Book Recs: ‘The Soulmate Equation’ depicts relatable world of online dating


Christina Lauren’s novel engagely depicts the strange world of online dating.

Gianna Cocovinis, Contributing Writer

It seems like every day we’re getting a new dating app promising that a real, genuine love connection is only a swipe away. Or, in the case of “The Soulmate Equation” by Christina Lauren, only a little bit of spit in a vial and we’re given a list of statistically guaranteed matches which will lead to finding love, happiness or whatever it is someone’s looking for on a dating app. In this strange, new world of online dating we all live in, Christina Lauren manages to showcase all the ways in which these apps can be a headache, but also how they can lead us on new, exciting adventures we weren’t quite expecting.   


Single mom Jess Davis has been a numbers girl her whole life. Where past boyfriends have always left her high and dry, the numbers have never lied, allowing her to find comfort in her job as a freelance data and statistics wizard. However, there’s no amount of number crunching that can convince Jess to step back into the dating pool. Instead, she focuses on taking care of her sweet, thoughtful young daughter, and spending her days working out of a coffee shop with her close friend, Fizzy. With her own father out of the picture and a mother that abandoned her on her grandparents’ doorstep so she could live out her partying days, Jess has resolved to keep her circle small and intimate. Simple: no harm, no foul, right? 


But then Jess gets wind of GeneticAlly, a new dating service designed to take your DNA and scientifically match you with your soulmate. This is a new, reliable service Jess can get behind. Numbers have never done her wrong, so surely they would crank out a decent match? At least, that’s what Jess was expecting, until she gets a 98% pairing with one of GeneticAlly’s founders, River Peña. Jess already knows him as a regular at her favorite local cafe and isn’t exactly his biggest fan, to say the least. He’s every bit the brooding, silent type to Jess’s awkward, clumsy nature. The two couldn’t be more different from each other. But since their paring is so astronomical, and with a record-breaking match like this known as a “Diamond Match” emerging just before the company goes public in the spring, GeneticAlly comes to Jess with a solution: spend time with River, get to know him and get paid for her troubles. As a single mother barely making ends meet as it is, this is an offer Jess can hardly refuse. But as Jess and River get closer and closer, and their walls begin to crumble, Jess slowly wonders if maybe there’s more to the scientist and the science behind the entire soulmate equation than she initially believed.   


For fans of “Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating,” Christina Lauren executes another hilarious, relatable novel that manages to pit the safety we find in numbers against the parts of love that require blind trust and a terrifying leap of faith. With witty characters that feel so real they’re practically jumping off the page, this book sums up what this new form of dating looks like in the technical age.