Review: The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

Title: The Soulmate Equation
Author: Christina Lauren
Source: ARC from the publisher
Release Date: May 18, 2021
Goodreads  | Amazon

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess–who is barely making ends meet–is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.

I had such high hopes for The Soulmate Equation – fresh from falling head over heels in love with In a Holidaze, I was confident that I was going to love this just as much, if not more. I’m sad to say that this isn’t what happened.

Let me start with what I loved. As with any Christina Lauren book, the writing is very engaging. I never felt bored while reading, and I read the entire book in one sitting. The plot is also paced perfectly – there were no boring moments – and I rooted for Jess and River to get their happy ending. The supporting characters also had their moments to shine, and they contributed many fun moments. Unfortunately, while there were many things I loved in this book, all of them were outweighed by what I didn’t enjoy.

Any book dealing with scientific research has to have a long research process, and I don’t think the authors did any of that. There were multiple ethical violations present in the book, and they were all brushed away and ignored. The first one happens in the first few chapters – Jess and River get a high DNA compatibility rate through GeneticAlly’s kit, and GeneticAlly proposes that they pay Jess to get to know River to see if there’s something there. And if there is something there, Jess and River will be used in promoting their DNA matchmaking product. I just… Number one, confidentiality was just thrown away. It’s supposed to be Jess or River who decides if they want to reach out to the other. Two, it doesn’t matter if Jess consciously tries to not let the money she’ll receive influence her relationship with River, it most likely will. Three, River owns GeneticAlly. There’s just so many threads of ethical dilemmas here, and none of them were addressed.

I tried to ignore all of this, but it was difficult. And to make matters worse, yet another ethical dilemma presented itself near the end of the book, and it was a big one. It was glossed over to us readers, and even Jess didn’t get any answers about it. I couldn’t even focus on Jess and River getting their HEA because I was too confused with everything that happened.

All in all, The Soulmate Equation was not for me. I’ll still read Christina Lauren’s next book, and I’m hopeful that I will enjoy that one more.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

4 thoughts on “Review: The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

  1. The ethical stuff got me after reading it. I liked the book while reading, then had some talks with friends about it afterward and was kind of disturbed. Thanks for pointing out the stuff that bothered you.

    Liked by 1 person

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