Friday, 12 December 2014

Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

Love and Other Unknown VariablesTitle: Love and Other Unknown Variables 
Author: Shannon Lee Alexander
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Buy this book: Amazon / Book Depository
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).

I'd seen this book on Netgalley, the interesting cover and intriguing summary had me downloading it. I have to admit though, the fact it was another story involving a romance with a girl with an illness did make me think this was going be yet another YA cancer story. Now cancer stories aren't necessarily bad, it's just that they've started to seem a little overused in YA fiction. It's begun to feel like a plot device that's being used for no other reason than to make you cry and to sell books. I'd enjoy most of them more if it felt they actually had something significant to say about a serious issue.

I actually enjoyed this book in the very beginning, I was almost sure this was going to be a book I would absolutely love. The characters were quirky and funny, they were characters that actually had me laughing out loud. But the happy feeling didn't last for long and soon I began to get a little bit frustrated with the book. It started to drag a little, there seemed to be nothing really happening plot wise and that gets boring fast. But my biggest issue probably came at about the 40% mark and it eventually caused me to have to DNF the book altogether. I wasn't even going to bother reviewing it, but the urge to moan about it is too strong.


The characters, the characters I'd been so sure I loved, turned out to be what made me want to put the book down. Charlotte became the character I hated the most because she acted in a way that I think is completely unacceptable, but she doesn't even seem to realise. And to make the a million times worse, everyone else acts like it isn't a bad thing either. When she finally tells Charlie what's wrong with her, he doesn't react the way that she wants him to. He doesn't even do anything wrong, he just doesn't act in the way she wanted him to. So what does Charlotte do, Charlotte goes and punches Charlie in the face. Not a little slap, she full on punches him in the face and gives him a bloody nose. And everyone acts like this is a totally acceptable way to behave. No! No... No... No... NOOOOOO! What is wrong with these people? I wanted Charlie to punch her back so badly, at least then someone might have actually reacted. I had to rage quit after that, I don't want to read a book where it's deemed perfectly acceptable for someone to just punch you in the face if you don't act how they want you to. I'm sure the characters would have felt differently if the roles had been reversed. NOT COOL!

DNF

I really wanted to love this one, it felt like it had so much to offer in the beginning. But that one moment is just something that I could not get over. I instantly hated Charlotte, lost all respect for Charlie that he doesn't really react at all and didn't understand why everyone else acted like it was okay. IT'S NOT OKAY! 



*I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.

14 comments:

  1. I almost requested this and then at the last minute decided against it. I am so glad I didn't now, I just don't think I can handle a read like this now.

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    1. I know some people loved it, but I just couldn't continue after that point because I hated the characters so much.

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  2. I actually thought this was by Jennifer E Smith because the title is SO like hers... >_< Oops. My bad. XD I kind of don't...don't want to read it. Doesn't seem like my sort of things. And I hate it when characters act that way. I had so many issues with that in Side Effects May Vary. The main character was just awful and cruel to everyone and I couldn't stand her. >.>

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    1. Yes! I think it's the same deal as I had with Side Effects May Vary, the character just isn't nice. I started to really dislike and lose respect for the characters, so I had to stop reading.

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  3. *cries all the tears because this is one of my favourite books of this year and like - ever*
    I've been so afraid of your review of this, I just - *breathes* We are all very different and like different things and this ^ is the perfectly example. I still love you though ;)

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    1. Haha, I am glad! I just had to rage quit after that because the characters all suddenly started to bug me.

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  4. Ah, that sucks. Why must books make us DNF them? :P
    Seriously, that punching thing seems quite ridiculous. I have this one on my TBR; I've been seeing some good reviews for it. But I'm glad to get another perspective. I'll probably still pick it up at some point, but definitely be going in with lower expectations. I'm sorry you DNF'd, but I like seeing some less than good feedback for a book. Different opinions is always a good thing.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

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    1. I know, HOW DARE THE BOOK!!!
      Maybe I'd enjoy it more if I had continued on, but I couldn't do it because the characters all became so unlikeable after that. Not for me, but hopefully you'll love it.

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  5. Oh god, punches in the face??? SO NOT FOR ME. I think I'd pull all my hair out due to frustration if this was me. It's lucky you just walked away frustrated! The name is catchy though. I'm with Cait--it totally sounds like a Jennifer E. Smith book (which is red alert for me because I've realised that she just doesn't write for me...) Fantastically honest review, Charnell! I'm walking away from this one...

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    1. Not for me either. That instantly just turned me off the characters in this book. I wanted Charlie to have more respect for himself and Charlotte to realise what she did was wrong. It does sound like a Jennifer E. Smith book, her writing doesn't seem to work for me either.

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  6. Ohh, I am sorry this is something you weren't able to enjoy as much as you wanted to! It does sound like something I wouldn't enjoy too much either :/ I actually have this book on my TBR because the cover is nice, it sounded promising and I loooove the title. I think I will try it out myself, but I have lowered my expectations quite a bit. I wonder if that moment will turn me off as much as it did you as well.

    http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2014/12/cinder-ella-review.html

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    1. I really wanted to love this book, but it just didn't work for me at all. I lost all respect for the characters after the slap incident and I just couldn't continue.

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  7. A book where it seems like nothing happens and when they do, it's punching people in the face? No thanks.

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