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 have a crush on Charlie Hanson.
First of all, I loooooove stories written from a male point of view… let me clarify. I love them when they’re done well, and this one…. Well it’s done amazingly well.
Secondly… I have to tell you right up front that this story did not make me cry. If you’re looking through some reviews for this book, you’re definitely going to see a lot of comments about crying, and if you’re a book-cryer, be prepared, you may need some Kleenex going into this.
Charlie Hanson is a giant nerd. And I love him. He’s honest, he’s straightforward and he’s totally a teenage boy. Charlie attends Brighton School of Science and Mathematics and he’s got his future planned out. He’ll graduate and attend MIT and solve all the great unanswered questions … at least that is his plan until he meets Charlotte.
Charlotte is new to town and just happens to end up being his little sister’s best friend. His little sister has never had one of those so no matter how much he’s attracted to her, even if Charlotte was remotely interested in a nerd like him, he couldn’t and wouldn’t screw up her one and only friendship.
Plus… she just so happens to be Brighton’s newest English teacher’s, younger sister.
At Brighton, the focus has always been on Math and Science and the students don’t see any value in the ‘arts’. But Ms. Finch is determined to make them see the value and she’s heard about all the past teachers and what they had to endure. She isn’t going to give up no matter what kind of things they try.
And so begins a school year of pranks in order to get Ms. Finch to quit her job, with Charlie leading the way, and when Charlotte finds out what is happening, she convinces Charlie that it’s a good thing. That any distraction he can cause that keeps her sister’s attention away from her, the better off she’ll be.
But aside from all the high school hi-jinks, there is a much more serious issue going on. Something that Charlotte keeps to herself and there’s a reason that Charlotte is pushing Charlie to distract her sister. Despite all the reasoning Charlie does, nothing really is making much sense anymore and though his common sense tells him not to fall for Charlotte, he just can’t seem to help himself.
Alexander tells a wonderful, heartwarming story here. The writing is well-done and the pacing and flow of the story really worked for me. I found myself not only loving our two main characters but also connecting with some of the peripheral characters as well… Charlie’s best friends, the cranky old woman down the block and I even loved his little sister!
While this story has a very serious side to it, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The serious is balanced wonderfully with some fun, sweet and lighthearted moments.
If you’re looking for something that will definitely make you laugh out loud at times and possibly cry a bit at others, I can’t recommend this one more.
I’ll be adding this one to my list of favorite boy POV stories!
Thank you to Entangled Teen and Netgalley for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.