Howe, Jenny L. The Make-Up Test. Griffin, 2022. 336 pp. ISBN 978-1250837868. $16.99
Two Ph.D candidates compete for a potential research job–and one another’s affection in this grad school romance. Competitive medieval scholar Allison gets into the Ph.D program of her dreams, but so does her ex,Colin, and they are both selected as TAs for a favorite and revered professor: but only one will be selected to go with her for a trip and research opportunity of a lifetime. Allison is still holding a grudge, and Colin isn’t always nice, but he steps up for her in an emergency and redeems himself and their relationship.
I really loved the academic setting and found the trials and tribulations of grad school believable. Literary allusions and clever banter abound, but I did not find either character particularly mature or likeable. Still, I’m a fan of smart books and plus-size protagonists; there is fatphobia from Allison’s dad, but it’s shut down very well.
I received a free advance reader’s review copy of #TheMakeUpTest from #NetGalley.