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In Hill's novel, set in 1962, 16-year-old Sarah Thompson prefers the emotional intensity of English to the cold calculations of math, while algebra teacher Travis Hall discovers passion in his captivating yet inexperienced student. After she challenges Travis to imbue algebra with feeling, Sarah's grudging admiration blossoms into secret and forbidden love that smolders against a backdrop of societal taboo. Will devotion unite two hearts or is love's equation unsolvable? This sentimental and unsubtle homage to romantic love suffers from choppy, unrealistic dialogue and stiff plotting. Hill's attempt to marry math and heartache is admirable, as is her emphasis on emotional commitment at the expense of fleshly desire. Unfortunately, her novel fails in its exploration of these grand themes and frequently reads like a melodramatic tearjerker.