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The Calculus of Change

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  327 ratings  ·  78 reviews
A poignant and empowering teen novel of grief, unrequited love, and finding comfort in one's own skin.

Aden isn't looking for love in her senior year. She's much more focused on things like getting a solo gig at Ike's and keeping her brother from illegal herbal recreation. But when Tate walks into Calculus class wearing a yarmulke and a grin, Aden's heart is gone in an ins
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Clarion Books
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3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  327 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Miranda Reads
4.5 stars

Aden is left with a choice, and Tate with the consequences.
When Aden meets Tate, something catches her eye and something irrevocably shifts within her.
Immediately I want him. Not because he has pierced ears. Not because he has unruly brown hair and gray-blue eyes. I want Tate Newman because he is wearing a two-toned blue handwoven yarmulke atop his head.
Tate is unlike any other boy she's seen. He spent the summer in Israel with a group of Jewish teens on a pilgrimage and
He's th
I FORGOT TO MENTION THE MOST IMPORTANT DETAIL: the characters in this book are nonstop throwing small pieces of food at each other. it's unreal. popcorn kernels, chocolate-covered raisins, sour patch kids - these children cannot ingest small foodstuffs without tossing them in the general direction of one another.

i'm at a loss.


here is a phenomenon that i hate:

when a book is really popular, and you hate it, and then other books start copying that book and you hate the books that copy it because
3.75 stars

I expected Calculus of Change to be light-hearted contemporary, where math meets romance and trivial high school problems create light drama and much fun. Instead, Calculus of Change is a deep novel and touches on numerous heavy issues, from sexual assault to body image, relationship problems and self perception. It is thought provoking and written in an original style.

When Aden falls she falls. Head over heels, totally discombobulated falls in love. That's what happened when Tate wa
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been a YA fiction fan since before the genre actually existed. But every now and then I come across a special book that isn't just a fun read—it's like a tiny, potent time capsule, capturing just exactly the FEELING of being a teenager in all its confusing, awkward, painful, exhilarating glory. Jessie Hilb's THE CALCULUS OF CHANGE is one of those books. She's masterful at capturing those emotions: the consumingness of a crush, the angst of not knowing what you are—friends or more than frien ...more
Pernille Ripp
May 31, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The author really brought me back to my days as a 17 year old girl by reaching into the mind of Aden. The sarcastic look at the outside world, the insecurities, very real family dynamics, eclectic friendships, what it's like to feel a connection with the opposite sex and then second-guess everything about those feelings and yourself. Without revealing any spoilers, Aden definitely comes out on top which is a moment of pride for those of us adult readers who accomplished the same back in the day ...more
This is a different book then I expected it to be. From the synopsis I thought it was a cute, high school I-am-in-love-with-my-friend book. Instead, it's about Aden and her family/friends and the way she sees others and the way she sees herself. I wasn't sure how I felt about this book 40% of the way in, but I pushed through and it was worth it. The last few chapters are my favorite and I'm so glad that Aden finally let herself be Aden. So I would recommend this book only with a preface that som ...more
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
oh wow. this book is beautifully written and too true. the narrator/main character is edgy and real. if you're like me and have had a 'what is this' romance (to use a phrase from the book) that left you wondering if you were just crazy, this book is so affirming. honestly the book was equal parts painful and empowering. and totally delicious in ways that made me wish it would never ended. highly recommended :)
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75/5 stars
I was expecting this to be a cosy romance full of clichés about the nerdy high school girl falling in love with the popular guy. But God was I wrong. It’s touching much more than that, and is deep on so many levels. It goes from body shaming, drug abuse, sexually assault and dealing with the loss of someone you love. This book is all about opening up about your feelings instead of hiding them inside and be happy with who you are as a person. Everyone is beautiful in their own way. Al
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me: Expects fluff.
Book: Imma just leave this hardcore stuff for you right here.
Me: Ouch.
Solid read. RTC
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sweet and moving realistic YA. Starts off somewhat as an unrequited romance, but goes far beyond that. There's also:

- coming to terms with grief - Aden is attracted to Tate partly b/c of his spirituality which makes her feel connected to her Jewish mother who passed away)
- family - Aden, her brother Jon and their father have a somewhat loving but strained relationship, partly because they haven't come to terms with her mom's death, and her father in particular has a hair-trigger temper that neve
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
I'm really torn with this book. There are things I really like about it. I like the fact that it wasn't simple, it was about an ordinary but smart girl figuring out how to like and respect herself, and that the love interest wasn't automatically requited. That said, the internal monologue of her looking down on herself went on for most of the book and I wanted to see that change earlier. The other side characters were frustrating and everyone seemed to go through a story trajectory at the same t ...more
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-arc
Click to see book reviews by Merv

I made free printable bookmarks for this too so click the link.


There you go. If you’ve read the blurb, you’ll know the reason why I love it. Unrequited!!! The title can be quite misleading though. I was actually scared to start reading this (hence, the expired ebook) because of the word Calculus. It sounds too difficult and I sound too dumb. I’M TELLING YOU It is not all math-y! It’s not even math-y! I promise, the math will be buried after a few chapters and wi
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for this arc.

