A fondness for math plus a self-deprecating sense of humor equals Sundquist's memoir of dating and self-acceptance.
Who says you won't use math and science later in life? Reflecting on spending 25 years without a girlfriend, Paralympic skier Sundquist quirkily applies the scientific method to his attempts at dating from eighth grade to college. Was he rejected because he studied SAT words for fun? Or maybe because he accidentally chopped down a tree with his prosthesis? To test his hypotheses, he interviews each girl and reaches a startling, surprisingly emotional conclusion that gives new meaning to the phrase "It's not you, it's me." This is no dry dissection, however; as Sundquist notes, "fighting emotion with logic is like bringing a calculator to a knife fight." Nor does it fall into an overtly inspirational, relentlessly cheerful tone. Sundquist is a storyteller—flawed, wry, laid-back and sympathetic. Anyone who's felt awkward will alternately (or simultaneously) wince and burst out laughing at his earnest misadventures with stalkers, “Close Fast Dancing” and flow charts. Readers will learn about love, self-esteem and even Venn diagrams thanks to tongue-in-cheek visual aids ribbing everything from Sundquist's limb count to bad pickup lines, but above all, they'll be rooting for Sundquist to hang out with a girl.
Funny, sympathetic and poignant, Sundquist's memoir has a high probability of success. (Memoir. 13 & up)