Review by Kimberly Wheaton
The Avery Shaw Experiment
by Kelly Oram
YA contemporary romance
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.
I read The Avery Shaw Experiment in several sittings, only because I was forced to stop at times due to family activities. Seldom do I run into a book that I just don’t want to put down. Though desperate for sleep (I was visiting the in-laws sans husband), I stayed up until 2am to finish reading this novel.
The book is written in first person, alternating points of view between Avery Shaw and Grayson Kennedy. The two character voices are very distinctive. Even without the author labeling the chapter with the POV character, there’d be no doubt as to whose POV we’re in. It makes the book that much more interesting to see the thoughts of the two very different main characters.
I love the entire premise of the book. Stuck without a science project and partner for the state science fair because your best friend broke your heart? Why not use your messed up love life starring you as the guinea pig? Oh, and don’t forget to have a sweet, sexy guy agree to be your partner.
As the experiment progresses, it’s interesting to watch how Avery copes with the different stages of grief. Avery is a very likeable character making it easy for the reader to rally behind her during her heartbreak recovery. Some of the grieving process is sad and I admit I shed a few tears for the crap Avery was dealt.
Aiden Kennedy will make you want to use his face as target practice. Frankly I’m impressed that Avery handled the complete betrayal by such a dear friend so well. Had it been me, Aiden would be sporting cafeteria mystery meat plastered all over his face (each and every day).
Grayson Kennedy is as lovable as they come, a perfect foil for his idiotic younger brother, Aiden. The most articulate word I can come up with to describe Grayson is yummy; tall, blond haired, blue-eyed, athletic, sweet, charismatic yummy goodness.
The peripheral characters are loads of fun. Some of the best scenes in the book center around Grayson and the Science Club denizens. The interactions between Avery’s best friend Libby and Grayson’s best friend Owen are utterly hilarious. Libby would definitely win best supporting character if there was an award for that.
There have been few books that I enjoyed quite as much as The Avery Shaw Experiment. It’s light hearted, sad at times, funny enough to make you laugh out loud, and witty without being pretentious. If you’re looking for a fun read that will take you to a happy place for a few hours, look no further.