Genre: YA, Contemporary
Source: Entangled Teen Publishing (In return for an honest review)
“I wanted you to see what real courage is… It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”
–Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird
Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswered questions. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck.
The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy at the donut shop—until she learns he’s a student at Brighton where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. But, in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy.
By the time he learns she’s ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second squared) [Goodreads]
*I would like to thank Entangled Teen for the copy of Love and Other Unknown Variables and the chance to read and review it!*
This is a quirky, heartbreaking, humorously beautiful written book that is filled with love, loss and friendship- perfect for fans of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
I have been in a little bit of a reading slump lately and this book was exactly what I needed to pull me out of it. I was instantly pulled into the story and unique writing elements used by Alexander, from the chapter numbering to the use of mathematical and scientific elements that add a nerdy feel that works perfectly with the main character Charlie Hanson! The story was an intense ride of ups and downs, finding yourself and learning that sometimes its okay to deviate from your plans for the future because life throws unexpected twists at you that will change your life forever.
Charlie Hanson is a senior at a school for Mathematics and Science. He is extremely intelligent and is dead set on getting in to MIT and won’t let anything get in his way of this, that is until he met Charlotte Finch. Charlotte is so full of life and is super spunky! She is so different from Charlie yet they both share the same drive in their passions, his is math and hers is art. She wants to live life and explore the world and most of all, be able to make her own decisions regarding her life. After befriending Charlie’s sister Becca, Charlotte is always around and has opened up Charlie’s eyes to wanting more than what he has always planned for his life even if it is only for a short time.This story is heartbreaking/heartwarming at the same time. It shows how one person can change many lives forever and the overall impact from having met that one person. It is a beautiful young love story that has you falling in love with all of the characters for their own qualities and quirks and leaves you in pieces and at an utter loss for words.
The way the story was told and created so beautifully. The writing seemed effortless and flowed so nicely that it made the story gripping and fast paced that I had a hard time putting it down.The writing really brought the characters and story to life. Although this book was focused on a more serious matter the humor sprinkled throughout the book makes you forget about what is really happening. Also being a huge fan of the book To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee! I loved the way it was used throughout the story and the relevance it had to the whole story! I felt like there were many parallels between the two stories in ways other than just the references, last name of Finch, Charlie and the comparisons with Atticus and a few others!
Shannon Lee Alexander has poured her heart and soul into this story and it is very evident while reading this book. The elements of the book and the way the story unfolds are so realistic and so absolutely beautifully done. The characters are fantastic! They each have a special quality and personality that are so well developed and she stay true to their little quirks throughout the whole story, which I really appreciated. I loved that this was from a male perspective and Charlie was the perfect “hero!” I love that he is so nerdy and has to solve all life problems as you would solve a math problem! The relationships he has with his friends, sister, and Mrs. Dunwitty were so phenomenal. He really grew and developed throughout the whole story and had allowed for each person to help him realize new things about life. I felt the dynamic between Charlie and Charlotte were great.They were able to learn things about life from each other and develop not only love, but a friendship as well. The love felt real and strong and developed over time and was not some silly insta-love story. It was real! I have to say my favorite character was Becca, Charlie’s sister. I love that even as a secondary character you saw growth and development in her and want to know more about what is happening with her (which p.s. it is said that the author is writing a book from her perspective!) Greta and James are amazing friends and truly show what it means to be a supportive friend!
I don’t want to say anymore for fear of spoiling the book (although I have so much to say and fangirl over in this book). I will end with I believe this is a must read this year and it will quickly become a top book in the YA Contemporary world! It has everything you want in a story and definitely left me in tears! If I could give this more than 5 stars I would. (As soon as it comes out I will have to go purchase a physical copy so I can just hug it! )
About the author:
Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife and mother (of two kids and one yellow terrier named Harriet Potter). She is passionate about coffee, books, and cancer research. Math makes her break out in a sweat. Love and Other Unknown Variables is her debut novel. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family.