Title: Learning to swear in America
Author: Katie Kennedy
Genre: YA contemporary
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.
Before I say anything, can I just say that I LOVE the cover? That’s so clever and nice and perfect. 10/10 to the designer.
Now, let’s cut to the chase here.
I expected quite a lot from this book because it’s got good reputation, it sounds good and basically I just thought it would be nice, okay? Okay.
But. I ended up not rating it high at all.
Firstly, what’s the story about?
We’ve got Yuri Strelnikov, a 17 year old GENIUS who has already done his Masters in math and is basically the only hope to save the world from a big bad asteroid coming towards America.
Yuri has been brought to America to work with NASA and stop/deflect the asteroid somehow. To save the world. To save the human race.
My thoughts on the storyline:
Despite the asteroid situation, Yuri was just a teenage boy with the hormones and a totally differently wired brain to go with it. He’s navigating speaking in English, understanding casual American slangs and customs, and is simply a CUTE LIL CUCUMBER.
We’ve got some bits of romance thrown in, the “danger” element as the threat of dying by asteroid hit, high school bits as well (!) and Yuri trying to navigate the office with Social Elegance and Grace™ that he does not have.
So he had two problems. He had to save the world, and he had to save himself.
What disappointed me:
I was HOOKED when I heard the title because despite being someone who hardly swore until a year back, I’m drawn to swearing. As in, when someone is explaining or talking the swearing just makes it all the more entertaining and dramatic, you know? This is one of the reasons why I love LilyCReads so much.
But bro. It had close to NO SWEARING. There was more of the ideology of Yuri learning to swear. I felt like I was duped by clickbait.
Also, I actually didn’t like the romance at some parts? Overall I’m just on okay terms with the romance.
The thing that made me pick up the book immediately was the review of this book by paperfury. The part where she said the book had a lot of math drew me in. Why, you ask? I was simply craving a book with STEM elements in it. It didn’t have much math though. I was still looking for the math when I finished the book. Not a fault of the book but, yeah I shouldn’t have expected math in books.*
The end was slightly confusing, though? I read it twice to understand what happened and even after that I didn’t get the satisfaction of FINISHING a book. I felt disappointed by that ending.
There was also this random issue thrown in with Yuri’s PhD (I think?) thesis/research back in Russia and something with his Professor but we got absolutely no conclusion for it? It was just there randomly and I kept waiting to see if anything will be done regarding it but I got nothing. #whybro
*Yes I’m a nutter
But I DID like some aspects of the book:
Yuri navigating the new society away from everything he knew and speaking a totally different language was so entertaining to read! Him being awkward and making honest mistakes was THE CUTEST.
I also really liked reading the Russian facts and the character was very well developed. The part where we read about Yuri solving problems in Russian was so funny because everyone else was so stumped, lol.
Dovie and Lennon were also really nice! My fav is Lennon, though. I just love their fam and how chilled they are and I LOVE LOVE LOVED how they accepted Yuri and were all crazy and owned it.
I was more disappointed by the book than I liked it. I couldn’t get on with a few elements and I liked only a little.
It’s definitely a book you should try reading if you can get your hands in it, but if I had to advice another me, I’d say don’t waste time chasing for it.