a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Nearly Gone (2015)
Elle Cosimano

Nearly Boswell has (obviously) a really cool name. She also has a strong interest in her science and math classes. And, for some reason, she also has the ability to taste emotions when she touches other people's skin. Unsurprisingly, there is a romance with a "bad boy" who turns out not to be what he at first seems. But the serious plot in this YA novel concerns a serial killer who begins murdering students and leaving cryptic STEM-themed clues for Nearly.

I was sincerely tempted not to include this young adult novel in this database of mathematical fiction. Even though math is discussed and some of the clues have a mathematical component, there really is very little mathematical content overall. However, I realized that the book is marketing itself as mathematical fiction (e.g. the "E" and "A" in her name on the cover are represented by numerals 3 and 4). And so, I am considering it a public service to review it here just to say that this only barely counts as mathematical fiction. In fact some of the things which might at first glance be mathematical turn out not to be (like a clue with numbers that actually refers to chemical elements). And, some non-mathematical concepts are incorrectly described in mathematical terms (such as the Schrödinger's Cat thought experiment which is falsely said to be an example of a mathematical proof by contradiction.)

Perhaps I am selling this book (and its sequels which I have not read) short. If you think so, please use the link below or e-mail me and I'll post your opinion here.

More information about this work can be found at
(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to Nearly Gone
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Witch of Agnesi by Robert Spiller
  2. Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra by Wendy Lichtman
  3. Do the Math #2: The Writing on the Wall by Wendy Lichtman
  4. The Square Root of Murder by Paul Zindel
  5. The Wright 3 by Blue Balliet
  6. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet
  7. Crimes and Math Demeanors by Leith Hathout
  8. The Unknowns: A Mystery by Benedict Carey
  9. The Distant Dead by Heather Young
  10. The Absolute Value of Mike by Kathryn Erskine
Ratings for Nearly Gone:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
1/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
2/5 (1 votes)

GenreMystery, Young Adult,
MotifMath Education,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)