cover image This Is My Brain on Boys

This Is My Brain on Boys

Sarah Strohmeyer. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-225962-2

Addie and Kris meet in a high-stress situation: their plane seems like it’s about to crash. Scientifically minded Addie sees the world through an extremely rational lens—think Temperance Brennan on Bones—even offering to kiss Kris as the plane flounders as a “medical intervention” (he’s about to pass out from hyperventilation). Though Addie considers herself immune to romance, she’s also working to prove a theory that any two people can fall in love if they undergo a trauma together. Addie, meanwhile, is so socially naïve that she doesn’t realize she’s experienced this exact thing with Kris. Strohmeyer (The Secrets of Lily Graves) has a great handle on Addie’s cerebral perspective, which is engaging and funny, along with her development of Kris as a repentant bad boy who likes Addie despite what turns out to be a complicated past between them. Addie’s social quirkiness is endearing, as is her friends’ protective attitude and behavior toward her. Readers will follow along gladly to see whether Addie allows a little love into her life alongside her intellectual pursuits in this entertaining romance for geek lovers. Ages 13–up. (May)