exists, to ask her to prom. With prom just two weeks away, Iris doesn’t have any time to waste, so she turns her keen empirical talents and laser-focus attention to testing her theory.

But will proving herself correct cause her friendship with Seth—and the tantalizing possibility for something more—to become the failed experiment?”

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for an ARC in change for an honest review!

Prom Theory is a heavily clichéd YA contemporary that still manages to be adorable.

As some of the reviews have pointed out, this book is basically one big cliché tied with a bow. There isn’t really anything wrong with it, but it feels overdone. It also reads like early YA. You know, those YA books that came out in the 2000s when the genre was first forming? It felt all too familiar.

Prom Theory is more or less exactly what it sounds like. Girl likes science. Girl uses science to try and prove love. Girl is blind to guy that actually loves her. I feel like I’ve read this before, no? It feels a little bit like the YA version of The Kiss Quotient (which I haven’t read so please correct me if I’m wrong) with science instead of math. The MC even has NVLD (Nonverbal Learning Disorder) while the MC of The Kiss Quotient has Asperger’s. I don’t mean to throw shade because the book was pretty entertaining, but it didn’t quite feel original.

As I just mentioned, our main character, Iris, has NVLD, a learning disorder. The neurodiversity was really nice and something you don’t see very often. That said, she was a bit of an annoying character. I didn’t understand half of what she said and she was obtusely blind to everything happening around her (cough cough Seth).

I really liked our love interest, though I’ll be the first to admit he was a little vanilla. Seth was very sweet and protective, but he didn’t really have any defining characteristics that I can think of other than Iris’s neighbor/best friend/love interest. That said, I’m a massive fan of the friends to lovers trope so I did rather enjoy the inevitable romance.

All in all, while the concepts Prom Theory was built around felt overdone, I did enjoy the book and reading experience.

What did you think? Have you read Prom Theory or any of the other books similar to it?

2 thoughts on “ARC Review: Prom Theory | Ann LaBar

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