Monday, July 4, 2016

Review: Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy

Brimming with humor and one-of-a-kind characters, this end-of-the world novel will grab hold of Andrew Smith and Rainbow Rowell fans.

An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. A big, bad one. Yuri, a physicist prodigy from Russia, has been called to NASA as they calculate a plan to avoid disaster. He knows how to stop the asteroid: his research in antimatter will probably win him a Nobel prize--if there's ever another Nobel prize awarded. But Yuri's 17, and having a hard time making older, stodgy physicists listen to him. Then he meets Dovie, who lives like a normal teenager, oblivious to the impending doom. Being with her, on the adventures she plans when he's not at NASA, Yuri catches a glimpse of what it means to save the world and save a life worth living.

Prepare to laugh, cry, cringe, and have your mind burst open with questions of the universe.

Rating:  5 Stars

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was so much fun. I thought that I would like it from the description alone, but I had no idea how much I would love it.

The characters were a blast. Yuri reminded me of a young but slightly more likable Sheldon Cooper if he were played by Anton Yelchin. That is who I had in my head the whole time I was reading this book. Katie Kennedy was really about to make this an engaging character that made my emotions run the gamut from impressed to annoyed to in love with to sad for.

I think the story about the asteroid heading for Earth is important and certainly frightening. After all, there isn't a whole lot us "ordinary" folks can do to stop it. Certainly can't run away, can we? But besides that part of the book, there were a lot of metaphors that Yuri and the asteroid and his research stood for that I thought were equally as important. There's standing up for yourself, being the best you can be even if others think that's weird.

Yuri may have annoyed me, angered me, and quite a few other things, but he also (and more importantly) made me happy and proud to have read a story about his journey from a socially awkward genius who can't make people listen to reason to so much more.

The side characters were a hoot as well. Dovie's family was amazing. At first I wasn't sure what to think of them, but they were so welcoming (mostly ;) ).

Some of the science talk went a bit over my head, but thank god for context clues because even if you don't wholly understand some of what Yuri or the other scientists are saying at a given point, you can work it out after a minute.

This was a great story with more than a decent ending. It was funny and heart warming and, really, just all the good things.

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