Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander


My brain is currently a hurricane of emotions, but I'm going to try to stop crying long enough to write this review.

Love and Other Unknown Variables is about Charlie, a high school senior and genius mathematician, who one day creeps on a stranger named Charlotte at a coffee shop and can't help but be fascinated by her and her infinity tattoo. And soon, she's infiltrated his life; her sister is his new English teacher and she's become his sister's best friend, constantly singing songs from musicals in his living room.

From the second he saw her, he couldn't help but pay attention. What starts out as an friendship centered around pulling pranks on Charlotte's sister, turns into a something more that Charlie can barely comprehend. But Charlotte isn't completely honest with Charlie, and it becomes obvious that there is a big reason behind wanting to distract her sister. Something that will change Charlie for the rest of his life.

This book was pretty solid. There's honestly nothing left to say, except that. It hooked me from the beginning, and I enjoyed the slow burn relationship between Charlie and Charlotte. It felt natural, but completely intriguing at the same time.

My biggest issue was the writing. I can't really point out exact moments, but the writing sometimes felt either really amateurish or nonsensical. The inner dialogue of Charlie's brain just didn't flow sometimes, and it was forced. It didn't sound like a person was actually thinking it. And I understand that technically, the story isn't currently happening and that it's being recalled upon, but the actual book is written in present tense and is meant to be witnessed in the moment. And it didn't follow through sometimes.

It wasn't as incredible as everyone was saying, but I did like it. Both Charlie and Charlotte--as well as the secondary characters like Becca, Greta and James--were well thought out. And God damn! It hurt my heart. I cried during the last 30 pages, just wishing that I could turn back time for Charlie and fix something, but I couldn't.

It was a heart-breaking novel, but completely worth every tear.

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