Wow. This book. It was way more than I expected. I was thinking this would be just a cute contemporary. But it is so much more than that. It is about loving yourself. Knowing your worth. Things will be okay no matter the mistakes you make. If someone doesn’t love you the way you deserve then you don’t need them. Everyone is beautiful in their own way. Once you learn to love yourself then I think you will realize you’re worth so much more tha
Janette Lennon
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky to be passed an early copy of this one. Looked up the reviews here first and was intrigued. I read it in short bursts and felt amazed, sometimes frustrated. I often laughed out loud. Didn't know what to make of it but have decided it's genius. Definitely plenty of real life messy issues. PG-13. I would say I couldn't put the book down, but in reality I found myself closing it with my jaw dropped wondering how the author hit so close to home. I've been there just like Aden in too many ...more
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Calculus of Change really resonated with me. The story chronicles the life of Aden and her relationships with others (living and departed), but most of the plot actually serves to show the relationship she has with herself.

I loved the short chapters. It took me a little while to get used to the writing style (e.g. a prepositional phrase is often used to represent an entire sentence). However, once I let the story fully captivate me, the music and the math elements of the story melded togeth
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This reminds me why I read YA; why we should all read a little more YA. Because growing into yourself and learning to embrace living in your own skin isn’t a teenage problem, it’s something we face in our twenties, in our thirties, and probably beyond. There are hard truths and harder situations handled here, and it feels real. Vulnerable but strong. And well-timed reading.
Karen Upper
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked how 'math' was used as a pivotal jump off for the story! This was a great read and will hold definite appeal to any teen!
KayCee K
The Calculus of Change by Jessie Hilb was refreshing. Yes, it's a YA Contemporary and yes it does have teen drama, but it's more than that.
Overall, this was a strong read for me that brought both smiles and saddened too. Yes, it was filled with characters making bad choices but everyone makes bad choices, small or big and they all have an effect. The title of this book could be any better.

Full review, with spoilers, will be live on my blog Feb 4st.

I recei
Very good family/friendship relationship drama for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, etc. about falling in love with the wrong person and reconnecting broken families.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brilliant
This was beautiful, and the ending was perfect.

I was really excited for this book, because even though I'm not really that great at calculus, I still like the idea of it, and I was hoping I'd be able to really relate to the main character, Aden, through her love of calculus. I imagined myself reading about how Aden was working on differentiation by substitution, or the mean value theorem for integrals, and thinking "Ooooh, I know that!" I realize that probably sounds really nerdy but oh, well. The sad part is, though, that for a book with an

Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-novel, ya
The Calculus of Change is a coming of age novel about a high school student, Aden, who learns to observe herself, her thoughts and her actions in a way that allows her to understand what she wants and needs out of life and the people surrounding her, which is something that many adults have not begun to master. Aden’s honesty with herself and with those she loves makes her endearing and relatable to the reader. We’ve all be there in some way, shape or form and recognizing our own feelings in her ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, edelweiss
I expected this to be a light-hearted book with the usual teenage angst and swoony romance. Boy was I surprised when I got so much more than I anticipated.

The Calculus of Change deals with a lot of real life, heavy issues. From drug abuse and sexual assault to teenage pregnancy and self-image, this book is thought-provoking with its raw honesty.
Aden was an interesting character. I admit I didn't get her at first and found her quite annoying but throughout the book as I got to know her and unde
Jen Selinsky
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aden has been missing her mother for over ten years. Her dad has been raising Aden and her younger brother since their mother’s death. Aden is now a senior in high school and struggles to remember the mother whom she hardly got to know. Aden also began tutoring one of her classmates, Tate, for whom she develops feelings. And though her love is unrequited, she can’t help but think that he is leading her on. Aden also struggles with her image; she wishes she could become thinner so that Tate will ...more
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet story. It took a bit to get into, but once I got rolling and started to connect to the characters, I was hooked. Well-written and easy to read.
I was sent a physical ARC by Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.

I’m not really sure how I feel about this book to be honest. One part of me likes it, another part of me doesn’t. And my feelings have been going on like this for over a week now. I guess I was expecting much more than I received. I expected a cutesy contemporary with boy meets girl, unrequited love, plus a mix of cheesy interactions between friends and family and the end. But when I first started reading this, I was
Sep 03, 2018 marked it as will-not-finish
Note: Did not finish.

I did not, could not, and would not ever finish The Calculus of Change.

I gave up on this book extremely early (48 pages in, for the sake of specificity). That's really not enough material for me to say much about this book or to gauge whether its content is as problematic as a few reviews from other readers have pointed out. But it is enough for me to confidently say that the writing style really did not work for me. At all. Reading those 48 pages felt like a self-inflicted
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm between 2 and 3 stars, but I think I'm not the intended audience for the book (I'm a 36 year old mom, and I think this is for teenagers), so I'll give it the 3. (I read this because a friend of mine gave me her Advance Reading Copy.)

It's an easy read that moves along quickly, but I think think the blurb on the back makes it seem much lighter than it's really going to be. There's much more focus on the protagonist's grief over the loss of a family member than there is on, say, her love of mat
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
The writing was only fine, but the characters were not fine. All the characters start out really likable, then the author just makes them all have a crap ton of unnecessary and frankly underdeveloped issues. And I understand having self esteem issue and not loving your body bUT ALL THE NARRATOR DOES IS TALK ABOUT HOW SHE IS “too fat” AND HOW “every girl is drop dead gorgeous because they’re skinny and she’s not skinny so how can she be beautiful”. Also, I didn’t process it until page 271-27
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Jessie lives in Boulder, Colorado with her family and a very shy Aussie rescue dog. She has a BA in English from Boston College and a MSW from the University of Denver. You can find her loitering at a handful of coffee shops around town, downing coffee that always gets cold too quickly, and writing books.
Jessie’s debut novel, THE CALCULUS OF CHANGE releases Feb. 27, 2018 with HMH, Clarion Books.