Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy | ARC Review

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Title: Learning to Swear in America
Author: Katie Kennedy
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: July 5th, 2016
Source: NetGalley
Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository
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.

What I thought

 I liked this book well enough. It was entertaining and the concept of an asteroid crashing into Earth has been a topic that has fascinated ever since I learned what dinosaurs were at around five. So, I was on board with this book and from its title I thought it would be a funny story, on top of the science aspect of it. And it was, but it was also lacking.

We have a seventeen year old genius boy in this book and he is an actual seventeen year old, with strokes of genius thrown here and there. He is also Russian and he happens to omit articles. I liked Yuri and I liked how he was portrayed as a seventeen year old boy would because sometimes it's easy to highlight intelligence over the innate teenage-ness of seventeen year old boy geniuses. However, I have more of a bone to pick with the portrayal of Dovie, who felt too much like just a prop to make Yuri live and experiment things. I do have to say that this changed a bit towards the end and she actually started to feel like her own person. However, Lennon, Dovie's brother takes away the prize for Favorite Character.

The writing was quirky and fun and there was some truly funny dialogue, especially between Lennon and Yuri. It was fun and light and easy even when some of the scientific mumble jumble got in the way. That part was interesting because I think that in another life in which I loved math a little more and words a little less I would have chosen to go into theoretical physics. However, I did feel like there were moments in which it didn't flow so well. These moments were scarce and far in between, but they were still there.

Overall, this book was an enjoyable, fun read. Not one of my favorites, but certainly entertaining.

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