Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Theory of Everything

Does anyone remember the show Wonderfalls?  With the French-Canadian girl that worked in a Niagara Falls gift shop, and random tchotchkes would come to life in front of her and give her cryptic messages? And Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies, etc) was her brother?  I loved that show.  Which of course means it got canceled too soon.

Reading the description for The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna, my thoughts first went toward The Big Bang Theory (String Theory and Physics and all).  However, when I got to the part about Sophie Sophia seeing things others don't see, and having a Shaman Panda to guide mind went straight back to Wonderfalls, and my thoughts went to "Read this. Read this NOW!"

Sophie Sophia is fourteen years old, and she sees things that others don't see.  Things like baby black bears raining from the sky, marching band pandas, and playing guitar with The Cure.  She listens to mix-tapes (late 80s bands) on a Walkman, and wears funky clothing with fun-shaped pockets.  Her father is a theoretical physicist at NYU who also sees things others don't see.  He left four years ago, and now it seems he's disappeared completely.  Sophie's Mom has settled them in Havencrest, Illinois (New York City it is not), where Sophie isn't exactly fitting in.  Armed with her new friend Finny and Walt, her shaman panda, Sophie tries to find her father.  Set to a soundtrack from The Smiths, The Cure, U2 and such, it is an adventure in string theory, friendship, the extraordinary, and most importantly- love.

The Theory of Everything is a smart, quirky, funny YA novel (with a bit of mystery thrown in).  I loved Sophie- she was such a charming, intelligent character.  She's an outsider, who's built up walls. Seeing her friendship with Finny develop was such a highlight of the story.  I just wanted to give her a hug.  I really connected with Sophie (quirky kids unite!), and there's a point in her friendship with Finny where walls come down and I just sobbed with her. 

As a chronic listmaker, I got such a kick out of the lists she creates throughout the book, like "How to Survive Going to a New School" and "How to Survive Going to School After an Episode."  And I enjoyed the evolution of those lists from the start of school to learning to let people in.

This was a fantastic book, and one that I would enjoy reading again.  Annnd it helped me, even after 6 seasons of The Big Bang Theory, sorta kinda understand String Theory (so yay!)  I would recommend it to anyone interested in String Theory, Late-80s music, Being Yourself, and Pandas (especially Shaman Pandas).

The Theory of Everything is published by Philomel Books (Penguin USA).  Digital ARC provided by NetGalley.
Release Date: 07.11.13


  1. Very cool!! Maybe that's the next book we should read :)

  2. YES!!! I would wholeheartedly be "down" with that ;-) Want to bring it up to the other ladies?