Variables of Love (book review)

VOL Banner Variables of Love was written by MK Schiller.  The book tour was organized by N K Author Services.  I was given a copy in exchange for my honest book review.  All opinions are my own.

About the book:

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Meena Kapoor knows what life has in store for her. She’s in her senior year at Stanford where she’ll graduate summa cum laude, and then she'll begin her interviews…her marriage interviews. Meena is Indian, and she’s never questioned that she’ll have an arranged marriage like all the generations before her. Not until she meets gorgeous math major Ethan Callahan. Ethan’s sense of humor and free spirit stir feelings in Meena she didn’t know were possible outside of Bollywood movies. It doesn’t hurt that he’s charming and has the uncanny ability to make math sound like poetry, but Meena knows their equation makes no sense in the real world.

Ethan finds himself intrigued by the mysterious, beautiful girl, whose big, brown eyes reflect great pain. His goals are small at first—to make her smile and then to laugh. But he soon wants more, and though Meena is adamant they have no future, he convinces her to share the present. Ethan believes every problem has a solution, but with cultural expectations and family duty among the variables, they will struggle to solve the ultimate equation to find happiness.

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My review:

1st of all... the title is brilliantly clever.  I found myself thinking repeatedly while reading how perfect the title was in so many ways.  2nd.... I'm absolutely in love with Meena and Ethan.

The story was so complex.  I found myself really interested in learning Meena's reasoning for planning to have her marriage arranged.  After listening to her explanations and the methods that took place during the arrangement... it made so much more sense to me.  It wasn't her parents saying "here's your fiance, let's plan the wedding".  There were so many factors... variables... in the choice of man.  So many steps... with Meena having every right to veto.  And a long engagement to find out if the choice was right.  Again... with right to back out.  I could understand Meena's life plan.  I could see how arranged marriages (if done as she explained) would work.  BUT...then there was Ethan.  How do you argue the "pros" of your plan when you naturally, without trying, (actually fighting it every step of the way) fall in love with an amazing man?

I need to note I tears up multiple times while reading Variables of Love.  There were just so many times my heart broke for both Ethan and Meena during their relationship.  There were also moments that were so damn sweet and sentimental that I just got choked up.  There was one scene (in a playground) that I actually had to put the book down for a minute because I am ridiculous and sobbed.  Is there such a thing as an uplifting tragedy?  It felt like that at times.

I would be neglectful if I didn't mention all of the amazing supporting characters in the book.  Meena's best friends (and then Ethan's) Raj and Rachel were so fabulous in their own rights.  I could totally see MK Schiller going back and writing 2 more books covering the exact same time frame but making a book for Raj and a book for Rachel.  Their stories were just as interesting (and their romances just as much of a struggle in fighting variables) as Meena's and Ethan's.  I truly would love to read their full stories.

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About the author:

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I am a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. I have a full time life and two busy teenagers, but in the dark of night, I sit by the warm glow of my computer monitor, and attempt to conjure up passionate heartwarming stories with plenty of humor.

I started imagining stories in my head at a very young age. In fact, I got so good at it that friends asked me to create plots featuring them as the heroine and the object of their affection as the hero. We'd spend hours on the phone while I came up with a series of unrealistic, yet tender events, which led to a satisfying conclusion. You've heard of fan fiction... this was friend fiction.

Even with that, it took many years to realize I could produce an actual full-length book that readers would enjoy. I try to make my stories humorous, realistic, with flawed but redeeming characters. I hope you enjoy my stories and always find The Happily Ever After in every endeavor.

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