Author: Aaron Karo
Publication: May 5th 2015 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (thank you Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss!)
Genre: Fiction—Contemporary, Realistic, Romance
Other classifications: High School Romance, Young Adult
What if the secrets of dating and love were revealed in one simple formula? That’s the tantalizing proposition high school senior Shane Chambliss offers the hopeless and hapless guys who come to him for relationship advice.
After the girl of his dreams breaks his heart, Shane devises a mysterious formula called the Galgorithm and establishes himself as the resident dating guru at Kingsview High School. But his attempts to master the art of romance go outrageously awry.
As Shane tries to navigate the ensuing drama, he must follow his heart, abandon all the rules, and ignore his own advice in a quest for true love. What he discovers, no formula could ever predict…
I received a review copy from the publisher which in no way swayed my opinion about the work.
Galgorithm is a fun, light, if often trite, read with short chapters that make for an easy entertainment. Here’s the thing with the author, Aaron Karo is a comedian and this is evident throughout the book. Shane is funny, though he can get cheesy at times. But, hey, I’ll take peanut butter with my pancakes. (Yes, on a scale of one to bacon—one being the lowest and bacon being, well, bacon—peanut butter receives one-point-five in the Food Analogy Scale of Awesomeness.) And there are instances where Shane is existential but also faintly reminiscent of Ryan Dean West’s hormonally-charged voice, albeit toned down and with a bit of maturity.
“He’s the most finicky guy I’ve ever met. He nitpicked everyone and everything. Girls were “too nice.” The air was “too breathable.” He once said that a sandwich was “too bready,” which I think pretty much defies the laws of sandwichness.”
Meanwhile, Jak, Shane’s best friend since childhood, is so witty! She has a thing for ruining perfect moments and Karo nails this all the time. Almost everytime she’s in a dialogue, it’s sarcastic and all that teen stuff. My main issue with this novel, however, is the lack of a unique, stand-out voice. I mean, all the side characters kind of blur in the background and, though Shane and Jak were enjoyable to read about, they were predictable.
“”What is almond milk anyway?”
“It’s milk from ground-up almonds. It’s healthier because there’s no dairy.”
“That feels like one of those made-up facts.””
The novel is very contemporary so it doesn’t take a move of muscle to get into the story. Plus it isn’t before long until a Harry Potter reference comes up. And, darn, what a reference! I seriously laughed out loud at this one (which I’ll do you a favor and not spoil for you). In addition, there are other pop culture references but I especially like that Twitter and emojis are mentioned. This novel will appeal to fans of Will Gluck’s Easy A.
“”Easier said than done.”
“Life is easier said than done, Shane.””
Galgorithm is at its core a high school rom com, and much as it lets you down at some points for using a hackneyed trope, it still is something to pick up when you want to relax and just stay in for the night or when you want a quick read that’ll make you grin.
Aaron Karo is an author, comedian, and screenwriter. His books include Galgorithm, Lexapros and Cons, I’m Having More Fun Than You, Ruminations on Twentysomething Life, and Ruminations on College Life. He was born and raised in New York, currently lives in Los Angeles, and always pays on the first date.
Have you read this one? Do you share my opinion? If not, it’s okay. We can still discuss. Or if you haven’t read it yet (considering it’s not out ’til next week), have I been helpful in determining whether you’d pick it up or not? And, ultimately, what is your favorite high school romance? Come on, let’s talk!