Friday, November 28, 2014

Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

Charlie is one of the smart ones. He attends Bright School of Mathematics and Science. His dream is to go to MIT (even though he hasn't sent in the early admission forms yet). Charlie is tall and lanky with blonde hair. When it comes to girls, he has always been awkward. Now, it is his senior year and he is ready to concentrate on school work and not worry about girls until...OK, like you didn't see this coming...he meets Charlotte.

Charlie has never seen Charlotte before the day he touches the infinity tattoo on the back of her neck while waiting in line to get donuts. Not the smartest thing to do, but they briefly speake and it is kind of flirty. Charlie's brain usually so full of equations and theorems is very distracted by this girl with the tattoo.

One thing that can help keep his mind on something else is the new English teacher. Being science minded, none of the Brighton students like the idea of reading poetry and literature. So each year it becomes a game to torment the new teacher until her/she leaves. This has been very successful, but this year's teacher, Ms. Finch, is on to them and openly welcomes the challenge. Charlie is at first reluctant to participate but circumstances make him the leader of all the pranks.

It might have been easier for Charlie to forget Charlotte until he finds her in his kitchen one day. It turns out she has become his sister Becca's new (and only) friend (Charlie isn't the only socially awkward person in his house). So there is Charlotte in his house everyday after school, sleeping over, hanging out on weekends. She practically lives there!

It is whole new world for Charlie. With encouragement of his friends, Greta and James (and once he actually tells them about her), Charlie decides that maybe getting to know Charlotte would be a good thing. Even being distracted by her has lead to new discoveries (I'm not going to go into the details about Charlie driving off the road into an old lady's prized flower garden and what happens as a result).

It's a nice story of young awkward love and the potential for everything.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.

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