When Rooney Gao and Jack Liu meet randomly on a stressful day for both of them, they don’t really think too much of it—until they end up meeting again at a party later that night. The two then find themself on an enchanting adventure across New York. But after their magical date ends, they find themselves lost to each other…until Jack happens pick an anonymous Rooney for the newly reinstated Artist-in-Residence program at NASA that he is just signed on to be the liaison for.

It has become an annual December tradition to cuddle up with a warm cup of tea, my heated blanket, and the newest Lauren Kung Jessen galley and I absolutely hope that it never ends. I have been waiting for this book for a year and it was everything I could have hope for and more.

This book is jam-packed with all signs leading to fate and it was so much fun to yell at Jack that he was being an idiot to not believe in it. From their very first meeting, it’s clear (to the readers at least) that they are meant to be a part of each other’s lives. While not exactly what you expect grumpy/sunshine to be, Rooney and Jack’s personalities are just enough to scratch that grumpy/sunshine itch in the best way.

The tension, the signs, the science, the art…everything about this book is just joy and charm wrapped up in a thick red (thread of fate) scarf. Lauren has a way of teasing out a story that makes you comfortable because it feels familiar while still making you wonder what’s going to happen next.

Fans of Lauren’s debut LUNAR LOVE will pick up on some threads (pun fully intended!) that connect the two books. There also may or may not be a scene that honestly feels like Lauren was just pandering to my love of romance novels and how books from the same author sometimes interconnect. I won’t say any more than that in order to preserve the surprise, but I definitely screamed (in all caps in Lauren’s DMs, of course).

Oh, and if I didn’t believe in fate before this book, I definitely do now. This is definitely just a “me” thing, but the amount of fate-itious moments in this book that proved Lauren and I were meant to be friends were too many to count. From a line that I will continue to live in my delusions she wrote inspired by me to the several very personal details that she wouldn’t have known about me that ended up in the book, there is truly no way for me to not believe in fate after that. 

A truly charming romcom, Lauren finds the perfect balance between romance and comedy. I often found myself swooning one moment only to be laughing out loud the next. I said it a year ago and I'll say it again now: Lauren is an author to watch and I am so excited to see what comes next from her!

RED STRING THEORY is Lauren Kung Jessen’s sophomore novel and hits shelves January 9th! Grab your copy here now and get ready to fall in love and become a Threader (IYKYK).

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2024 Book Recommendations."