ARC Review: Seven Percent of Ro Devereux by Ellen O’Clover

Special thanks to HarperTeen for providing a digital ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Seven Percent of Ro Devereux
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 17 January 2023
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(5 pandas)


A clever, charming, and poignant debut novel about a girl who must decide whether to pursue her dreams or preserve her relationships, including a budding romance with her ex-best friend, when an app she created goes viral.

Ro Devereux can predict your future. Or, at least, the app she built for her senior project can.

Working with her neighbor, a retired behavioral scientist, Ro created an app called MASH, designed around the classic game Mansion Apartment Shack House, that can predict a person’s future with 93% accuracy. The app will even match users with their soul mates. Though it was only supposed to be a class project, MASH quickly takes off and gains the attention of tech investors.

Ro’s dream is to work in Silicon Valley, and she’ll do anything to prove to her new backing company—and the world—that the app works. So it’s a huge shock when the app says her soul mate is Miller, her childhood best friend with whom she had a friendship-destroying fight three years ago. Now thrust into a fake dating scenario, Ro and Miller must address the years of pain between them if either of them will have any chance of achieving their dreams.

Fans of Emma Lord and Alex Light will love this stand-alone contemporary novel with a masterful slow-burn romance at its core.


Death of a loved one, injury caused by angry mob, parental abandonment

**note: this review was originally written when i finished the book in January 2023!**

TL;DR: I didn’t expect to find another second 5-star read in January or for it to be another YA contemporary but lo and behold! There is SO MUCH to love about this book—from the friendships and family relationships to the romance, the honest exploration of self and the character growth, the writing, the tension, and the angst, it was all SO good and the fact that it’s a debut actually stuns me. I don’t know if it’s too soon to say but I think I may have found a new favourite YA contemporary! If you enjoy coming-of-age YA contemporaries or have a young reader in your life to give a rec to, I would highly recommend this for its realistic characters, wonderful friendships/relationships, and a swoontastic romance.

I know I’m going to sound like a broken record but I really can’t be sorry because my gosh, I loved this book! From the moment I picked it up and we first meet Ro, I had a feeling this was going to worm its way into my heart and I wasn’t wrong. I simply didn’t want to put this down and it ended up being an all-nighter one-sitting read for me.

“Human behaviour is ninety-three percent predictable.”

This will obviously be different for every reader but what I especially enjoyed was how this book made me feel; it made me laugh and ugly cry, it made my heart ache and it filled me with a fond nostalgia for my own high school days and youthful experiences (something I honestly thought I’d never say about my own senior project days or about the childhood game MASH—which I was absolutely obsessed with btw)! The plot wasn’t overly complicated and despite knowing how most elements would play out, there were still one or two turns that managed to take me by surprise. I really appreciated the topics the author touched upon including women in STEM, human behaviour and psychology, and the influencing role of social media apps and ‘hot trends’ on people’s lives, particularly on younger audiences, whether it be good or bad. I took behavioural studies at uni and find human behaviour fascinating, so I really liked this angle in the story!

Ro was such a great character. She’s clever, driven and passionate, especially about tech, coding and the MASH app she developed for her senior project. But when the app blows up faster than she could’ve ever expected it to, she finds herself pulled into the career and tech world of her dreams and finds herself willing to do anything to make sure it’s a continued success, even if that means losing parts of herself and her work along the way. Oh, there were definitely moments when I wanted to give Ro a good shake after seeing her make rash decisions that I knew would quickly backfire, but her growth throughout the read was fantastic. Even when she was making these frustrating decisions, it was still so easy to root for her because she was such a personable character! It took a life-altering event and a hot minute for her to see and feel the impact of her decisions, but it was so satisfying seeing her openly acknowledge her errors and take active steps to fix them even if it felt impossible.

It helped that she had such a wonderful support system in Maren, Vera, her dad, and eventually, Miller too. Although many of them didn’t get the same attention as Ro’s character, I felt that they were all still well-rounded supporting characters who added so much to the story! I especially loved Ro’s neighbourly mentor-turned-family relationship with Vera and also the relationship with her father—they fought as parents and children do, but their love and respect for each other were never in doubt, and there were so many heartwarming moments between them. These relationships were well-formed and really helped to flesh out Ro’s character.

Then, of course, there’s the romance between Ro and Miller. Can we talk about how swoontastic it was? BECAUSE IT WAS. There were so many delightfully angsty moments between them as they confront the reasons for why they’ve been glaring absent from each others’ lives for the past three years, but also toothachingly sweet, heartstopping moments as they went from barely tolerating each other while fake dating to finding their way back to friendship and opening up to love. UGH, my heart! I loved them so SO much and their moments together were everything! 😍 Ngl, although they get their HFN (happy for now) ending, I wouldn’t at all be mad if the author decided to write a follow-up of them through the college years or something, please? Anyway, if you like romances between once inseparable besties turned mortal enemies turned grudging acquaintances who fake date turned “I’ve always loved you” lovers, then you will most definitely love them.

Have you read Seven Percent of Ro Devereux or is it on your TBR?

10 thoughts on “ARC Review: Seven Percent of Ro Devereux by Ellen O’Clover

  1. Okay. You sold me. I have been avoiding most YA like the plague, but if you say it’s 5 star worthy and a possible new YA author favorite, I’m in. Headed to my library app to request it now. But do I request the ebook or audiobook? Both! To see which I get first. haha. Thanks for the great review and recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

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