Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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).
Eeeeeh. I’m honestly feeling disappointed with Love and Other Unknown Variables because more than half the Goodreads reviews have rated this book 5 stars. Sadly, I just don’t see the appeal.
The book follows Charlie, a boy who attends Brighton School of Mathematics and Science and has his entire future planned out. He wants to go to MIT and he’s crazy good at maths. In fact, everyone in his school is pretty darn good at maths and/or science. They all hate literature and all things English related. Like Charlie mentions in the book, his school goes through English teachers like Hogwarts go through Defence in the Dark Arts professors. Each year they target the English teacher and play pranks on he/she until they go mad and just leave. This year, the teacher is Ms. Finch, and she’s determined to set the students of this maths and science school on the right road. Charlotte, the new girl in town who recently becomes Charlie’s sister’s best friend, also happens to be Ms. Finch’s younger sister.
What I didn’t like were the pranks Charlie and his classmates pulled on Ms. Finch. The reason behind the pranks just didn’t feel acceptable or believable to me. Charlotte basically tells Charlie to pull pranks on her sister (the teacher) so her sister’s attention will be averted and she won’t have time to keep an eye on Charlotte. What kind of reason is that? Also, the grudge these students have against English just annoyed me to no end. In my state, we also have a Science school and I know a few people who go there–they don’t pull pranks on their English teachers or detest English like these kids did at Brighton.
The romance was something I shrug my shoulders at. I didn’t see why Charlie and Charlotte were attracted to each other. And I got pretty bored of Charlie talking about Charlotte 24/7. Especially when he just talked about her hips and legs and how much he wanted to kiss her. That’s not love, that’s just attraction. That being said, the romance didn’t bother me as much in the second half of the novel as much as the first half–probably because the romance started to grow on me.
I loved the other relationships in this novel though. I liked how Charlie and his sister, Becca, grew closer throughout this book. They weren’t that tight in the beginning, but in a way, Charlotte brought them together. I liked how Greta and James, had such a large involvement with Charlie’s life. They’re his best friends, and were so honest with him.
Love and Other Unknown Variables was a nerdy read that I did enjoy, but felt that some of the things needed a more realistic and believable touch. I didn’t cry in the end because I saw the ending coming before I even started the book, but I definitely felt pretty sad in the end.
~Thank you Entangled Teen for the review copy!~
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