Happy Tuesday! Today the Blog Tour stops here with my review of Love at Absolute Zero by Christopher Meeks. This was a fun read and I’ve been looking forward to sharing the review!
Gunnar Gunderson is having his midlife crisis a little early. He’s just gotten tenure and suddenly he decides he needs a wife. Gunnar’s a scientist, not a romantic, so he decides to play to his strengths: he’s going to use the scientific method to help him find a wife. Even better, he’s going to find her in three days.
What follows is a little over-the-top but definitely funny. If Gunnar and his wingmen can find a study or a research paper on what attracts women, Gunnar is going to try it out. Braces, eye surgery, speed dating — he’ll even talk to someone in the theater department.
He’s got just a short time to devote to his hunt for love. Gunnar and his colleagues are involved in very competitive research on Bose-Einstein condensates, which exist only at temperatures near absolute zero. Due to some logistical issues at the university, they have this little window of opportunity and they are determined to take advantage of it. Imagine a couple of the geeks you went to high school with, hanging out in the basement rec room, plotting ways to get girls to make out with them. Age them about 15 years, give them a couple of advanced degrees (but no advanced social skills) and you have Gunnar and his friends. They try to help, in their own way, but Gunnar is determined to make every step in the book.
I loved the speed-dating part of the book. The urgency, trying to make an instant good impression, reading all the scientific studies to wear the right colors and say the right things…and still managing to say the wrong thing, every time. Dating is horrible! No wonder he wants to get it over with in three days.
I could also relate to his experiences in Denmark. I’ve talked about my travels here before, and while I love seeing new places, it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. Trying to deal with a simple thing like ordering dinner when you aren’t 100% positive you know what you’re ordering? Scary stuff. But he digs right in and gives it a try, instead of slinking home a failure.
All in all, it’s a fun book about the crazy stuff we do to find love. I could applaud Gunnar’s efforts even as I was thinking “this is never gonna work!” It’s tough to try and connect with someone and it’s scary to put yourself out there, so you can’t help but root for him, even when you think he’s nuts. Using the scientific method isn’t any crazier than buying cologne with pheromones or counting on your zodiac sign to determine your compatibility. Gunnar should give hope to geeks everywhere.
My copy of Love at Absolute Zero was a review copy, provided free of charge.