Thank you NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA Childrens for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. A big, bad one. Maybe not kill-all-the-dinosaurs bad, but at least kill-everyone-in-California-and-wipe-out-Japan-with-a-tsunami bad. Yuri, a physicist prodigy from Russia, has been recruited to aid NASA as they calculate a plan to avoid disaster.
The good news is Yuri knows how to stop the asteroid–his research in antimatter will probably win him a Nobel prize, if there’s another Nobel prize awarded. But the trouble is, even though NASA asked for his help, no one there will listen to him. He’s seventeen, and they’ve been studying physics longer than he’s been alive.
Then he meets (pretty, wild, unpredictable) 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 live a life worth saving.
I thought the premise of this book sounded so interesting, but I had no idea how much I would actually wind up loving it. It’s one of those reads that I didn’t want to end because I had become so attached to Yuri, Dovie, and Dovie’s brother Lennon. Yuri is such a lovable character, that you can’t help relating to him which is really saying something given that he’s a prodigy who has never experienced a normal teenage life. The secondary characters are just as interesting and three-dimensional, from the NASA scientists who doubt Yuri’s abilities, to Dovie and her family who embrace Yuri and enthusiastically introduce him to American traditions such as prom, and swearing. Part end-of-the-world, part coming-of-age story, Learning To Swear In America is a novel that will have you laughing out loud, while at the same time tug at your heartstrings. It’s prevailing theme of controlling your own destiny will resonate with both teens and adults. It’s a perfect book to use in classrooms as well as book discussion groups. The story and it’s characters are sweet, funny and delightful, and I guarantee that if you read this you won’t soon forget it.