Book Review

The Soulmate Equation

The Soulmate Equation

  • Author: Christina Lauren
  • Genre: Romance
  • Publication Date: May 18, 2021
  • Publisher: Gallery Books

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book. I am offering my honest opinion voluntarily.

CONTENT WARNING: mention of addiction, mention of infidelity

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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.

I couldn’t wait to start this one, and it didn’t let me down. I think Christina Lauren is one of my new favorite authors. I liked the premise of the story, and how it made me think about how I’d react to dating software that could predict a soulmate based on DNA.

The characters were amazing. I loved the supporting characters — Jess’s grandparents, her best friend Fizzy, and especially her daughter, Juno. They were perfect companions and played such a great role in how the story developed. Jess was so relatable. She’s a single mom with a strong support group, a freelance job that allows her to be involved in her daughter’s life, and a tentative hold on everything else. Except she’s not really managing very well, and has completely put romance on the back burner. Until she meets her DNA-determined soulmate. Dr. River Peña is the most infuriating character at first. He wasn’t very likable, but he definitely grew on me as I kept reading, and I genuinely grew to love him. He had some truly redeeming characteristics, but also some incredibly frustrating flaws that helped him avoid the “too perfect” trap. 

I enjoyed the way the romance unfolded as well. It wasn’t a fake dating story as much as a forced dating story, where they wound up having to give the relationship a genuine try, regardless of how they felt about it at first. I wasn’t sure how they’d get past the initial obstacles, since they were both pretty resistant to each other’s personalities, although there was a definite physical attraction. But when they started to give each other a chance, things started to heat up. There wasn’t any explicit sex in the story, but I did enjoy how the romance was portrayed. 

Overall, this was a great story, and I’d definitely recommend giving it a shot. While it did get a little bit technical when it came to statistics and genes, it wasn’t overwhelmingly so and didn’t fall into too much jargon for a novice (read: non math person) like myself to be able to follow. So give this one a shot!

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