Learning To Swear In America was such a glorious surprise for me!
I went in knowing exactly nothing about it, which did lead to a few mis-expectations — AKA I thought I would really learn to swear in American. I did not. I learn to swear more in Russian to be honest. But it is all very lowkey, so if you are opposed to swearing your little eyeballs won’t struggle. And if you like swearing, go read The Lies of Locke Lamora, my friend. 10/10 there. Ahem excuse me, I’M GETTING OFF TRACK.
This is about a Russian boy-genius who is saving the world from an incoming asteroid. It’s an absolute bucketful of endearing wit and maths and amazingness. And like, mate, I love everything about this.
- So Yuri was an absolute DELIGHT. I loved how he was so so socially awkward and an absolute genius, but also a dork. He thinks he’s “smooth” and then he’s running across the road to give a girl a donut. SO I LOVE HIM. I also adored all the cultural differences that were incorporated into the story — since he’s Russian and thinks the Americans are pretty weird. Truth. Like his boss will say “humour them” and Yuri’s like “ok what jokes shall I tell.” He is sweet, well-meaning, and absolutely PRECIOUS. Plus he’s a math and physicist genius and super smart and LOVE IT.
- The notes on Russian culture and language differences taught me a lot! Just like little smidges of information, like differences in what letters/sounds Russia has or how they culturally don’t make eye-contact and say hello to people without good reason. CAN I MOVE TO RUSSIA.
- I also couldn’t be more pleased with the level of NERDOM going down. And I’m going to also admit here that: I haven’t the faintest flying clue what they were talking about with all the math. You know who failed math? Me. But I can still appreciate it. It’s really cool to read about books so heavily grounded in math and science. Plus Yuri is going to SAVE THE WORLD WITH HIS MATHS. Smart little cookie. Also no pressure.
- The asteroid-parts felt detailed and really well researched. And while the author’s note cautions us to not stop asteroids using Yuri’s math….it is detailed as heck about how they do go ahead trying to have the world from the asteroids hitting.
- The secondary characters were amazing and precious. Basically Yuri gets tangled up with the janitor’s daughter on accident and then SHE SAVES HIM and it just becomes this super-cute-fest. Dovie is not skinny (!! so refreshing to read) and she is like a hippy and super sarcastic and witty the whole time. I absolutely adored her! And then her brother, Lennon, features a lot in the story too. He has a snarky commentary going on in the background that is just brilliant. Also Lennon is in a wheelchair, and since I can count on like one hand how many books I’ve read with wheelchair characters….I’m pretty excited about this.
- Shout out to the level of HILARITY in here. The quips and banter were gold. I’m so so impressed!!
“These the only boo-boos?”
He looked at her, uncomprehending.
“Yuri’s Russian,” Dovie said, then explained, “she wants to know where you’re hurt.”
“Oh. I have multiple superficial abrasions and a small laceration to forehead and left lateral mouth, with localised swelling. So, compromised skin integrity and risk for infection, but no skeletal issues.”
- IT WAS SERIOUSLY TENSE THOUGH. Even though some of the math-chapters had me die on the inside because WUT…I still loved the tension of the incoming asteroid that will kill everyone presently. But the dorky cute chapters with Yuri like experiencing highschool or being with Dovie and Lennon were the best.
- I didn’t want to put it down! Except I did because I had to go eat dinner and food is more important than Yuri. #SorryButIHavePrioritiesTho
“You’re wearing a suit. That’s definitely not normal.”
“You…” He rolled his hand toward her. “Your hair, the reflection around your eyes…I’m weird?”
“You’re both weird,” Lennon called in from the living room. “No need to fight over it.”
- Okay so did I mention…what the heck was the math? I DON’T KNOW! This isn’t a criticism on the book, I just legit had no idea what they were talking about with the science-y chapters. So I appreciated it but like…what.
- Dude, they didn’t really swear. I’m just calling it…False advertise
- It was a smudge slow. But this could just be because the maths was like WOAH WHAT ARE YOU SAYING.
- I kind of didn’t understand some things at the end! But I’ll put it in spoiler tags for your small possibly-having-not-read-it-yet eyeballs.
I was absolutely smitten with this book of geniuses, bad pizza, asteroids, world doom, and extremely awkward boys who’s comebacks are so bad they’re good.
So much impress!!! It’s definitely a story that will stay with me and the characters were super awesome. I am HIT (har har, get it?? Because of the asteroid falling??? I’M FUNNY…no it’s not) with a deep appreciation for Learning To Swear In America. And the delightful pockets of humour totally made my day!
High stakes, great characters, and possible planetary doom — an excellent story.
THANK YOU TO BLOOMSBURY FOR THE REVIEW-COPY. Learning To Swear In American by Kat Kennedy was published August, 2017.
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.
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