Monday, November 12, 2007

Evolution, me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande


Okay, brace yourselves, folks...... I loved this book!!! This is my favorite so far. Mena has been ostracized by her church, but you don't really find out why until about halfway through the book. The story unfolds tantalizingly as Mena relates more and more details about a letter that she wrote and why it ended up getting a large number of her church's congregation sued. So now here's Mena stuck in high school with a bunch of enemies who used to be friends and a whole lot of questions as her science class starts studying evolution.
How this book manages to pack in so many issues -- science vs. religion, evolution vs. intelligent design and how/what should be taught in public schools, peer pressure, homophobia, first love, questioning one's faith -- without sounding like an afterschool special is beyond me, but first-timer Brande did it with aplomb and a laugh-out-loud, stronger-than-she-thinks-she-is narrator, much like Catherine Gilbert Murdock did with Dairy Queen. A big, huge, resounding YAY!!!

9 Comments:

At November 27, 2007 at 2:11 PM , Blogger Iris said...

Yay from me too, I really liked it though I was a little sad it didn't have more "nice" Christians, just the psycho church.. I think this will make it a harder sell to my teens who go to church but are floundering about what to do with the whole science issue.

 
At December 8, 2007 at 7:12 AM , Blogger Ms. Zandra said...

Yah for me too. This will be a good book discussion group book.

 
At December 13, 2007 at 1:11 PM , Blogger Elizabeth Norton said...

I really loved this book. Yay, yay, a thousand times YAY.

 
At December 18, 2007 at 3:47 PM , Blogger Patty said...

Yeah from me, too. I liked the book and it was a fast read. My 12-year daughter picked it up and read it and liked it, too.

 
At December 26, 2007 at 9:37 AM , Blogger Anne Keller said...

Okay, I guess I wasn't as impressed as everyone else although I think this book would make a great book discussion, I mean, when the author mentions were dinosaurs on the arc? How great of a discussion piece was that. I guess I was very disappointed in the way the main character's (sorry, I already forgot her name and I finished this 2 days ago) parents reacted to the situation and they way they treated her and how over the top protective they were, I mean how depressing. I did like the relationship between her and her lab partner. Based on other books, I say Nay.

 
At January 3, 2008 at 6:41 PM , Blogger Katie said...

Crikey! I'm a big resounding YAY! I've already been plotting who gets it next. Terrific voice, timely without dating itself. Hooray!

 
At January 21, 2008 at 9:57 PM , Blogger kathy said...

YAY :)

top 20 contender

great topic, well handled. Iris - there was a nice Christian in it, but Ms. Shepherd kept the whole church and state thing separate. But I hear what you are writing - that some teens might struggle to fit themselves if they only see it as a bipolar spectrum.
fab. and made me want a puppy.

 
At January 31, 2008 at 7:09 AM , Blogger Kip said...

I'm very torn about this book. A bit over halfway through I had decided that although it is an incredible book, I would have to say no, due to the mean and spiteful stereotypes. However, as I finished the book, I decided there is just too much stuff packed in here about religion, faith, creation, religion, relationships, parents, etc. etc. and it really is a great book. So, I was going to say yes, but now that I'm writing this I'm bothered by the fact that Brande, who is obviously a wonderful writer, couldn't get across her points without the crutch of stereotyping. Though I did go to a private school where it would have been quite easy to be ostracized for much less than what the Brande's character did, so maybe the story was more realistic than I am giving her credit for. Alright...I guess I'm a MAYBE for now until I make up my mind again :)

 
At January 31, 2008 at 7:13 AM , Blogger Kip said...

I'm very torn about this book. A bit over halfway through I had decided that although it is an incredible book, I would have to say no, due to the mean and spiteful stereotypes. However, as I finished the book, I decided there is just too much stuff packed in here about religion, faith, creation, religion, relationships, parents, etc. etc. and it really is a great book. So, I was going to say yes, but now that I'm writing this I'm bothered by the fact that Brande, who is obviously a wonderful writer, couldn't get across her points without the crutch of stereotyping. Though I did go to a private school where it would have been quite easy to be ostracized for much less than what the Brande's character did, so maybe the story was more realistic than I am giving her credit for. Alright...I guess I'm a MAYBE for now until I make up my mind again :)

 

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