Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Review: Solving For Ex by Leigh Ann Kopans

Solving for Ex 
Author:  Leigh Ann Kopans
Publisher:  Create Space Independent Publishers, 340pages
Publication Date:  February 11, 2014

From Goodreads:
1 crush on your best friend +
1 gorgeous, scheming new girl +
1 Mathletics competition =
1 big mess


Ashley Price doesn’t have much in life after being bullied so hard she had to leave her old school to live with her aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh. But the camera she borrowed from her best friend and secret crush Brendan, and her off the charts math abilities, make things a lot more bearable. Plus, since Brendan is the captain, making the school Mathletes team should be easy.

But when gorgeous new girl Sofia rolls in and steals Brendan, Ashley's place on the team, and her fragile foothold on the Mansfield Park Prep social totem pole, it’s on. Sofia is everything Ashley left her old school to escape. The only thing Ashley didn’t count on is Sofia’s sexy twin brother Vincent.

Vincent is not only the hottest boy in school, he’s charming, sweet, and he’s got his eye on Ashley. He’s also not taking no for an answer. There's no real reason Ashley shouldn't like Vincent, but with the battle lines being drawn between her and Sofia, Ashley’s not sure which side he’s on. Or which side she wants him to be on.  She does know Sofia is trouble with a capital T, and she’s determined to make Brendan see it.

SOLVING FOR EX is a YA contemporary romance that remixes Mansfield Park as Clueless meets Mean Girls in a crazy mix of high school society, mathletic competition, and teenage romance.

I set a goal to read 5 Jane Austen spin-offs in 2014, and this was my third this year.  Kopans was very faithful to the basic plot in Mansfield Park and this book would be in my top 20% of Jane Austen spin-offs.  I think that Mansfield Park is a particularly difficult Jane Austen book to update and retell even though many have tried.  In trying to stay true to the basic plot of the original, I think the author sacrificed her own character development and created plots that either didn't make sense or were very unrealistic at times.  For example, a party where a student drove a Ferrari into a pool (yes this did remind me of Ferris Bueller).

That said, I enjoyed Solving for Ex on many levels, but I was also annoyed and frustrated several times.  What I liked best was Ashley being a math geek and that Brendan was struggling with problems in his own home.  I loved the style of writing and evolution of Ashley as things develop with Vincent. I loved the cute math equations that ended most of the chapters but unfortunately I didn't always understand the cute math equations.  Be sure to pay attention to the author of the equations (Vincent or Brandon).

My biggest complaint with the book was the ending because it seemed things escalated too quickly.  I really wished that the author had allowed the story to develop at a much slower pace at the end so that the reader had more opportunities to adjust to the plot developments as they unfolded at the end.

Posted By: Sheri


  1. I actually have this on my TBR. It's not high on my list. I may or may not read it but great review btw!

    1. I would definitely recommend this one if you are in the mood for a Jane Austen spin-off. It is much better than some of the others I have read recently ~Sheri

  2. I hate when the ending of books feels really rushed, it does ruin my enjoyment of the book quite a bit. This sounds like an okay read, but some of the unbelievable plot elements would get to me. I also think that scene sounds a lot like Ferris Bueller too. Great review :)

    1. I wish I could ask the author if she had that movie in mind! ~Sheri

  3. Top 20%! I feel like you are an expert so that is definitely high praise! And Ashley being a math geek would appeal to my nerdy side too

    1. the math equation notes were the most original thing I have seen in quite awhile and I plan on using some with my kids as they get older and can figure them out. ~Sheri

  4. I think that's neat that you're reading Austen retellings! Mansfield Park is the only Austen book I haven't read; it's too long and the subject matter doesn't really interest me. This book sounds cute but I dunno - love triangle haha. Have you read For Darkness Shows the Stars and A Star-Swept Sea? LOVE those books!