When Avery Shaw’s heart is shattered by her life-long best friend, she chooses to deal with it the only way she knows how—scientifically. The state science fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic of her experiment. She’s going to find the cure. By forcing herself to experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests, she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself ready to love again. But she can’t do this experiment alone, and her partner (ex partner!) is the one who broke her heart. Avery finds the solution to her troubles in the form of Aiden’s older brother Grayson. The gorgeous womanizer is about to be kicked off the school basketball team for failing physics. He’s in need of a good tutor and some serious extra credit. But when Avery recruits the lovable Grayson to be her “objective outside observer,” she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for, because Grayson has a theory of his own: Avery doesn’t need to grieve. She needs to live. And if there’s one thing Grayson Kennedy is good at, it’s living life to the fullest.
First line: “The following journal is a scientific study on the process of overcoming heartbreak and is my official entry for the 2013 Utah State Science Fair.”
How can I describe this book? Cute and cheesy. Light and easy to read. That was my initial thought when I read the first half of the book, but then, as I approached the ending, it became unbearable for me to continue. It was extremely predictable. Girl gets her heart broken by her best guy friend, the best guy friend’s older brother helps her try to get over that dude, girl grows, ya dah, ya dah, ya dah, girl and the guy friend’s older brother get together after a misunderstanding, and big proclamation of love at the end. I was disappointed because I liked Kelly Oram’s other books. The Avery Shaw Experiment became extremely cliche and unbelievable with the portrayal of a girl getting over a breakup. If I can’t suspend my disbelief for a book, then we have a major problem.
- Sweet Grayson Kennedy.
He is saaaa-weeet with a capital S. He is not your stereotypical jock and doesn’t act like the popular kid who doesn’t care for other people unless they have something he wants. He’s the guy that everything likes because he’s extremely friendly and genuinely cares about everybody, especially to his family and friends. The bathroom scene in the beginning confirmed my adoration for him. He is the best person to hang out with when you go through a horrible breakup because he does whatever he can to cheer that person up (ie. Avery).
I always love seeing how authors portray friendships, especially if the book contains unlikely friendships. Here, we have a mix of popular kids and science geeks. The popular kids were not the mean ones. All the science “geeks” weren’t afraid to express their thoughts/opinions when they got to know the popular kid. I found it amazing that these two groups were able to hang together without any trouble because of the type of people they are.
- The portrayal of Avery.
I wanted to like her, but I was rolling my eyes at her. I couldn’t think of anything that made her stand out. She was a pretty bland/weak character. She was extremely naive (and I don’t think teenage girls are like that these days). All I remember her doing was turning beet red at everything that was “provocative” (I GET IT. Now, please stop!) and being a “geek” (but just barely since the descriptions are sparse and readers are forced to rely on what they imagine is a geek). I didn’t feel like I actually know her.
- The lost opportunity at portraying social anxiety disorder.
This book could’ve done a thorough exploration Avery’s social anxiety disorder, but unfortunately, it didn’t. The book alluded to it (at least, Grayson tells us that she has it and that she has to take medicine), but I wanted to actually see it. I felt that we only grazed the surface of the disorder. I wished Oram explored it instead of expecting the readers to already know what it’s like to have it and immediately understand what Avery is going through. It was a lost educational moment.
- Too much cheese and stereotypes!
I realize I can only deal with a certain amount of cuteness in a book until it ultimately turns into cheese for me. The book relied on a lot of stereotypes – from the characters to the dialogue – and didn’t do a lot reinvention. All the things that occurred or was said in this book, I felt like they were caricatures of already read in previous books or seen in those teenage romance films. Lesson is: I have a stone cold heart. Lol.
- The aspect of the science experiment.
I liked that each chapter dealt with the seven stages of grief (or tried to). I thought the scientific method would’ve played more of a part in the book, so I was a bit disappointed that we don’t actually have a very detailed version. I wished the book played more with the experiment aspect.
- This book isn’t for everyone. It’s really geared toward readers who are under 15 years old. I’d recommend this book to readers who want something extremely light/cute and don’t mind a cliche portrayal of a girl getting over a breakup. It has shifting POVs too! However, for those readers who can’t stand that and wants a new take on getting over a breakup or something a little heavy, avoid this book.