Chasing Pandas (The Theory of Everything – A Book Review)

The Theory of Everything

Author: Kari Luna

Published: 2013

On Goodreads

My Rating:

Rated P for pondering pandas that leads to a journey on discovery and physics.

How to survive (possible) interdimensional travel:

1. Convince yourself that it’s not really happening.

2. Fail, utterly and miserably.

3.Okay, accept the fact that it’s really happening.

4. Wear your favorite skirt—the one with the tree pocket.

5.  Grab your best friend, your Walkman, and your shaman panda.

6. Somehow, some way, find your dad. He holds all the answers.

Sophie Sophia is a unique soul. She’s obsessed with music from the latte eighties, believing that it’s what’s real, especially when she listens to it out of her Walkman. She’s also the daughter of a famous physicist known for being eccentric and disappears for days on end. It’s why her and her mother left him. The two have also had to move multiple others times due to Sophie having the same visions her father has.

Now, desperate for answers after meeting her panda shaman, Sophie and her new best friend, Finny, they go on the great search for her father, hoping to find him and figure out how to bring these visions to an end. What they do discover is so much more than they imagined. With parallel universes and personal discoveries, Sophie opens her eyes and her heart to the unexpected emotion of love.

This was an unexpected enjoyment. Sweet and adventurous, this book was an utter delight. Sophie is a lively girl always dancing to her own beat and sometimes dive-bombing tables. this made her so much fun and in many cases, mysterious. She wasn’t the typical broody, angsty teen. Instead, she was determined and lively and open, especially with her visions. She, along with Finny, and every other aspect of this story really prove that searching for family and love and figuring out what the future may hold doesn’t have to be dark. It can be hopeful.

Not gonna lie, those visions, which were the big part of the book and Sophie, were really interesting and had me wishing I had my own panda shaman. Sometimes I really feel my life needs some guidance like that. Very whimsical and whimsy is so magnificent. This may actually be the first time I have found it so perfectly place in a novel. It gave life not only to the characters but also to every place they went and every life they touched along the way.

If there was one major point that stuck out for me, it was that love is important. This story wasn’t centric on romantic love, which I admire on a major level. Sure, there was a spark and speckle of romance, but that wasn’t the main squeeze. Self-love and love for family and friends was. Romance is important and can really get the heart pumping and make you stop breathing, but these aspects are important as well and I really loved that Luna made them a focal point.

The Odyssey Online

The epitaphs introducing each chapter really livened up the story, giving it a breath of music and movement. More so, I found the story to really to have that strong feeling of Life of Pi. With Sophie’s visions leading her on a life-changing journey-were they real or was it her just imagining it all, dealing with the news of her father having left her and then him going missing? It’s quite debatable and really gave me something to think about.

The only thing that stuck me was that there could’ve been more here and there. Some parts just didn’t feel fleshed through enough. However, it wasn’t necessary to fill them out so…hm. It’s just something I personally wished for. LOL.


This was a wonderful book. A journey on discovering oneself and finding love for oneself and others. It can be complex, but this book proves it doesn’t always have to be. And finding answers can take you places you never expected. You realize what’s worth standing up for and protecting.


“Most people don’t mourn their dads through a mixtape. Boyfriends, maybe, but then it’s usually a playlist. In my world, though, grief was best served analog.” (p. 4)

“A friend is a gift you give yourself.” (Finny, p. 30)

“There’s nothing more rewarding than asking a complicated question and coming up with an elegant solution.” (Mr. Maxing, p. 35)

“Sometimes, without warning, you find a member of your tribe. Someone who speaks your language instantly. Understands the ways you see the world.” (p. 41)

More to come soon…                                                                                                


Song Today? How Soon Is Now by the Smiths.

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