I received this book for free from Entangled in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Entangled Publishing, Entangled Teen on October 7, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the Book • 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 really liked it.
Wow, that’s all you can say Jenna? Really? lol!
When this book premise was presented to me by Entangled teen (via email) and asked if I was interested to review, I read the synopsis and immediately I knew I would like it. Plus, what’s up with these kinds of titles coming out right? I think Jennifer E. Smith’s books preceded them. (Remember The Statistical Probability or Love at First Sight, This is What Happy Looks Like and The Geography of You and Me?). Anyway, it’s catchy and it fits the story. So I’m happy about it.
Love and Other Unknown Variables is Charlie’s story, narrated by him. It’s a sort of “coming-of-age” story really, though he is already a Senior in high school. Here, he tells us his story of how his carefully mapped MIT-bound life kind of has gone awry when he encountered his first love (I mean, that’s usually how first loves are right?) and how this has affected his logical mind.. and vice versa.
The story begins with Charlie narrating his usual academic and nerdy routine are. He’s not really socially inept as he has his two best friends, but nerdy in the intelligent and smart kind of way. His school actually is for the math/science kids. And in their school, the seniors has this sort of tradition where they prank their literature teachers until they resign and go away. An inner joke of “The Defense Against the Dark Arts” teacher mirror image, pun intended. And this year the teacher is Ms. Finn. Then his sister Becca, who never ever had a friend (Becca goes to another high school, the normal one), miraculously gained a friend, in the form of.. another Charlie! Her real name is Charlotte though (I love that name for some reason haha). And guess what? Charlotte is Ms. Finn’s sister! Lots of complications begin in Charlie’s life, starting with this “unusual” chemical and hormonal reactions in his body. Which is really hilarious when you read them. Then as he begins to like her, and her like him, they can’t because of Becca, then Ms. Finn. And later on he finds out she is really sick. with Cancer. brain tumors. so yeah, whoop dee doo!
The story began to dwindle down to depression land since then but they still found a positive star in the midst of the darkness. Hope. But I swear I didn’t cry when the inevitable sort of sad ending happened! I mean I didn’t cry for the main reason why everybody in the book is crying. I, however, cried because I remembered some personal stuffs that happened to me..Anyway! I really liked the story and the narration. It had all the right ingredients, and right amount from each of those, for a YA contemporary romance. I like how funny Charlie can be, specially when he describes all his feelings in these geeky scientific kind of way. Presenting logic and math in every chance he gets..well actually every time. Almost every page. It’s really fun to read because other than the “trivias” and “added knowledge” for my part, I salute the author for somehow making Math and Literature mix together and make them…fun..and entertaining! In addition, I specifically liked how nerdy Charlie is and his friendship with Greta and James, his two best friends (who are a couple btw if I haven’t mentioned that already).
The character development and growth of Charlie is stunning to watch for. If you’re very observant, you’ll see how he gradually changes from a very logical close minded (most of the time) kind of guy to the more open minded, positive, vulnerable kind of guy. Not only because he fell in love with a girl, but also because of so many factors that happened in his senior year in HS affected his way of thinking. I really love these kinds of character development in books.
Overall, this is the kind of book I’d recommend to a friend. I’m really happy I wasn’t “The Fault in our stars” kind of depressed at the end of this book. But it was still a good read. 🙂
note: A copy was received in exchange for an honest review. No monetary pay were received for this. 🙂