Cover Image: Red String Theory

Red String Theory

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Member Reviews

This was an utterly delightful read filled with charming banter that kept me thoroughly engaged. It beautifully employs the classic trope of fated lovers, as hinted at by the title. I found myself thoroughly immersed in the story and appreciated how well the pacing translated to audiobook format, enhancing my overall enjoyment of the experience.

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the book follows Rooney, an artist who believes in fate and the Chinese Red String Theory, and Jack, an engineer at NASA. when they meet on a cold night in nyc, they don't discuss work or last names but they spend the night discussing how fate works. while Rooney believes fate will bring you what's meant for you, Jack debates that we make choices everyday to get us whete we are. although they exchange number, they don't end up speaking for months later sparking the question of how kissmet this union might be.

what a beautiful story with a great balance between what fate is and factual science and choices. Rooney and Jack were such soft and sweet characters. they were thoughtful of each other's beliefs and i loved reading them debate without being cruel to one another. it was also soooo refreshing to read about 2 asian leads!

thank you netgalley and Forever for sending me an ARC! make sure to put this one on your TBR for 2024! ✨

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I really enjoyed this book. The red string theory of it all is so romantic and such a beautiful way for people to find each other again. I wish there was a tad bit more romance but overall a great read!

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I really enjoyed this book! I just read Lunar New Year Love Story by Gene Luen Yang and LeUyen Pham, so it was nice to have another book that talked about Lunar New Year. I thought the characters were fun to get to know, and I loved seeing both interact with other people in their lives. It was exciting to watch them grow throughout the story, and I loved thinking about fate and how it functions. The NASA element set it apart from other books I've read, which was exciting. Thank you to NetGalley and Forever for this ARC!

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I adored Lunar Love by Lauren Kung Jessen and the idea of a string of fate tethering us to our twin flame/soulmate is something that appeals to me, so I was very excited to read Red String of Fate. This book started off with great momentum and promise. I really loved the characters, the setting, the plot, the delicious descriptions of dumplings. I also love that Lauren's characters always have unique careers. It keeps things fresh and fun. However, I felt like the book's luster faded out towards the last half of the book and struggled to keep my attention. None the less, I still enjoyed the overall story and would recommend it for anyone interested in a closed-door romance set in New York that explores the idea of fate.

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Red String Theory by Lauren Kung Jessen is a perfect breath of fresh air. It is sweet, romantic, and philosophical. Are we guided by fate to find our destined soulmate? Or is it a series of choices that leads us to one of many possible happy endings?

Rooney is a New York City artist and fierce believer in the red string of fate, an invisible tether tying her to her singular soulmate. She meets Jack, a NASA engineer, at a print shop and again later at a rooftop party celebrating the Lunar New Year. They launch a lantern into the night sky, then race to follow it through the city. Rooney is driven by curiosity, while Jack worries the lantern will spark a fire.

Creative, free-spirited Rooney and cautious, analytical Jack fall for each other over the course of one evening. As they weave through the NYC streets, they chat freely and openly, knowing Jack will be returning to the West Coast in the morning. Their night together is romantically bittersweet.

When they find each other again in LA as colleagues, their debate of fate vs. free-will is revisited. Together they set out to test fate in a scientific manner, through a series of trials. These tests just happen to give them reasons to see each other outside of NASA.

This is the perfect romance for you, if you like:
*Sweet rather than spicy
*Opposites attract
*Romantic yearning
*Before Sunrise, starring Ethan Hawk and Julie Deply

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After being such a huge fan of Lunar Love, this was one of my most anticipated reads for 2024. It was a sweet second chance romance with diverse characters that had a unique way of blending fate and science. I was rooting for the romance and to see how it all played out with the later timeline. I think one thing that hindered me loving this as much as Jessen’s first novel was that after that initial magical night the characters shared, readers were hit with an abrupt shift into the new timeline and it was hard to adjust to that slow burn to get back to the magic felt during those first few chapters.

I’m looking forward to seeing what she releases next! Thank you Forever Publishing for access to the free arc in exchange for an honest review!

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Short synopsis: Rooney and Jack meet in New York and spend a magical evening exploring the city, but when she doesn’t save his number right in her phone Rooney thinks she’ll never see him again. Until he hired RSG (red string girl) to do an art exhibit for NASA.

My thoughts: The premise of this was so cute, the meet cute was adorable and the night they spent in the city , and the second chance aspect was fun too. I liked how they connected, and their slow but steady growth.

I really liked the art aspect and Jack and Rooneys desire to better understand each other and their interests.

I felt like the middle moved a bit too slow for my taste, and I liked when Rooney finally wore something besides Red knitted clothing (it was referred to far too often).

The audio of this as perfection. I loved how the narrators told both parts of the story, it really brought a whole new element to the story.

