Synopsis: 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 want to say a huge thank you to Entangled Teen for sending me an early ARC of this novel*
This book was incredible. It was nothing like I expect it to be. Based on the cover and the synopsis, I kind of expected this book to be more of a cutesy, romance book that would have me squealing and fangirling because of the cute couple (Charlie and Charlotte). I was not at all expecting to find tears streaming down my face. Nor was I prepared for the perfect mixture of sadness and hope that caused my heart to do these weird little cartwheel things in my chest. Im not going to say anything else in the non-spoilery section of this review because I believe that it is best to go into this knowing as little as possible. If you haven't read this, do it. Now. Fans of the Fault In Our Stars will LOVE this.
**DO NOT read any farther if you have not read this book. Spoiler ALERT. You have been warned. **
Scientifically, I know beginnings don't exist. The world is made of energy, which is neither created or destroyed. Everything she is was here before me. Everything she was will remain. Her existence touches both my past and my future at one point- infinity.
Lifelines aren't lines at all. They are more like circles.
Its safe to start anywhere and the story will curve its way back to the starting point. Eventually.
In other words, it doesn't matter where I begin. It doesn't change the end.
In Charlie, I saw my inner nerd. My need to always be pleasing teachers and the pressures of always being expected to be the best at everything. I loved seeing the reckless feeling that came him when he skipped school that one day to visit Charlotte! That made me laugh. I saw myself in him when he struggled to decide what to do with his future. I saw myself in him whenever he referenced Harry Potter. ;) I to used to be obsessed with math and science and while I still did a lot of reading, I didn't understand the power that words really held. Its just been in the last year that I realized how much more a poem can move you and understand you then the process of photosynthesis. I loved watching Charlies journey. But most of all, Charlie and I shared the same want to love people. Not necessarily a boy/girlfriend, just a friend. Just putting someone who we care about above ourselves. Caring about the people who we love.
In Becca, Charlie's sister, I saw my love to read. I understand her fear of going out on her own adventure and meeting new people. Sometimes its easier to just submerse yourself in a book. I absolutely loved when she sat in her room crying over Charlottes death and the first thing she did was build a wall around herself from books. She literally did what a lot of people do internally. I loved that about her.
In Greta and James, I saw the friendships I have with my friends. The way Charlie, James and Greta stuck together through thick and thin made me think of not only my own best friends, by the friends Ive lost as well. I think everyone needs to find a Greta in their own life.
In Jo, Charlotte's sister, I saw not really myself, but some of the adults around me. Jo had so much pressure on her shoulders and you could see the effect it had on her. She was so worried about Charlotte, she wasn't focussing on herself as much.
And lastly Charlotte. I saw myself in her want to be free. To just be able to take a step back and disappear to a different place and be a different person. To not be around people who know all your flaws but be around people who will take you for who you are in the moment. At the same time, I absolutely loved watching Charlotte realize that maybe its not so bad to have people know about who you are. Charlie helped give her a place to be herself without the fear of being ridiculed and judged. In my eyes, he gave her safe home and I think that was one of the best gifts he could have given her.
The ending of this book was so heart breaking yet so hopeful. I respected Charlottes decision to forgo treatment, but I wish the rest of her family had as well. She knew she was going either way but she wanted to go as a whole person not a shell of what she used to be. My heart completely went out to Charlie but I knew he would someday learn to live with the pain. Someday, hopefully the angels wing will heal itself.
Happy reading nerds and sound off in the comments with your opinions and perspectives on this book! :)