Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Love & Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander


Page Count: 336
Published on: October 7, 2014
Published by: Entangled Teen
Genre(s): Coming of Age, YA, Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit, Realistic Fiction 
Source: Print: Hardback
Age Rating: PG-14

Where To Find It

Twitter: @shanlalexander  

My Rating: 4.95 stars



Goodreads synopsis:

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).


~~~

Hey guys!

          I became intrigued by this book when my school librarian told me that Shannon Lee Alexander may come to my high school for an author visit. When she told me that, I was really interested to read this book. This book is about a totally nerdy and math obsessed boy named Charlie. Charlie has never had any luck with girls because he tries to consider getting a girl like a math equation or scientific experiment. During his senior year, he meets a girl named Charlotte Finch. In meeting her, he starts a school wide prank scheme against the newest English teacher to distract her from Charlotte's illness. Charlie doesn't expect to fall in love, but he's falling hard.

          At first, I thought this novel would just be a cliche and ordinary contemporary novel, but this really really surprised me. I love it when contemporary novels are narrated by a male protagonist, but he wasn't the regular guy! He's really smart, really driven, and totally a geek. It's not that he's not cool, but he's a normal guy! I really really loved his attitude on life and I really liked him as a character! The funny thing is that he actually talks about boy stuff...sometimes boy characters don't act like normal guys if they're written by female authors, but Charlie was a normal guy! These characters are just so hilarious and well thought out, and I just really really love them. Charlotte, or Charley was such a sweet girl, and she kind of teaches him how to live and be himself which I loved. I also really loved Charlie's sister, Becca, she's such a sweet girl and I really love her personality. She reads quite a lot, because she has an eidetic memory, and she's not like other people in her class so she's a bit like an outcast. Charley is her first real friend, and I just love their friendship throughout the book. Ms. Finch, Charley's sister, oh my goodness I have so many things to say about her. She's such an amazing English teacher, and throughout this novel she doesn't put up with any of the crap that those kids put her through. She's such a great sister, a great teacher, and a good friend. I also really like how involved Charley and Becca's parents are in their lives, but they aren't totally over bearing. They're really supportive and loving and hardworking. I just love their little parts in the novel.

          I really loved the romance in this novel, because it wasn't an insta-love story. You read Charley and Charlie's story and you are with them 100% as they are falling for each other. The way they flirt with each other is so adorable, and the ending of this book is just aagh. I feel like the book was perfectly done, and beautifully written. 

SPOILERS HERE:
I feel like Shannon handled the cancer aspect of this book really well. My sister had cancer, and it wasn't a romantic or good thing, which of course it isn't...She didn't make it a romantical tragedy, she knows it's a tragedy, but there was hope...Oh my goodness I so wished and hoped for Charley. I loved her character so much. The ending killed me...It was so realistic..some may argue that her death was too sudden, but that's how death is in the real world! You never know when it will happen, all you can do is live your life to the fullest and live each day loving your family and friends and doing your best to be the best you can be. Their grief is so realistic too! It's not made to be overdone and it's just really real and not cheesy or...I don't know! It's just so beautiful.

         I also really love Charley and Charlie's discussion on To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. TKAM is one of my favorite classics and one of my favorite books that I read in high school English class. The discussion that they have about this book is so beautiful and so true. The way Ms. Finch and Charley and Becca teach him about the importance of literature is just so amazing and beautiful.    

        You will love this book. It's characters are so hilarious and well written, the illness isn't romantacized, and all of the aspects that you think could be over done or unrealistically done, are done beautifully. I just adore this book. The only reason this book got a 4.95 star rating and not a 5 star rating was that it's not my ultimate favorite contemporary, but it's just a sweet book. I didn't cry, which is really unfortunate because I was on the brink. I don't exactly know why it doesn't get a full 5 star rating, but it's not a complete 5 star book for me. 

My Favorite Character(s): Charley & Charlie
My Ship(s): Charlie x Charley & Greta x James

I hope you guys enjoyed this review as much as I did!

        I will be really busy this week with finals and end of semester madness. I need to switch a class for next semester and pass my finals and finish a paper that's worth 25% of my grade and perform in our Christmas choir concert...I'm just really swamped this week! I won't have a review up on Thursday and I won't have a Top 5 Wednesday post up on Wednesday. I will have some CRAMATHON and Bookmas and BOOKTUBEATHON posts up in the next couple weeks as well as reviews so keep an eye on Twitter and the LivTheBookNerd Facebook Page for updates. Also keep an eye on the Instagram page for TBR posts and random hauls after Christmas :) 

Enjoy!
Happy reading!
Olivia
~livthebooknerd~
Twitter // Instagram // Tumblr // Goodreads // Bloglovin