LOVE ON THE BRAIN
BY ALI HAZELWOOD
Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project – a literal dream come true – Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.
Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school – archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.
But when her equipment starts to go missing and the staff ignore her, Bee could swear she sees Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas… devouring her with those eyes. The possibilities have all her neurons firing.
But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there’s only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?
I don’t know how Ali Hazelwood managed to pull it off, but somehow Love on the Brain is even better than The Love Hypothesis. We’ve got women in STEM empowering over women, men backing them up, Marie Curie facts sprinkled in with some cute kitties and quite a few steamy scenes. I don’t think nerdy romance book gets better than this.
Bee was so quirky and I adored her obsession with Marie Curie (she might be a tad obsessive but we all have our things!). She is this modern woman in STEM with tattoos, piercings, non-neutral hair and has the funniest terms for things. Curse words at just not in her upbeat and funny vocabulary but instead we get made up words including ones about things like men not listening to or doing what a woman says until a man backs them up. I loved her sunshine personality and that nothing got her down for long. Her running the most popular women in STEM Twitter account (@whatwouldmariedo) was just the icing on the cake.
The romance follows the enemies to lovers trope and we also get that grumpy x sunshine dynamic that I love. Levi might come off as grumpy, but like Bee I adored him from the start. Dr. Adam Carson who? Step aside and make room for my newest obsession. The tension and banter between them was on point with just enough of some miscommunication to keep things interesting. Hazelwood definitely gave us more steamy scenes in this book and I was living for them.
While Bee and Levi are obviously the main focus of the story, the side characters made this book. Bee’s lab assistant, Rocío, was freaking hilarious. She had the most outlandish and interesting facts about the most random things. I loved that she got her own little side plot about her romantic life and applying for grad school. We also get to meet Bee’s twin sister Reike who is in full on wunderlust mode, a quirky six year old, an Elle Woods of NASA and two very personable cats.
As a woman who works in STEM (engineering) I really enjoyed seeing how Bee tackled and referred to issues of being a woman in a male dominated field. I could relate to so many of the situations she had funny names for and seeing her channel that into a community was amazing. I wish we had something like that in real life, a place where women in STEM could support and lift each other up rather than making it a competition. We also get to see what life is like after grad school and learn a bit about neuroscience which was really interesting.
If you were a fan of The Love Hypotheses you won’t be disappointed in Love on the Brain. Be prepared to let a new nerdy love interest into your heart and be excited to meet the offbeat and eccentric Bee.