Sheldon Cooper, move over because Yuri Strelnikov just took your place as the most loveable, socially awkward scientist in my heart. I love him for his brain and his ineptitude with articles and for his ego and his shortcomings. And I think he is about to take the YA Geek nation by storm. The book wasn’t too bad either. I gave this funny, heartfelt read five stars.
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.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the blurb for Learning to Swear in America, but the mix of humor, real life awkwardness and one bad A of an Asteroid is a winning combination. Themes about perspective and what it means to grow up (or down) add depth to the tale, but the real reason you pick this book up and read it straight through is because it will make you laugh. If you’ve ever felt lonely or like the only person who doesn’t get a joke, you are going to connect with this odd-ball cast of characters in their certain death scenario. I can’t wait to get this book in my classroom library because it is the perfect read for so many of my guy readers who hate the sports books that are always thrust in their direction, but the jocks and the fairytale girls, and the romance-only gals are going to enjoy it as well if they give it a chance (not because it has those things in it but because it is generally awesome). Language and situations are appropriate for grades 9+, though adult readers of YA will be just as enchanted.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.