Review #188 // Learning Curves – Ceillie Simkiss

Learning Curves

Being so focused on law school, Elena never really considered love. But when she lends her notes to fellow student Cora, she begins to question her reasons for staying away when they’re stronger together.

Why this book?: I’ve followed Ceillie on Twitter for a while now, so when I heard she’s got a book coming out, I knew I just had to dive in.

When I say I’m not much of a contemporary romance reader, I really mean that. I’ve really only enjoyed one, full length contemporary romance. When it comes to this kind of genre, I usually stick with short, novellas like M. Hollis’ Lilliac Town series. Or, like Learning Curves.

Learning Curves is a cute and simple story that revolves around Cora and Elena’s blossoming friendship. I really loved how the characters were developed. While the story mostly follows Elena, we get to see her life and why she is the way she is. I loved how Elena’s Puerto Rican background and family still played an important role, and how she loved it despite how it often gave her difficulties. We got to know more and more about it, but it wasn’t like an info-dump. Ceillie still masterfully spread Elena’s character development throughout the story.

Despite that, I still struggled a little bit with Cora. I felt like I didn’t get to know her as well as I did Elena, and so when their relationship began to develop, I felt like I really didn’t get to understand both sides of their relationship–only one. And while I enjoyed that side of the relationship a lot, I just wish I could have seen both sides as clear as I saw Elena’s side.

Besides the characters, Ceillie’s writing was suburb. I fell in love with the characters because Ceillie obviously knew what she was doing, and she did it well. She had obviously spent some time developing not only the characters, but also her writing and their background.

While the story didn’t have much of a, ah, story, it was still fun to read. I wanted to know what would happen next, how their relationship would develop further. I’m glad that Ceillie didn’t use this story as an opportunity to say relationships are better than friendships (because some friendships to relationships do that, and ugh).

Final Rating: ★★★★☆


I really enjoyed this story. While there were a few things that I thought could have been developed better, it was still an enjoyable, cute story that I ended up liking. The parts that were missing didn’t destroy the story.

Would I Recommend?

Yes! Not only is the story adorable, but it also has a lot of representation. Elena is Puerto Rican and fat. She’s also a lesbian. Cora is asexual panromantic with ADHD. And I loved the representation, even if I can only speak to the ace rep. I loved it.

Learning Curves

Additional Information:

Published: August 16th, 2018

Publisher: Self-Published

Page Count: 93

Genre: Contemporary/Romance/New Adult

Synopsis: via Goodreads

Elena Mendez has always been career-first; with only two semesters of law school to go, her dream of working as a family lawyer for children is finally within reach. She can’t afford distractions. She doesn’t have time for love.

And she has no idea how much her life will change, the day she lends her notes to Cora McLaughlin.

A freelance writer and MBA student, Cora is just as career-driven as Elena. But over weeks in the library together, they discover that as strong as they are apart, they’re stronger together. Through snowstorms and stolen moments, through loneliness and companionship, the two learn they can weather anything as long as they have each other–even a surprise visit from Elena’s family.

From solitude to sweetness, there’s nothing like falling in love. College may be strict…but when it comes to love, Cora and Elena are ahead of the learning curve.

- Avery (2)

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