Thursday, July 14, 2016

Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy- More Like Learning To MATH

Yuri is a 17-year-old physicist from Russia with the fate of the world in his hands.  When an asteroid is found hurtling towards Earth weeks before impact, NASA is scrambling to come up with a save.  Yuri has the knowledge, but not the clout or social skills to make people listen to him.

By chance, Yuri meets a "normal" teenage girl, and she teaches him that there is life outside the classroom and that if he saves the world, he'll at least have friends to celebrate with.

If you told me that I would read (and like) a book that was heavy on MATH, I would have never believed you.  This thing is, it happened!!  There's a lot of freaking math in this book.  A lot of science and smart people stuff, and I genuinely loved those parts the best!!  It's crazy how this story took hold of my attention.

Child-prodigy Yuri Strelnikov was painfully awkward and so, so, so freaking smart, but the awkward part (and some hard-core ageism by his colleagues) made people dismiss him... and that dismissal was really dangerous for Earth because UMMM???  Genius over here!!!  I loved the tension of knowing the asteroid was speeding towards the place where the planning was taking place.  If they didn't listen to Yuri, if they did and Yuri was wrong, If they failed in any way, they were at the point of impact!

Now, the Collums- Dovie was a fantastic addition to this book.  She teaches Yuri things about the world that he never would have learned from his scientist circle.  Also, Lennon, the brother, was a favorite for me.  But as much as I loved the secondary story line of Yuri finding out how "normal" teens lived, I couldn't help but think "HELLO, THERE'S A FREAKING ASTEROID COMING AND YOU SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT THAT RIGHT NOW!!!".  It's insanely rude of me to want someone like Yuri to not live a life and just go and save the world, but I can't stop asteroids, so I need him to go and do that.... like NOW!!  This is fiction though, so once I reminded myself of that, I was okay.

The ending kind of dragged, and really that's the only part that I didn't love.  I didn't feel like I needed the events that happened after the asteroid problem played out.  All that stuff probably could've been solved in 5-10 pages instead of multiple chapters.

Yuri is definitely a character I won't be forgetting anytime soon.  I kept reading the book without the English articles (like the, a, an, etc.) even when they were clearly present or were in dialogue spoken by English speaking characters.  I wonder how long I'll be doing that for??  While writing this, I've already been imagining these sentences without them :)

OVERALL: Such a smart, thrilling, silly, cool debut.  I can't imagine telling anyone that I don't think they would like it.  What's not to like about a fish-out-of-water + NASA + world-killing asteroid + social/communication/culture barriers?

Date Published: 7/5/2016
How I got this book: Thanks to Bloomsbury and Netgalley for allowing me to read and honestly review this book.
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Add it to your To-Read List!!

This Book Contains:
  • Killer, scary asteroid
  • Southern California
  • Detroit
  • High School- GYM CLASS!!
  • Prom
  • NASA
  • MATH- so much Math
  • Art
  • Handicap
  • Hippies :)
  • Romance
  • Friendship

My Rating: 4.5/5

Character: Yuri
Book: Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

  • Because Yuri should know there are plenty of people who are socially awkward... and if Charlie can find his people, Yuri can too!

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  1. Yay, glad you liked this and I am totally with you re: math! That would generally put me off but this sounds fantastic! Great review!!

    1. Yeah, I can't believe I liked the math!!! Maybe because the math didn't require me to actually think about numbers is why I liked it :)

  2. Completely agree with everything you said. Yuri was such a great character. The ending was strange, though, wasn't it? I felt the book lost momentum at some point. But look forward to the next thing this author writes!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. Yes!! I really didn't get why the end went the way it did. I don't even know what the heck was really going to go on for Yuri in the future.... and wasn't that the whole point of all those extra chapters?? so we could find out what Yuri's future holds?? IDK, I didn't like that at all, but the rest of it = GOOD!!

  3. See, I knew you would like this one. I'm glad you ignored my non-enjoyment and gave it a try because it totally felt like a you book to me. I do agree on Yuri, he was really awkward and I liked him in the end. Great review!
    Cassi @ <a href=""

    1. I love people like Yuri!! Dudes that are just so utterly clueless but also kind of rude?? IDK, I just like them. I agree w/ you the romance was a little blah... but I thought it was good that it was a laid back awkward-type romance instead of insta-love. I love how you're getting to know my likes and dislikes :)

  4. Omg this sounds horrific. I hate math. Like, I KNOW the basics, but yeeeesh. Part of my issue with the Square Root of Summer. It was a little too physic-y . And gym class. Ew. Fab review, Michelle!! haha

    1. I hate Math too!! I'm completely terrible at it and embarrass myself daily when my 8 year old asks me simple Math stuff and I say the wrong answer! And then he calls me on it.... hahaha. I'm super Math dumb. But this book made me feel like I don't hate Math??? it was weird!