The Calculation of You and Me: A Novel

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The Calculation of You and Me: A Novel
Author(s)
Age Range
13+
Release Date
June 18, 2024
ISBN
978-1250908704
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A calculus nerd enlists her surly classmate’s help to win back her ex-boyfriend, but when sparks start to fly, she realizes there’s no algorithm for falling in love.

Marlowe Meadows understands a lot of things. She understands that calculus isn’t overwhelmingly beautiful to everyone, and that it typically kills the mood when you try to talk Python coding over beer pong. She understands that people were surprised when golden boy Josh asked her out and she went from weird, math-obsessed Marlowe to half of their school’s couple goals. Unfortunately, Marlowe was the one surprised when Josh dumped her because he’d prefer a girlfriend who's more romantic. One with emotional depth.

But Marlowe has never failed anything in her life, and she isn’t about to start now. When she’s paired with Ashton Hayes for an English project, his black clothing and moody eyeliner cause a bit of a systems overload, and the dissonant sounds of his rock band make her brain itch. But when she discovers Ash's hidden stash of love songs, Marlowe makes a desperate deal to unleash her inner romantic heroine: if Ash will agree to help her write some love letters to win back Josh, she’ll calculate the perfect data analytics formula to make Ash's band go viral.

As the semester heats up with yearning love notes, a syllabus of romance novels, and late nights spent with a boy who escapes any box her brain tries to put him in, Marlowe starts to question if there’s really a set solution to love. Could a girl who's never met a problem she can't solve have gotten the math so massively wrong?

Editor reviews

2 reviews
overall cute YA contemporary romance
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
THE CALCULATION OF YOU AND ME is an overall cute YA contemporary romance. After her boyfriend of two years dumps her for not being romantic enough, Marlowe feels set adrift, but she knows she must put in the work to get him back. After she is paired with Ash for an English project and realizes he might know something about romance, she decides to ask him for his help - he will teach her how to be more romantic and she will help him promote his band online.

However, as they spend time together, Marlowe begins to ask herself more frequently what she really wants - and the answer may not be what she had thought it would be.

What I loved: This was an overall cute book with characters that were easy to like. Marlowe is confused about her life and love, and she has an idea of her family and her parents' former marriage that helps to convince her that maybe her ex was right. As the book continues, Marlowe does learn about romance and love, but it was not what she originally thought. I appreciated that some of the key lessons come from characters who are not just Ash, as they give their insights on Marlowe's perceptions/misconceptions. In particular, her parents and BFF's have some key insights that help to bring some epiphanies.

The dating was very cute, although couched as lessons. Ash was very sweet as well, and it was easy to like him and to like him for Marlowe. Themes around self-worth, the power of a good romance novel, and what love really is were all really great. The representation was great as well, with several characters having autism and side characters on the LGBT+ spectrum.

What left me wanting more: As a small thing, the middle of the book felt pretty repetitive as Marlowe gets stuck in between what she thought she wanted and what she cannot yet admit to herself that she does want. There were a few scenes that felt like they repeated, likely due to her personal confusion. The end did finish strong.

Final verdict: THE CALCULATION OF ME AND YOU is an overall very cute YA contemporary romance about love and finding your own way.
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Cute and Fun Rom-Com
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
The Calculation of You and Me is a slow burning fire, guaranteed to make you believe in love!

The author did amazing job at developing characters, their relationships, and more.

There is a bit of diverse character representation in this book.
Of course, we have Marlowe who has autism. The book pretty much centralizes around that theme most. It is something the author focuses on a LOT and is an important part of Marlowe's identity, while not making it her only identity.
A couple characters are part of the LGBTQ community; both Marlowe's best friend, Odette, and her love interest, Ash, plus a new friend from the bookstore! This is never made a big deal... it's just something that IS and is accepted. There's no further explanation needed.

Marlowe and Ashton had a wonderful relationship. I enjoyed reading as Ash swooped in to help Marlowe then as their relationship grew from frenemies to more!
Ash is a broody goth kid in a band and I love him. He was patient and respectful of Marlowe, even when it was extremely difficult he never pushed her one way or another. His thoughtfulness is incredibly swoon worthy.
Marlowe also has a wonderful relationship with her family, including her dad that lives states away.
Her mother, stepfather, and sister are caring and love Marlowe. Their attitudes towards her are so supportive and heartwarming. The same can be said for her friends, Poppy and Odette. They let Marlowe figure things out on her own, while obviously yet casually making their opinions known.
Ugh, Josh. Good riddance.

Marlowe was honestly my favorite character. Her feelings are so genuine and heartfelt, she is easy to connect with on some level. From her highs to her lows, she is truly a character that draws you in.

The story itself is the definition of a romantic comedy.
I swooned, I got misty eyes, and I definitely laughed. The romance is a slow build, and I would have loved to seen more with Ash and Marlowe alone together, but the payoff is adorable.
The plot didn't drag and was well-paced, making this an easy read.

In addition to the romance, this book shows the reader the importance of not only finding your true self but also realizing your own worth. It was a spectacular journey seeing these characters figure out who they were and what they wanted.

I highly recommend The Calculation of You and Me to fans of Kelly Oram and Lynn Painter! If you're looking for a sweet rom-com, this is it!
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