Title: Five Ways to Fall Out of Love
Author: Emily Martin
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication date: March 16th, 2021
This whip-smart rom-com explores the risks and rewards of letting love in, for fans of Jennifer E. Smith, Julie Buxbaum, and Sandhya Menon.
How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…
Aubrey Cash learned the hard way not to rely on love. After all, Webster Casey, the new boy next door she’d been falling for all summer, stood her up at homecoming in front of everyone with no explanation. Proving her theory that love never lasts seems easy when she’s faced with parents whose marriage is falling apart and a best friend who thinks every boy she dates is “the one.” But when sparks fly with a boy who turns out to be Webster’s cousin, and then Webster himself becomes her lab partner for the rest of senior year, Aubrey finds her theory—and her commitment to stay single—put to the test.
As she navigates the breakdown of her family, the consequences her cynicism has on her relationship with her best friend, and her own confusing but undeniable feelings for Webster, Aubrey has to ask herself: What really happened the night Webster stood her up? And if there are five ways to fall out of love…could there perhaps be even more ways to fall back in?
Aubrey Cash has a lot going on. Her senior year, her best friend, her parents failing marriage, and the fallout from last year’s disastrous homecoming dance where her date/friend/neighbor stood her up and humiliated her – and she can’t figure out why. Since then, they’ve been enemies and avoided each other. When Aubrey attends a party and meets Webster’s cousin, Holland, she is back in the dating game. But some part of her still wonders what really happened between her and Webster. Aubrey and Webster get stuck as partners for the semester, so will all the secrets come out?
Aubrey as a character is cynical about love after watching her parent’s fight for years. She doesn’t believe in love and marriage, and especially not high school love. But, she wants to try dating and starts with Holland. I loved Aubrey’s best friend, she was such a good opposite for Aubrey to counteract her cynicism. Five Ways to Fall Out of Love is an easy read with good pacing and writing. One thing I really appreciated was normalizing sexual relationships in high school. It’s happening, we don’t need to pretend it isn’t in books. So there are some more open scenes with detail – if this isn’t your jam maybe skim through those parts.
I really felt weird about the cousin, possible love triangle situation. Not only is that breaking “bro code” I imagine, I just feel like it’s heartless by both of the characters as well. I also feel like Aubrey and Webster needed more discourse throughout the book, and have better conversations. They both were terrible with communicating and a lot of issues could have been avoided.
For fans of high school contemporary romances, with a love triangle and friends to enemies to lovers trope, Five Ways to Fall Out of Love is a great pick coming out in March.
Thank you to Inkyard Press and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!