Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Solving for Ex by Leigh Ann Kopans ~ Review

Source:  Received an eBook copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Solving For Ex by Leigh Ann Kopans

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.

My Thoughts:

4 stars - Not perfect but a very enjoyable read.

First Impression...

Um...really?  My bachelor's degree is in mathematics and I teach middle school math.  Needless to say I love math.  I also really love it when girls love math.  The higher I went in math, the less girls there were around.  So I was really excited to read this one.  So much so that I posted it as my book I reading for my students to see!  This is outside my classroom door.  All the teachers post what they are reading for the students to see.

The Characters...

I've never read Mansfield Park so I was guessing at the twins.  I could tell Sofia was a B but the question was Vincent.  He made me nervous and I didn't trust him.  I wanted to like him and I wanted to trust him.  Won't tell you if he's trustworthy or not but I will say that I always knew he wasn't right for Ashley.

Ashley and Brandon are the best friends that can't figure out how to be a couple.  She wants to tell him but she's afraid.  Then the twins arrive and it's too late.  She looses him to Sofia and gains Vincent.  What was interesting about Ashley and Brandon, though, was that they are total geeks who are made for each other.  It was nice to see that in a book.  Those teens exist and these two did a great job of being math geeks.


The Story...

This was a great YA book that I hope to share with my students.  There's some great themes about bullying and standing up for what's right mixed in with a great best friend story.  I loved the premise and enjoyed how it played out through the story.


The Writing...

I have this knack for finding plot errors.  There were a few in this book though I did enjoy the writing style.


Could I Put it Down...

I read it pretty fast.  It's 300 pages but I read it in a few hours.  I did put it down overnight but only because I had to.  I think at least part of why I enjoyed it so much was that it encompassed so many of my interests - math, school, math competitions (I actually coach one of the Math teams described in the book) and bullying.  It may not appeal to everyone as much as it did to me because of that.


What Didn't Work...

The plot errors.  I got hung up on them.  Not huge things but things like who was driving Ashley to school.  It was always Brandon but then one time she had her own car.  Only later she was asking her aunt for a ride.  I was confused and it stopped me.  I don't like that.  There was a time in a restaurant where Ashley and someone else were fighting only to have the setting change without mention of their movement.  Little things like that that I just notice.  Not sure everyone would but it bugs me.


In the End...

I think this is a great book for YA, especially geeky YAs.  I'm not sure it's one all adults who read YA will enjoy but I did.  It's a great story told in a great way.  If that appeals to you, then give this one a try.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Praise for SOLVING FOR EX by LeighAnn Kopans


“If you only read one book in 2014, make sure it's Solving For Ex! I sincerely doubt that you'd regret reading it; it's intelligent, hilarious, intense and touching…Honestly one of the most amazing books I have ever read.”

Luciana Scath, blogger at Figments of our Imagination

“Amazing! If you like Sarah Dessen you will LOVE this.”

- Emma Pass, author of Acid and The Fearless (Random House)


"Putting a modern spin on a Jane Austen classic, Solving for Ex proves that brains can be sexier than brawn. In this complicated equation of high school drama, mean girls, mathletics, and romance, LeighAnn delivers yet another beautifully written young adult novel that authentically captures teenage emotions while also capturing the reader's heart."

- Nikki Godwin, author of Chasing Forever Down, American Girl on Saturn, and the upcoming Falling from the Sky

“Ashley is the kind of girl you want to root for, smart and capable and self-assured, despite of, or maybe because of, her vulnerabilities. And in Brenden, LeighAnn has crafted a boy worth of such a girl. Through all the heartbreak and angst of high school, their connection is undeniable and pressing. It's elementary, dear readers - Solving for Ex is one must-read romance.”

- Jenny Kaczorowski, author of The Art of Falling (Bloomsbury 2013)

Leigh Ann Kopans’s Biography

Raised on comic books and classic novels, Leigh Ann developed an early love of science fiction and literature. As an adult, she rediscovered her love for not only reading, but also writing the types of fiction that enchanted her as a teen. Solving for Ex was born of her love for Jane Austen’s classics, and how they taught her that love stories could be funny and wickedly smart.

Leigh Ann, her husband, and four children live in Columbus, Ohio. When she’s not immersed in the world of fiction, you can find her obsessing over the latest superhero movie or using her kids as an excuse to go out for ice cream (again.)


  1. This sounds cute! I love a good geeky YA novel.. although the plot errors might be a bit of a hand up for me as well. Great review!

  2. I laughed when I saw this here! How absolutely perfect for you. I'm glad you mostly enjoyed, and am happy youre going to share with your students.