Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Review: Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

Love and Other Unknown Variables
Author:  Shannon Lee Alexander
Publisher:  Entangled:  Teen, 350 pages
Expected Publication Date:  October 7, 2014
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
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).

I liked this book, it's a well-written, emotional read about first love and loss. Written from a male POV, it tells the story of a nerdy guy named Charlie who loves math and wants to go to MIT.  He goes to a math and science school where the students think English class is useless.  He's never had a girlfriend, but then he meets Charlotte, his little sister's new best friend, and all of that changes.

What worked:  I liked Charlie, he was just a normal geeky guy who didn't know how to talk to girls.  I liked his two best friends.  I liked his sister (although I never understood why she never had any friends before Charlotte).  I liked the way the author had Charlie fall in love with To Kill a Mockingbird.  

What didn't work:  I  never fell in love with Charlie or Charlotte and that kept me a bit distanced from the book, although I did tear up a bit at the end.  And the book was a bit slow at times.  

Posted by:  Pam


  1. I have this to review--haven't gotten around to it but I hope to connect to the characters more than you did because it really ruins a story when I can't connect with the characters. Great review!

  2. A bit slow with characters you did not fall in love with... bummer. Might have to be passing on it for now! Great Review Pam :)

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

  3. Haha, I totally requested this on NG and went straight to the ending - yeeeah, not gonna read it now. I can handle that kind of ending only once in my life time. :D

  4. I started this and then had to DNF at the 49% mark or thereabouts. I was struggling with it, it was slow going and I wasn't connecting to the characters. But what did it for me is the moment Charlie finds out about Charlotte's illness. He doesn't react the way she wants and she punches him.. in the face. She gives him a bloody nose and then everyone is just OKAY with that. NOPE. NO. Wait... WHAT?!?! I just was not okay with that. The reaction would have been a lot different if it had been Charlie punching her because he didn't like her reaction to something. I had to rage quit after that and I am not sure I will ever go back to it.