Hi book lovers, I am back again with another STEM baddie book recommendation. This week I am reviewing Ten Trends to Seduce your Best Friend by Penny Reid. This novel is a misunderstood enemies to lovers and fake best-friend romantic comedy. It is chaotic, hilarious, and should be your next romance read!
Winnie makes STEM tiktoks in her free time and has a small following when her bestie, Amelia, encourages her to apply for an influencer program with her company. Winnie’s ecstatic, but she needs a bigger following to meet the requirement. So she decides to film a romantic series on her Tiktok where she challenges herself to face her crush.
But when her crush only makes her life harder, mutual friend and best-selling author, Byron decides to step in and help Winnie. But Winnie’s hesitant to use Byron for views, not to mention she hates that Byron previously criticized her profession. Winnie’s ready to call the project quits before they can even start when Byron confesses he has a crush on her.
Winnie’s shocked but realizes that Byron’s feelings add a level of audacity to the videos. And suddenly Winnie starts to notice Byron, and the more time they spend together, the easier it becomes to develop feelings. But Winnie can’t jump into a relationship with Byron! Not until she knows she won’t walk away with a broken heart.
This romance is very different from romance novels I’ve read. What could I possibly mean by that? Well in this novel, both protagonists are virgins late into their 20s! Additionally, the love interest, Byron immediately confesses he likes Winnie but then tells her his feelings won’t get in the way of filming tiktoks. This only causes Winnie to develop feelings for him.
What a plot twist!!
I did like the Stem theme throughout this novel. Although Math, science, and technology are not my preferred subjects, I like romance novels that feature heroines who are Stem baddies. A lot of these novels don’t craft a heroine into a socially awkward girl which I find refreshing. Winnie is a little nerdy, but she’s also super kind to everyone. I enjoy these novels because it allows the protagonist to have their own agency and character arc.
Coincidentally, Top Ten Trends to Seduce your best friend touches upon this aspect. Winnie’s social media persona is her explaining experiments to her followers, but she also goes into the science behind makeup and hair dye, thus blending the world between science and femininity. I thought it was brilliant of the author to highlight this because I didn’t realize other STEM novels, The Love Hypothesis, also do this.
Additionally, this novel does a great job of showing a couple that supports each other. Byron’s moody throughout this novel. Often not voicing he needs space or criticizing Winnie, which leads the pair fighting to understand each other. But then Winnie realizes Byron might have a Sensory Processing Disorder. Common traits of SPD means someone may under-respond to noises or things in their immediate environment. SPD is common in people with autism spectrum disorder (although this book does not state that Byron is autistic.) The novel follows Byron’s diagnosis of this too, and later Winnie learns to be more patient with Byron and to pay closer attention to Byron’s body language for signs of discomfort.
But Byron also supports Winnie. Byron has had a crush on Winnie since college, so he’s aware that she has a gluten allergy. And in this novel, he’s mindful of where he buys food for her. And later he even takes a cooking class to learn even more gluten-free recipes just for her. But besides supporting her dietary needs. Byron also learns to be careful with how his words may affect Winnie. Winnie values Byron’s opinion, and sometimes his words come off a little harsh. But he improves.
If you love spice and smut in your romance novels, you’ll enjoy this book. There’s a build-up to the smut scenes and even to the pair’s first kiss, but of course, it is worth it.
Additionally, Winnie mentions that she has another best friend, Serena, but she’s barely in this novel. She has one scene with Winnie and then returns briefly at the end. Winnie mentions that Serena does not like Byron but does not elaborate as to why. I thought that maybe there was going to be a dramatic reveal that these two dated in the past. But this plot point does not go anywhere. That said, Serena’s character is a vibe in this story. Serena runs a small business at Pike’s Place, and she visits Winnie and Amelia weekly to play Stardew Valley. Although I wish Serena’s had a bigger role in this novel, I am intrigued by her character. And I wonder if the other has plans to return to her or this universe.
Overall, I loved this novel and I recommend it for any romance fan that loves a slow burn.
until next time book lovers you can find me living in libros,
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