Want to Read Wednesday – Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

Melanie’s Want to Read Wednesday #10


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TITLE:  Love and Other Unknown Variables

AUTHOR:  Shannon Lee Alexander

GOODREADS’ AVG. RATING:  4.05 out of 5 stars; 333 ratings


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).

Synopsis Source


Fun fact, my personal library of books feels as if it is incredibly far behind in terms of content.  In essence, I just don’t feel as if I have anything current or new on my Kindle and so I decided to pass the time by perusing through a listing of books which were published this year on Goodreads and then adding them to my “To Be Read” list/shelf, which is how I came across Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander.  I instantly fell in love with the cover of this book, it is striking in its simplicity and yet somewhat playful with its use of familiar mathematical symbols in place of letters.  After I read the synopsis, I was still keen on reading the book even though it doesn’t necessarily fall within the realm of my normal reading habits.  Confession time:  I haven’t read many contemporary novels, I believe the last one I read was Sarah Dessen’s Just Listen a few years ago.  I have spent a large amount of my reading time in the realm of fantasy fiction and paranormal romance, places where I can sort of disappear from the world around me – something I think that contemporary novels fail to allow for due to their anchoring in reality.  This isn’t a bad thing or a strike against contemporary novels, on the contrary I actually do enjoy a good contemporary novel every now and then when I’ve been spending too much time reading of Mid-World, Middle-earth, Panem, Scadrial, etc.

Confession time, part two:  In case you haven’t noticed, I am a complete nerd!  When I was in high school I was basically obsessed with mathematics, it was my favorite subject in school.  I had always been incredibly good at math, I could figure out complex mathematical equations in my head without having to show my work or write down my process and I was correct a large majority of the time.  Needless to say, the majority of the math teachers were frustrated by me.  It is through my own familiarity with the subject of mathematics that I was led to this novel because I am curious as to the role of mathematics and just how much of an impact it has on the telling of this story, for example does Charlie think of and experience everything in terms of mathematical problems or not?  I just think it is an interesting concept and this seems like an excellent choice for a future read.

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