Monday, September 29, 2014

You Always Make Me Smile - My Review of LOVE AND OTHER UNKNOWN VARIABLES by Shannon Lee Alexander

Title: Love and Other Unknown Variables
Author: Shannon Lee Alexander
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: 10/7/14
Source: ARC from Netgalley

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).

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.

I do not have the words to tell you how amazing this book it.  As a matter of fact, I don't think there are enough words in the universe to tell you how much I loved it.  If you are a John Green fan (like I am), just take the utter swooniness of Augustus Waters (The Fault in Our Stars) and the obsessive nerdiness of Colin Singleton (An Abundance of Katherines), combine them with the questing loyalty of Quentin Jacobsen (Paper Towns) and you have Charlie Hanson.

Charlie attends a special school for kids who are advanced in Science and Math.  To charlie, Math is logical.  It just makes sense.  English and Literature however is something that is seen as emotional and therefore unnecessary.

Despite having a girl for a best friend, Charlie has always struck out in the love department. He even keeps a scientific record of each epic fail. After seeing Charlotte Finch once morning in a donut shop, Charlie is surprised to find her sitting at his house; as his reclusive sister's new best friend. Charlie knows that even though he has never met ANYONE like Charlotte Finch, all they can ever be is friends because he doesn't want to do anything to hurt his younger sister.

Charlie is epically geeky and so very sweet to those around him.  And speaking of those around him, the whole cast of characters in this book is amazing.
  First there is Greta and James.  Greta is Charlie's outspoken best and James is her boyfriend. It's great the way Greta and James include Charlie without making him feel like a third wheel.  Becca is Charlie's sister and she is quirky to say the least.  Charlotte becomes her best friend; her only friend.  On the outside, Charlotte appears to be Charlie's opposite, and that may be true, but they bring out the best in each other.  Even with Charlie and Charlotte's growing friendship, they never exclude Becca or make her feel unwelcome. They become a tight band of friends, looking out for each other and trying to protect each other.  It's just perfect.

This is a fantastic YA book complete with laughter and tears, love and loss, and sunshine and rain.  It will completely take over your heart.

5 out of 5 Stars for me.

Kyle Andrews - You Always Make Me Smile

1 comment:

  1. Excellent review! This makes me even more excited to buy this when it releases :)

    Patty @ Bookish Wanderlove