Title: The Make-Up Test
Author: Jenny L. Howe
Rating: 3 out of 5
Allison Avery loves to win. After acing every academic challenge she’s come up against, she’s finally been accepted into her dream Ph.D. program at Claymore University, studying medieval literature under a professor she’s admired for years. Sure, grad school isn’t easy—the classes are intense, her best friend is drifting away, and her students would rather pull all-nighters than discuss The Knight’s Tale—but she’s got this. Until she discovers her ex-boyfriend has also been accepted. Colin Benjamin might be the only person who loves winning more than Allison does, and when they’re both assigned to TA for the same professor, the game is on.
What starts as a personal battle of wits (and lit) turns into all-out war when their professor announces a career-changing research trip opportunity—with one spot to fill. Competing with Colin is as natural as breathing, and after he shattered her heart two years ago, Allison refuses to let him come out on top. But when a family emergency and a late night road trip—plus a very sexy game of Scrabble—throw them together for a weekend, she starts to wonder if they could be stronger on the same team. And if they fall for each other all over again, Allison will have to choose between a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and what could be a twice-in-a-lifetime love.
I usually enjoy second chance romances. This one…the level of competitiveness between Allison and Colin was almost too much for me. Allison came across as almost hateful sometimes (to Colin and to any random person she didn’t like), sometimes despite the other person being perfectly nice to her. She was extremely judgmental and rarely made any effort to see anything from someone else’s point-of-view. I enjoyed the body positivity and Allison’s unapologetic views on her life, but she came across as very selfish, rude, and pushy.
Jenny L. Howe is a professor. The Make-Up Test is her debut novel.
(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)