Cover Image: The Sizzle Paradox

The Sizzle Paradox

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Member Reviews

The Sizzle Paradox by Lily Menon

This was another fantastic romance by Lily Menon (which is the pen name for one of my favorite YA authors, Sandhya Menon!)! She writes great characters, and her plots are always fun. Overall, I would definitely recommend!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.
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I haven't read Lily Menon's prior book, so she's a new author to me. Overall I was.... disappointed by this book. I was so ready to love it. It has women in STEM, a grad school setting, friends to lovers, all my favorites. However, the thing that killed it for me was the miscommunication and lack of maturity between the characters. My pet peeve in books is when authors forcibly cause tension in the book through annoying miscommunication and lack of communication. It's a tired concept and doesn't feel real to me. This book has a great premise but was a letdown overall.
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I really enjoyed The Sizzle Paradox. I read The Love Hypothesis before this, and I think they line up quite nicely, so if you liked TLH, I'll bet you'll like Sizzle, too!
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I would recommend this novel if you are looking for a  friends to lovers contemporary romance.  Lyric studies sexual chemistry but has yet to have a successful romantic connection with anybody. Lucky for her, her friend Kian has a few tips and tricks that he is willing to share. When Lyric and Kian start fake dating for "research purposes" they get a lot more than what they had originally bargained for. 

This book is set within the world of academia between two grad students.

While I enjoyed the premise and the overarching idea of the story I also believe that it could have been better executed. In particular, the characters feel like they would better fit into a high school setting rather than a graduate program in university.
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i thought the concept of “the sizzle paradox” to be quite interesting and i love representation of women-in-STEM in general. but i felt that the paradox itself was a bit unrealistic… someone who fits both components of the paradox seems like a prince charming to me. having said that, i loved how comfortable lyric and kian were together! but as soon as they began their dating/tutoring sessions, i noticed that all of that vanished! despite knowing each other for years, i got frustrated at how "off" their communications seemed to be. 

lyric and kian both have their share of family drama; lyric comes from a giant family (who individually have obstacles of their own) and kian’s parents’ relationship has been strained for decades. although it added some background into their pasts, i felt that following through with these personal conflicts seemed out of place with the rest of the plot. their families each get a chapter or two but other than that, the novel focuses on lyric and kian’s relationship. i adore how they complete each other and would’ve loved to see more of this vibe throughout the novel
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This is a cute, quick read about best friends to lovers. I felt the plot slow at points. I was never really fully invested in the romance between Lyric and Kian, so it was hard for me to get behind their romance. I loved the plot, but it was not well executed, making me enjoy it less.
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I’ve seen this compared to The Love Hypothesis. The theme is the same but this one didn’t meet my expectations. I love a friends to lovers story with dual perspectives. I think the characters lacked maturity and chemistry.
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Replace sizzle with fizzle because that's what happened here. I thought this was going to be promising, or at least just a simple, cute read. that was over before it even started. the MC was so immature and truly does not grow at all. maybe academic settings are just not for me.
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I did not enjoy this book - DNFed at 27%. I thought the exposition at the beginning was clunky and the tone was too familiar for my liking. I just couldn’t see myself liking it or the characters more if I continued.
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the sizzle paradox seems to fall along the lines of the love hypothesis and the kiss quotient in subject matter, with women of stem being main characters and their minds being as important in development as the romance. the problem i found with the sizzle paradox is that it doesn't feel as if a scientific mind is at use with lyric.

while the character is presented as someone who is very smart and capable, there are numerous moments throughout the book that it feels as if lyric is more a caricature than fully formed. her actions with kian don't feel like those between two people who are best friends and when they finally do give into their feelings, it doesn't feel like a natural progression— as she spends much of the beginning trying to pair him with another friend.

between that, the lacking info on her thesis that she's supposedly spent ages on, but doesn't seem to hold much of a scientific basis or importance, and a romance that doesn't hold much heat, this read ultimately fizzled rather than sizzled for me.
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A great read. Great loved both characters and wanted everything Ronaldo out for them. Looking forward to more from this author.
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This book was so cute and funny. I smiled and laughed a lot and didn’t want to put it down. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to read it. It’s the perfect summer weekend read.
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This friends to lovers romance follows grad students Lyric and Kian.  Lyric is studying sexual chemistry in romantic partners to try and crack the code to long-term happiness in partnerships. She has the data, the interviews, and a year before she has to defend her thesis.  Only problem is that she doesn't have a personal connection to the data since her own romantic relationships were always lacking in one aspect or another.  Her best friend and roommate, Kian, has the opposite problem - he has no problem talking to women or getting into a relationship but he always leaves before things get too serious. With her thesis advisor pushing to see some progress from her, Kian agrees to teach Lyric his methods for attracting a partner and she'll work on setting him up with women outside of his usual type. What neither of them expect is for the lessons to feel so real and for their perfect match to be their best friend all along. This was cute, but overall I found it a little lacking in chemistry.  Friends to lovers is a real solid trope that I almost always enjoy and there were some really great moments of that dynamic in this story.  However, those moments were then undercut by some underdevelopment of the characters and their relationship.  Lyric and Kian seem to be constantly reminding everyone in their lives (and, thus, the reader) that they're best friends and would never work out as a couple but they never really get into specifics.  Their communication style was also odd because they didn't seem to have problems discussing anything in the beginning but then once they started to develop feelings, they could barely speak a few words to the other one.  For pretty much the last half of the book, they were in some weird holding pattern where they both recognized their feelings but were so determined to not ruin the friendship that they wouldn't even give a hint that they were actually attracted to the other one.  That being said, when they did open up and give into their feelings, it was really cute and I really liked them together. 

Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin's Press for the ARC. Publication date was June 28, 2022
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While I generally am a huge fan of Lily Menon’s romances, The Sizzle Paradox, unfortunately, fell a little flat for me.  I wanted to enjoy the characters and the plot as much as I did in her previous books, but I struggled to get into the narrative.  The Sizzle Paradox did have some really fun RomCom elements, though, which were definitely my favorite part of the story!  I loved the use of the Best-Friends to Lovers trope, which did lend a spark to Lyric and Kian’s romance in a nice way.  Lyric was also a delightfully intelligent leading lady, which is something I look for in romance novels.

My Recommendation-
Though The Sizzle Paradox wasn’t my favorite read, I still quite enjoyed parts of it!  If you love a good RomCom with a Best-Friends to Lovers twist, you might want to grab a copy!  I would especially recommend this book to fans of STEM-based RomComs like The Love Hypothesis!
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Many thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Griffin for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I really liked this friends to lovers romance. I really enjoyed to dual POV's between the two main characters. The chemistry between them was pretty strong, which everyone around them could see even though they kept denying it. Once they did test the waters though - watch out!! Of course, like in any good romcom there is opposition and that is the same for this book as well.

I would have liked to see a little more to the ending, especially because there was a lot of build up before it.
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Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the ARC of this novel. Best friends to lovers is a romance trope but it was well executed in this book. I did enjoy the changing POVs of Kian and Lyric along with their idiosyncrasies. The sex was hot and the romance, once started, seemed to blossom rather naturally I stayed up late to finish it so that is a solid romance in my book. 4 stars.
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I liked this book a lot, I enjoy reading about smart women in STEM fields, and the sizzle paradox premise is creative and unusual.  Lyric is trying to find out what keeps couples together by studying long married couples.  She’s testing the sizzle paradox theory using guided imagery during an MRI. Successful couples show high brain activity for being both emotionally connected and sexually attracted to their partner. 

Lyric and Kian have incredibly strong chemistry but it takes a while for them to express their feelings to each other. They have misunderstandings that could be resolved if they’d only talk to each other, even after they get physically involved.  The sex is very steamy!Kian is graduating a year earlier than Lyric, and his future is uncertain. They need to decide how to resolve their issues going forward. 

Synopsis:
The Kiss Quotient meets Love Potion No. 9 in the next sparkling romantic comedy by Lily Menon, The Sizzle Paradox...

Lyric Bishop feels like a fraud – she’s studying sexual chemistry in romantic partners and what makes for a successful long-term relationship, only she can’t seem to figure it out in her own dating life. The science is sound, but how can she give her expert opinion with no real-world experience? In order to complete her doctoral thesis, she must crack the Sizzle Paradox – it seems the more sexually attractive she finds a guy, the less likely it is to come with an emotional connection; but why? – and to do that she must get the help she desperately needs.

Kian Montgomery, her best friend, roommate, and fellow grad student, has no trouble bringing both romance and sizzle to his own relationships. When he offers to tutor Lyric on dating tactics to find a good match, she’s certain it will solve her problems, and in exchange she agrees to set long-term-commitment-averse Kian up with someone different to give his romantic life a much-needed shakeup.

But once the two progress with their "tutoring sessions," they start to feel less like the academic exercise they were supposed to be as real feelings develop. Which is a problem, because Lyric and Kian are best friends and absolutely, irrefutably nothing else... Right

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed as in this review are completely my own.
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I really wanted to like this book, but unfortunately it wasn't for me. If you're a fan of all friends to lovers, give it a shot and see if you vibe with it.
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I loved kiss quotient and love hypothesis but I didn’t see that vibe in this book unfortunately so maybe that was on me expecting it to be more like that.

Thank you NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to net galley for this ARC!  This was absolutely great. Friends to lovers , and fake dating. 
This book totally has a  romcom feel to it. I would definitely recommend it if you want something light, and easy to read.
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