The Sheldon Trope Should Die: This is My Brain on Boys by Sarah Strohmeyer

Addie Emerson doesn’t believe in love. Not for herself, anyway. With one year left of high school, she’s more interested in snagging a full scholarship to Harvard than a full-time boyfriend.

That doesn’t mean she’s oblivious to the ways of the heart. Or, rather, the head. Because after months of research, Addie has discovered how to make anyone fall in love. All you need is the secret formula.

But will her discovery be enough to win the coveted Athenian Award and all its perks? (See above, full scholarship to Harvard.) Or will she be undone by Dexter, her backstabbing lab partner, who is determined to deep-six her experiments at their exclusive private school?

Those are the least of her problems now that she’s survived a death-defying flight with a mysterious, dark-haired boy, who has delicious chocolate-brown eyes and a few secrets of his own.

With an experiment to mastermind, an infatuated exchange student on her hands, and at least one great white shark (more on that later), can Addie’s prefrontal cortex outwit her heart? Or will she have to give in to her amygdala and find out, once and for all, if this thing called love is more than just her brain on drugs? 

Source: GoodReads

Recently YA authors have been fond of the Sheldon Cooper trope which is to have the mostly socially awkward protagonist possible and then hit them with the teenage love stick and bam the lose 100 IQ points and turn into Bella Swan or any other stupid YA protagonist


Such is the case with This is My Brain on Boys. I’ve heard lots of great things about Sarah Strohmeyer’s YA books, though personally I’ve always been a bit lukewarm to them or the one I read. Which is sad because I really liked her adult series with Bubbles the hairdresser that solves mysteries—ridiculously hilarious and addictive.

I wasn’t a huge fan of this one as you can see by the first paragraph. In fact, I quit the book at page 150. Like I said Addie had Sheldon Syndrome and the plot was a bit silly and stupid. In a weird way, it reminded me of those Doris Day films in the 1960’s that my mom always made my sister and I watch. I loved those movies while kooky and cheesy they were charming, this book just has the kooky and cheesy part done and lacks in the charm. So, the overall effect is just weird and cringe worthy.

I really was hoping to solider on though, all kidding aside but I couldn’t. Again I DNF’d a Strohmeyer YA book and I sort of hate myself for it.   But I just can’t stand cringe worthy books these days. Addie acts like she has the emotional IQ of an eight-year-old, yet she has all these friends and the teachers let her do her stupid experiment during the summer which really doesn’t make sense and—well, I was sort of done at that point.

I think one of the reasons the Sheldon personality type works so well on the original character is that he’s a television character so the audience isn’t stuck into his rigid POV ALL the stinking time. With Addie, her POV and her love interest—who really doesn’t make sense as a love interest, it would be like Penny getting with Sheldon—POV the book is stifling and I just wanted to shake Addie so freaking much.

I couldn’t believe that the school would allow such a stupid experiment and animal abuse—yes, they claim it’s not abuse that they’re not physically hurting small animals but even scaring them is abuse. Especially for an experiment that isn’t going to save anyone’s lives or really have any long term value other than being a way to get people to hook up.

I just can’t.

While the cover to this one said “Buy me, MJ” I should’ve listed to my gut. While I might love some of this author’s adult books her YA books and I don’t mix.

Overall Rating: DNF. I quit when the gerbil abuse started.



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