"Every Variable of Us" is the latest book by Charles A. Bush, an African-American author from Philadelphia. The story follows the life of Philadelphian teen Alexis whose dream of gaining a college scholarship due to her prowess on the basketball courts is shredded as she is involved in a gang shooting at a party. All Alexis wants to do is avoid become another Black teen stuck in poverty so she is persuaded to join the school's STEM team by Indian Hindu student Aamani, in a bid to gain her scholarship somehow else.
I found this book through an ARC scheme online and from the moment I read the brief description of the book on the website, I knew that this book was going to be one that I loved completely. I am a very nerdy person myself so a book that shows that side of the world but through the eyes of someone who stereotypically wouldn't be part of the nerd world sounded fascinating to me. Obviously, there were going to be some aspects of the book that I wouldn't be able to resonant with on a personal level, but this caused no issues in how I reacted to and emoted to the story as Bush has done an amazing job at making sure that anyone - no matter of their background - can relate to the characters in this book and their plights.
The book touches on a number of different social issues such as race, religion, and sexuality as well as the additional issues that can come from these different areas of life being combined. Some of these additional issues I was aware of due to other interests in my life, such as Drag Race, but it was brilliant to see these issues being discussed in a novel designed for teens and young adults as these are the people who should be getting exposed to all aspects of life so that we have a more tolerant society. For me, it was interesting to see how a number of different cultures have very similar opinions in regards to the LGBTQ+ community despite being communities that usually come to loggerheads about numerous other social issues. However, the whole book doesn't focus on this and shows that there is acceptance out there, it is just sometimes you have to go out and find it as it isn't just on your doorstep.
In terms of the general line of the plot, there was so much going on throughout the book but it didn't feel lost or confused. All the aspects of the plot influenced each other in some way or another so the whole book had this great flow to it that allows you to get lost in the pages and read away for hours at a time, which is exactly the kind of book I love.
Even if you aren't usually a fan of teen or young adult novels, I would recommend reading this book as I feel like it could change your opinion of the genre as I could easily see this in the teen/YA section of a bookshop as well as the normal fiction areas too. This book is due to be released on the 1st March 2022, and I would thoroughly recommend pre-ordering this book now as I can see it being really popular on release.
this was just so wonderful and enjoyable. the themes were so well presented. the way lgbt communities and queer identities were navigated was so wonderful
This book started with a stealing scene in the black community, where you get to know who Alexis is. And then her escaping the scene and going to school where you get to know who Aamani is.
Alexis : a character who is trying to survive the fate she is living. I found that aspect very painful because there are so many like her who are not bad but forced to do what they do to survive. I loved how Alexis was trying to get a scholarship to have a better future.
Aamani: a character that belongs to the hindu culture trying to basically fit in to keep her family values in tack. I found her super cool and mature. She is in the stem team for scholarships opportunities.
On some unfortunate night Alexis got shot and saw her future of becoming an athlete sinking. But then Aamani comes with this other amazing opportunity to lead her to her future goals with another path.
This book is written amazing and keeps you flipping the pages. I have honestly learned alot about the urban communities. However it is nothing new that some of the black communities are with the mind set that only becoming an athlete is what can remove them out of their situation. And the Indian communities with the mind set of planning their children's future like for example marrying off their girls is the right way of living. But through Alexis and Aamani, I have seen another way of copping with these situations. How your will can help you achieve anything. Most of all I loved the astronomy knowledge in the story and how both of the characters have mutual interest in it. I love this book and every element (queer, LBGTQIA+, different communties) in it.
My favorite line in this book: "Not every block in the hood is filled with violence and drugs. In fact, many are filled with love and Black beauty".
Thank you netgalley for giving me this amazing opportunity.
📖Summary: Here’s what you need to know: girl from the hood wants to make it out, so she puts in the work to become the best ball player she can be. Girl and best friend make bad decisions and get in trouble with the new girl and her family. Girl invites new girl to party, girl gets shot in drive by. Girl can’t play basketball. New girl inspires girl to use her brain to get out of the hood. Girl starts catching feelings for new girl? Maybe? Girl’s old life won’t let her go, even as she tries to make a new life for herself. Which life will she choose?
✨Rating & Review✨: Okay, this book is phenomenal!! I’m OBSESSED and cannot wait for this book to be officially published so I can own it. Straight up ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ , if I could rate higher than that, I definitely would. There’s so much about this book that I love. The marvel references, the bisexuality representation, the STEM team family, straight up nerds having fun and enjoying life. While it touches on so many things that I love, it also deals with the harsh realities of life as well. There’s homophobia, gang violence, the harmful reality of having a single mother who struggles with substance abuse, micro aggressions, racism, police brutality, stereotypes and so much more. Thank you @netgalley and @charles_a_bush for giving me this opportunity to read and review this book. It was an absolute joy.
I don't really know what to say about this one. I liked the flow to start with. But after a few chapters I just lost interest. I just couldn't read this anymore.
First, I want to say that this book could appeal to a lot of people, just not to me, unfortunately. I didn't click with it, but it doesn't mean that it's not a good book.
I liked the idea behind the plot, and some of the characters, and I even laughed a few times. This books brings up important topics like police brutality, gun violence, discovering your queer identity.
But I came across too many clichés and bad jokes. Jokes about Bill Cosby, the main character thinking that another character should stop hiding her hair, or an autistic character that felt too cliché for me.
And the writing style wasn't really my thing. The book is written from the mc's point of view, and she uses words like "the 'Gram". I'm not a fan of that.
Also, please check the TWs because some parts are really hard.
Thank you netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for a review
The themes this book presents such as, police brutality & gun violence; cultural and familial pressure to present yourself a certain way; the opioid epidemic and its impact on urban neighborhoods like West Philly are crucial in today's post-9/11 and post-Trump society. However, what I found to be one of my favorite things about this book is how a young black girl tries to navigate her newly realized queer identity. Although at times I cringed a little at the way it's supposed to be relatable to kids and teenagers now (the hashtags are a little intense), I find that showing the way the characters fit on spectrum, in LGBTQIA+ communities, surviving in urban neighborhoods, and simply just dealing with high school really made up for it.
While not marketed as a comedy, this book was extremely funny, and I found myself laughing about something in each chapter. I like the way that Charles writes Alexis, after joining the STEM team she does not suddenly change from who she used to be when she was hanging out with Britt and her other friends. She keeps making mistakes and doing things that hurt her new Team and Aamani but those mistakes make her push herself to do better. I especially liked how Aamani didn't let herself stand down when Alexis was saying how she didn't understand all the difficulties that being black had by pointing how that she also experienced racism and microaggressions (even from Alexis herself). While the very beginning of the first chapter gave off "I'm not like other girls" vibes which I found a little off-putting, I am glad I kept reading cause this was all around a very entertaining story.