BJ: Welcome, B!
B: You're playing Mother today?
BJ: I figure it's my turn. Ready?
B: Ready when you are.
BJ: So, B, you've been a fan of Laura Steven for a while now.
B: I have! A couple of years ago the feminism, girl power wave started gaining traction. Moxie is the first one I remember reading, but then I picked up The Exact Opposite of Okay and I was immediately converted. I follow both of those authors religiously now. Exact Opposite was so funny, and heartfelt, and the main character felt like a real person, not just someone who was written about but someone who was real off the page as well.
B: Yeah. And, uh, you've never read Laura Steven before.
BJ: No, I haven't, but I definitely will now. Like you say, the main character feels very real.
B: I'll loan you the other two.
BJ: I always come out of these reviews with a reading list!
B: It's good for you. You enjoyed the read?
BJ: Very much! I don't know about you, but when I was in school I constantly felt overlooked and ignored in favour of other people. The only difference is it didn't really bother me; I'm such an introvert, I actually preferred it, usually. But I do understand and have felt that desperate 'I'm here, I'm here, pay attention to me!' feeling.
B: Oh, yeah. There's an episode of...maybe the Twilight Zone? The newer ones, not the original. A man commits a crime, and his sentence is to be labeled as invisible for a year. No one is allowed to interact with him in any way. It breaks him down. Caro's isolation here really burns, it's so powerfully written.
BJ: I loved that a lot of the reason her life started getting better was because she gained confidence. Walked tall, started speaking up...it's a great lesson. Much better than the first lesson.
B: Yes. Kids, Don't Buy Drugs On The Internet.
BJ: And the link to consent was very clever. Like Caro, I hadn't considered it until she thought of it, quite late in the novel.
B: It's a very tricky situation, definitely.
BJ: So the big question, B. Dad or Vati?
B: Oh, Lord. I don't know. I have to pick one?
BJ: Yeah, just one.
B: Vati, I guess. Dad felt robotic pretty much all the way through, until right at the end. I guess you're going to pick him? Introverts sticking together?
BJ: I would die of embarrassment at Vati's first joke. I mean, they're funny on the page, but in real life? Not a chance.
B: Fair. They're a good team.
BJ: I just kept thinking of Kevin and Captain Holt from Brooklyn 99...see, I can make cultural references too.
B: I literally just watched you look it up because you forgot Captain Holt's name.
BJ: Hush. Anything you'd add to the story?
B: That final conversation between Caro and her dads, the one she doesn't have on page. I'd have liked to see that. You?
BJ: I'd like to see if Caro and a character I won't name for spoilers stay friends. Or...rebecome friends, I suppose.
B: Good choice.
BJ: Thank you, B.
B: Thank you, BJ. See you at our next BookChat.
BJ: Looking forward to it!
(Side note: The friend who double checks my typing on these was so intrigued by the chat that she's planning to buy the book!)
Physics genius Caro Kerber-Murphy knows she’s smart. With straight As and a college scholarship already in the bag, she’s meeting her two dads’ colossal expectations and then some. But there’s one test she’s never quite been able to ace: love. And when, in a particularly desperate moment, Caro discovers a (definitely questionable) scientific breakthrough that promises to make you irresistible to everyone around you, she wonders if this could be the key. What happens next will change everything Caro thought she knew chemistry – in the lab and in love.
Is her long-time crush Haruki with her of his own free will? Are her feelings for her best girl friend some sort of side-effect? Will her dog, Sirius, ever stop humping her leg?