Leaning to Swear in America by Katie KennedyARC via Publisher
Published July 5, 2016
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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.
When a meteor/ asteroid plummets towards earth, Yuri, a young scientist from Russia, is told to come to America and figure out a way to stop its path towards destruction. Once he gets here, he finds out he can’t leave. He also meets Dovie, a bright and quirky girl who is an artist and believer in good things. Two teens, end of the world, clashing cultures. It’s not your typical boy-meets-girl story.
I like the idea of the plot more than the actual plot itself, which, as you may be able to assume, that’s a bit of a problem when trying to finish the book. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book. It shows the trials that Yuri is facing in America with discrimination because of his race and his age. It also introduces us to Dovie, a girl on the search for the great perhaps.
One of the major problems I had with this book is that I just wasn’t really fond of the characters—any of them. I didn’t find myself overly sympathetic. I mean, yes, of course I felt horrible with all the issues Yuri is faced with in the United States, but none of that made me like him any more. I found him to be extremely awkward in a what-are-you-doing kind of way, as opposed to an awkward yup-I’ve-so-done-that way. Dovie is sweet. And I didn’t dislike her. Honestly. I just wasn’t enthralled with her and Yuri’s story liked I hoped I would be, and besides that, I don’t really know him.
While this story was focused on making sure the world didn’t implode, there was also the more human aspect. What was this, you may ask? Yuri is figuring out who he is a bit, and what’s really important. In Russia, he’s in line for a prize—something to scribe his name in the history book. In the US, all that work is in danger.
Through the trails they both face, a friendship blossoms. But, again, I don’t actually know Yuri all that well. I know Dovie better than I do him and he’s the true main character of the book. I was disconnected. This disconnect hurt my rating of the book.
Overall, I don’t hate the book, but I don’t love it either. I don’t have enough information on, well, anything. I can’t fall for something I know nothing about.