ARC Review: Love and Other Unknown Variables
Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander
Format: eARC from Entangled Teen (expected publication date: 10/07/14) Thanks, Entangled!
Part of a series? Nope, it's a standalone.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Summary: 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).
First let me start of by saying that I've seen this book compared to The Fault in Our Stars a lot. The similarities are definitely there and I do think fans of TFIOS will enjoy this book, but there's also so much to this story that sets it apart from others.
Good male narrators are hard to come by. It takes a talented author to write a strong, likeable male character, and Alexander definitely did that with Charlie. I love him so very much. He's smart and geeky and adorable and caring and funny and a total teenage boy. To be totally cliche, he's imperfect in the most perfect way. He also felt so...real. I could relate to Charlie. Not just in an 'oh, we're both nerdy teenagers (though Charlie is a different breed of nerdy teenager than me) trying to live life' kind of way, but he understood what it was like to be healthy and having to watch someone you care about become really sick. He gets that sad, helpless feeling, and it made me love him even more.
I loved Charlotte, too. Gosh, there are so many characters to like in this book. Charlotte's sister, Charlie's sister and his best friends were all so fun yet serious and emotional when the moment called for it. But let's talk about Charlotte. She's strong and witty and sarcastic. Some characters can get annoying the more you read on, but I was never annoyed by Charlotte. I was a bit charmed, actually. It's not often that I like the heroines more than I like the heroes, but I came really close with her. At this point in time though, I just love Charlie too much for him to be surpassed. Oops.
Bottom line is, this book has everything I love in a story and then some. It's filled with emotion, hilarious dialogue, wonderful characters, and heart. I love everything about this book, and I hope you decide to check it out!