I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Let's get our pi on! Charlie and Charlotte were fun to read about, and I'm not gonna lie - there were some emotional moments in there as well. Love and Other Unknown Variables is the perfect title for not only this novel but also life (let me just get a bit sappy here for a moment, okay?) itself. Because let's face it, there are a LOT of things in life that come our way many times unexpectedly, and sometimes those things are happy and positive, other times they're sad.
I adore Charlie - he's a math genius trying to solve Charlotte as though she's a math problem because he can't figure her out and can't resist solving a problem. At his age, girls are a mystery anyway, and when Charlotte comes into his life, her presence has him questioning everything he thought he knew. I love that his future suddenly doesn't seem so clear and that he's forced to think about things differently. Life isn't a straight path; we're thrown curves all the time. That he hasn't been thrown a curve in his path until now is amazing.
Greta and her boyfriend James are great minor characters as Charlie's friends. James gets the ball rolling in messing with the new literature teacher, Ms. Finch, who also happens to be Charlotte's sister. Every year the students cause the literature teacher to quit because they don't believe the subject is as important as math and science. They've gotten away with it every year until now. Ms. Finch is determined to find a way in through the cracks in the wall they've built.
Charlie's sister and Charlotte become close friends, and Charlotte ends up spending a lot of time at Charlie's house as a result. She surprises him at every turn. She breathes fresh air into his life, proving to him he doesn't know everything about people like he previously thought. I love it when characters' lives are turned upside down like this. Charlie was so cute wanting to kiss Charlotte and picturing it while missing what she was saying!
I think if I were Charlotte, I would have kept my illness to myself, too. I wouldn't want the looks of sympathy or to be treated differently. It's understandable but also unfair to Charlie in a way since he grows close to her not knowing she has this huge secret. And when he finds out, it doesn't compute in his head.
I just found out what it's like to have your heart in a blender while reading Love and Other Unknown Variables. It was terrible and wonderful all at once. Exactly the way real life is - terrible and wonderful at the same time.