Welcome to my stop on the Love and Other Unknown Variables Blog Tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours! Click here to follow along with the full tour schedule.
Title: Love and Other Unknown Variables
Author: Shannon Alexander
Publication date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
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).
Let's get our pi on! Charlie and Charlotte were fun to read about, and I'm not gonna lie - there were some emotional moments in there as well. Love and Other Unknown Variables is the perfect title for not only this novel but also life (let me just get a bit sappy here for a moment, okay?) itself. Because let's face it, there are a LOT of things in life that come our way many times unexpectedly, and sometimes those things are happy and positive, other times they're sad.
I adore Charlie - he's a math genius trying to solve Charlotte as though she's a math problem because he can't figure her out and can't resist solving a problem. At his age, girls are a mystery anyway, and when Charlotte comes into his life, her presence has him questioning everything he thought he knew. I love that his future suddenly doesn't seem so clear and that he's forced to think about things differently. Life isn't a straight path; we're thrown curves all the time. That he hasn't been thrown a curve in his path until now is amazing.
Greta and her boyfriend James are great minor characters as Charlie's friends. James gets the ball rolling in messing with the new literature teacher, Ms. Finch, who also happens to be Charlotte's sister. Every year the students cause the literature teacher to quit because they don't believe the subject is as important as math and science. They've gotten away with it every year until now. Ms. Finch is determined to find a way in through the cracks in the wall they've built.
Charlie's sister and Charlotte become close friends, and Charlotte ends up spending a lot of time at Charlie's house as a result. She surprises him at every turn. She breathes fresh air into his life, proving to him he doesn't know everything about people like he previously thought. I love it when characters' lives are turned upside down like this. Charlie was so cute wanting to kiss Charlotte and picturing it while missing what she was saying!
I think if I were Charlotte, I would have kept my illness to myself, too. I wouldn't want the looks of sympathy or to be treated differently. It's understandable but also unfair to Charlie in a way since he grows close to her not knowing she has this huge secret. And when he finds out, it doesn't compute in his head.
I just found out what it's like to have your heart in a blender while reading Love and Other Unknown Variables. It was terrible and wonderful all at once. Exactly the way real life is - terrible and wonderful at the same time.
Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife, 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.
Grand Prize (2): Signed book, bookmark, tissue holder, temporary tattoo, mathematical charm, science/math book page rose pin (made by Shannon), infinity charm bracelet (made by Shannon).
One 2nd place prize: Signed bookmark, tissues, temporary tattoo, mathematical charm, science/math book page rose pin (made by Shannon), infinity charm bracelet (made by Shannon).
3 Runners-up prizes: Signed bookmark, temporary tattoo, science/math book page rose ring (made by Shannon)
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