Monday, January 19, 2015

Love and Other Unknown Variables~Shannon Lee Alexander | Review

 Title: Love and other Unknown Variables
Author: Shannon Lee Alexander
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 331 Pages
Publication: October 2014
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
For more information on this book click the title to link to the goodreads page. 
"'Sick of circles,' I grumble and immediately feel guilty. I love circles. They're amazing. It's not the circles' fault I'm stuck here mixing the new ick with the old ick and chopping up bigger pieces of ick with the point on the shovel."
I won this book in a giveaway done by Anna. I had never heard of this novel and had no idea what to expect, but the cover and title drew me right in.

I happen to be a mathematician (at least somewhat, I mean I have a degree in mathematics) and this title and cover are amazing! I particularly love the fact that you can see small math symbols inscribed on the cover as though it were a whiteboard. Beautiful. And it definitely fits the story. 

This novel was beautifully written and kept me almost glued to the pages. Charlie is so easy to relate to, even if you're not a mathematician. He is written so well and his logical approach to life is easy to follow. He and Charlotte are perfect opposites in so many ways that make them absolutely perfect together. 

The references to math and math related things kept me laughing and smiling the whole way through. I loved how Charlie would occasionally get upset with his line of thinking and then be upset about that because he was inadvertently dissing math. It was great. 

All of the characters were so well developed and real. I felt like I could know these people and that I would be friends with every single one of them. Charlie was great with his logical approach to life and insecurities. Charlotte's art and personality were great. Becca's shy, recluse like personality reminded me so much of myself. Greta was funny and grounding. James was supportive and somewhat impulsive. Jo (or Ms. Finch) was exactly what you would expect from her character and it was perfect. Mrs. Dunwitty was absolutely amazing. Together they were all just beautifully crafted. 

I adored the way that Charlie and Charlotte's love story progressed throughout the novel. It was heartbreaking and beautiful. I cried more than once while reading. I also laughed quite a lot. One thing that I thought was great was the fact that Charlie, while falling in love, accepted the fact that he didn't know if his love would last forever. In some ways all love lasts forever, but he knew that just because Charlotte was his first love didn't mean she was his last love. I think it's great to only have one love, but often that's not the case and so often in YA novels this happens. It was nice to see something more realistically portrayed purely in the fact that he questioned himself. 

Every single relationship was beautiful. I don't know if I have a favorite. Charlie's family was great. His and Becca's relationship as brother and sister was so cute. His and Mrs. Dunwitty's interactions were marvelous. Becca and Charlotte were great. Greta and James. James and Charlie. Overall, just great.

I do, however, feel that the hate for English and literature was a bit overdone here. Every mathematics professor I have ever had (who would have been about like Charlie as teens), are huge readers. They love fiction and literature. So I think that was a bit much at times. Also, as I've stated in other reviews, I'm not huge on cursing and there were quite a few uses of the f word in here. That was a drawback, but I loved the story anyway. 

This story was beautiful, emotional, powerful and just about perfect. It made me laugh and cry. It was definitely not a book I will be forgetting anytime soon. I highly recommend this novel to anyone and everyone. Go read it. It's a great read. 

Have fun reading! Tell me what you thought of the novel if you've read it!



  1. Aww, this sounds so adorable. I also have enough interest in math to be charmed by this cover (altho working on a degree in economics and not math).

    Cucie @ Cucie reads

    1. It really is a great read so I hope you pick it up! And yes, that cover is just brilliant. There's just so much hidden math in there and when you look at it more closely it just starts to reveal itself to you. And the characters are great. Thanks for reading! :)