Learning to Swear in America
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
Review: I can see how this book wouldn't be for everyone, but I loved it! Yuri is this delightfully nerdy Russian boy who has no idea how to interact with girls, and Dovie is an outwardly quirky girl who makes it her mission to befriend him. I loved watching their relationship blossom, and I loved seeing Yuri experience life in the real world, away from all the stodgy and patronizing scientists at NASA. (I would certainly hope that the genius scientists at NASA would actually listen more to a child prodigy if they took the trouble of bringing him all the way over from Russia. I would say you have to suspend a good deal of disbelief while reading this book.) I also am a sucker for asteroids destroying life on earth stories, so I enjoyed seeing how people would react to an end of the world situation. Kind of a guilty pleasure read for me; I read it very quickly and enjoyed it immensely.
Rating: 4.5 stars