Read if you love:

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Lauren Kung Jessen is quickly becoming an immediately buy author. She writes such colorful stories with engaging characters! I absolutely loved her debut 'Lunar Love' and eagerly anticipated her second release. She has mastered the meet cute between her characters and writes men that make me swoon. They characters feel real in that they're not perfect - they struggle with family, persomal goals and trusting someone as they fall headfirst in love. That's what sells this for me. It's authentic and Jessen is able to bring so much levity to the characters and situations.

Thank you so much to Forever for the eArc!

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I received an advanced copy of Red String Theory by Lauren Kung Jessen from the publisher Forever via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

What It’s About: Rooney Gao believes in signs, especially the Chinese legend that everyone is tied to their one true love by a red string of fate. This belief informs her career as an artist where her work are large art installations she makes with red string. Jack Liu doesn’t really believe in fate but when their paths crossed they have an amazing evening together, unfortunately they receive incomplete information. Now, Rooney is suffering with a lack of inspiration and is brought on to the NASA art residency, only to find out that Jack is her liason, can they make it work.

What I Loved: Oh, I really enjoyed this one. I totally bought into the chemistry here and I really loved the connection between these two. I felt like I was really truly reading a love story. Rooney and Jack are a really good match to one another and I thought they balanced each other out. I really loved the side characters especially Jack’s grandpa and how they love making ice cream together, it was really beautiful.

What I Didn’t Like: Some of the conflict in this book wasn’t my favorite or something that I bought into. For instance, the plotline about Rooney’s anonymity was a bit difficult to understand, but again it’s the character’s journey not mine, but getting frustrated with a character’s approach to things can effect my own reading.

Who Should Read It: People who love romance, especially fated mates and second chance romance or the magical night trope

Summary: A story of a beautiful meet cute, that feels like fate, but maybe it’s all about choice.

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This is such a fun story! I love the Lunar New Year aspect and learning more about the holiday and the red string theory. Highly recommend!

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Red String Theory
By: Lauren Kung Jessen

I loved this book. It was such a fun little rom-com. I love the relationship between Rooney and her mother. She wants to make it big on her own disguising herself as the red string girl. She doesn’t want people to know her true identity then they’ll know her from her mother’s video of her being born that was sold as art. Rooney works hard with her Red String Theory so she can buy back the video.
Jack works for NASA and comes to NY on business where they encounter each other and then he goes back to California and can’t stop thinking about Rooney. He later makes a call to offer the Red String girl an opportunity for her theory to work with NASA. Of course she agrees and when she gets to California he discovers Rooney is the face behind the Red String Theory. Her belief in her theory brings them together.
I gave this a five star and was honored to read this through NetGalley. I would definitely recommend this story, it’s one of my new favorites of this year.

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This was a really cute story! The overall pacing of the book was okay. I did find it to be a little slow in the beginning, but it did pick up about halfway in. I really appreciated the chance to learn a little more about Red Sting Theory that this book offered. If you get the chance to listen to this as an audiobook, I highly recommend it. The audiobook is a duet narration style. I can’t wait to see what Lauren Kung Jessen writes next!

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This was like science meeting serendipity. We all struggle with reconciling what’s demonstrably true with what we intuitively know and believe. Red String Theory is so uniquely relatable and equally informative. I loved the magical start paired with sense and balance via a realistic timeline for Rooney and Jack as we watched them growing in their connection. I also appreciated that we were able to focus on the relationship building without the distraction of explicit physical intimacy written in. Furthermore, learning about the different aspects of art and science that were beautifully interwoven here, was inspiring to read about as well. I really enjoyed this book. Thank you NetGalley and Forever Publishing for the ARC in exchange for my honest thoughts and review.

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I loved Lunar Love and was so excited to read this new book by Lauren Kung Jessen. The story was a fun read and I would recommend it to friends!

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Rooney and Jack meet in NYC during the lantern festival. Their paths first cross at a print shop and then cross again later that day.

Rooney and Jack share a perfect day together. Rooney is a free spirited artist and Jack is works for NASA and believes more in science than fate.

At the end of the day, they have a moment that reminds me of the movie Serendipity. Except, they were both actually trying to stay connected. But Jack goes back to California and they don’t have a way to contact each other.

But then their paths actually cross again.
But this time they are going to be working together so they shouldn’t date.

Rooney believes in a red string that does soulmates, or string mates, together. She believes that Jack and she could be string mates despite all the obstacles.

I enjoyed the Rooney portions of the book more because I struggled a bit to get into the NASA part of the book but kudos to the author for the creativity of the setting.

I got to read an early ebook edition from NetGalley. Thank you!

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very cute closed door romance. I loved learning about asian culture and enjoyed the female and male leads!

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thank you to netgalley for the advanced reading copy. I really enjoyed this and will be getting copies for my shop.

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Unfortunately, this is a DNF for now. I really enjoyed Lunar Love, but I haven't been able to connect with these characters. Hopefully I'll be able to pick this book back up in the near future and have a different reading experience.

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I’m not sure how I feel about this one still. I liked it while I was reading it but I found it very forgettable. I did really like the characters and the story line.

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