Saturday, April 20, 2013

'Love at Absolute Zero' by Christopher Meeks

 Official Summary:
...[A] comic romance about Gunnar Gunderson, a 32-year-old star physicist at the University of Wisconsin who's determined to meet his soul mate within three days using the Scientific Method. As he channels his inner salmon for speed dating, he accidentally steps on the toes of a visiting Danish schoolteacher--and his life turns upside down.

In an effort to be as thorough with my exploration of the romance genre as possible, I decided that the last book I'd subject myself to peruse would have a male author. It seemed only fair, really, ...even a tad bit scientific. So after a quick spin through some Goodreads recommendations I landed firmly on 'Love at Absolute Zero' by Christopher Meeks, a title where the scientific method is called out by name in the synopsis. The premise seemed lighthearted enough, promising a splash of comedy and the plot seemed to consist of more than "girl meets boy and girl drops panties." To say the very least, it appealed to my substance-demanding side, and apropos given the summary, so I gave it a whirl.

So what were my findings? Well, some of you may be a sight bit disappointed to learn that it hasn't managed to make a romance genre convert out of me but it did help to reinforce a very important lesson, a lesson that's taken a few titles to truly solidify: Not all romance novels are bad. The trip through "Romance Land" also helped me to identify a couple of titles, and authors that I may actually seek out in the future.

But enough about the genre as a whole and more about this work by Meeks, eh? It's a solidly written work that kept my interest up until the very end, rooting for Gunnar and his mission to find a soul mate from right around page one. And let's just say that while focus of the story does eventually stray from this ludicrous three-day soul mate discovery, it shifts to a much realer, soul searching exploration that still managed to keep me chuckling. It has a diverse cast of supporting characters that never feel superfluous to the plot and a wonderful sense of place and honesty that I haven't come across particularly often.

Bottom Line: If you're a fan of books like 'Flat-Out Love' by Jessica Park this one will resonate with you. With it's offbeat sense of humor and brutally honest depictions of the kinds of people that can make up a life, it's well worth the time spent. If, however, you're more of a "girl meets boy and girl drops panties" kind of reader, well, it's probably not your cup of tea.

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