Thursday, July 26, 2012

Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature: review

Author: Robin Brande
Genres: contemporary-ya, religion, puppies, nerdy science stuff
Source: library
Rating: 4 stars!
Summary: Your best friend hates you. The guy you liked hates you. Your entire group of friends hates you.

All because you did the right thing.

Welcome to life for Mena, whose year is starting off in the worst way possible. She's been kicked out of her church group and no one will talk to her—not even her own parents. No one except for Casey, her supersmart lab partner in science class, who's pretty funny for the most brilliant guy on earth.

And when Ms. Shepherd begins the unit on evolution, school becomes more dramatic than Mena could ever imagine . . . and her own life is about to evolve in some amazing and unexpected ways.

So I read this random book because it's my book club's August pick that my friend suggested. I was kind of put off by the odd cover, and in the contemporary-YA section, so I never would have bothered to pick it up if she, Elv, hadn't recommended it. Also, halfway through reading it I realized I've met the author before at some huge signing (though not read any of her books before) here is what I thought of Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature.

The first twenty pages or so are kind of confusing and iffy, but once I got past them and met the oh-so-awesome Casey, I couldn't put it down. Science class used to be my favorite class when I took it, and most of this story takes place in science to say, points for that.

The characters are all immediately likable. You meet Casey talking in a British accent just for fun and making Lord of the Rings references every ten minutes (Okay get this, Mena doesn't know who Aragorn is. *sky falls*); then Ms. Shepherd, the science teacher, who is that awkward nerdy teacher who is addicted to Starbucks and has a blog; and finally, Casey's big sister, Kayla, who is not afraid to share her opinion. At all, to anyone who wants to listen, and those who don't. For most of the characters, there is really good development. It's a short book, but she manages to convey lots of people's personalities in a short amount of time; even minor ones, like Mena's ex-church friends, and her parents, and Casey's mom.

The puppies. Oh man, they are so cute. All twelve of them. You will fall head over heals over those cute puppies, all named different colors...just wait and see, you won't want them to grow up either.

The separation between church and state. Now this is definitely a book for people who are open minded about this debate, and each subject in themselves. I consider myself an agnostic-athiest, and I really love having religious debates-I think they're fun. But that's just me, and not everyone thinks like that. So I'm sure you got that from the summary, just want to say it anyway. The arguments on both sides of Evolution vs Creationism are really good, and Mena is sort of neutral and indecisive at the moment, on who to agree with. Kind of crazy and weird but it's well approached and written well. Doesn't seem biased much either, at which I was surprised.

Anyway, for you people who do like those topics, and is always looking for something new and cool to read, this is totally your book. I started it last night, and had to stop myself from finishing it two hours later only because my eyes started to hurt, and the book might have fallen once or twice on my face as my sleepiness increased. That had nothing to do with the content of the book, that was just me, at two in the morning.

To sum up, it's just one of those books that makes you go wow, that was better than I expected.

Also, if you're into teen books about religion debate and the dangerous effects of what a religion or cult can do to it's followers, check out Godless by Pete Hautman, which was very interesting and pretty awesome. I mean, worshiping a water tower? I wish I'd thought of that first.

Know any other books like this one? Always love a good rec.

Also, enter my giveaway!!! (Top right of the page) :) Right now there is one entry, so your chances are pretty damn good.


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