Review: Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy

Review: Learning to Swear in America by Katie KennedyTitle: Learning to Swear in America
Author: Katie Kennedy
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Publication Date: July 5, 2016

four-half-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

Amazon | Book Depository

Review

I had been dying to read Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy for the longest time, and it is safe to say that it lived up to my expectations. This book is so original as it tells the story of a young physicist trying to save the world, and the main character has got to be up there with my favourites. As well, the side characters enhanced my enjoyment. I would definitely recommend this book as it is amusing, profound, and wholesome at the same time.

This book tells the story of a Russian genius who is sent to America to stop an asteroid from wiping out California. Along the way, he meets a girl who shows him that he can actually have a life outside of NASA and lead a somewhat normal life. I loved the details about astrophysics in the book, as this is something I’ve never read before. It is clear that the author did her research before writing. This story is funny and heartwarming, and I would definitely read another book about Yuri’s adventures.

Yuri is such an incredible main character, and I couldn’t get enough of him. He faces many challenges being a seventeen year old physicist, but he continues to try to convince the others that his theory is correct. Yuri is also very realistic since he has his flaws. He lacks social skills since he spent his whole life working hard, but honestly, this made me love him even more. Despite being awkward, Yuri is the king of sass, and reading his narration made me smile many times.

One aspect of the book that I especially enjoyed was the side characters. Dovie and Lennon are pretty much Yuri’s opposites, but they create a nice balance in the book. As well, they are so developed, and by the end of the book, I felt like I knew them. Their interactions with Yuri are both adorable and hilarious, and I appreciated how snappy the dialogue is. Quality side characters are important to me, and I was glad to see this book come through in that department.

Learning to Swear in America is a wholesome book about friendship and saving the world. I enjoyed the loveable main character and the developed side character. It was hard to say goodbye to this story, and I would for sure be interested in a sequel.

About Katie Kennedy

Image of Katie Kennedy

Katie Kennedy is the author of Learning to Swear in America and a history professor in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (closer to Wisconsin, really). She studied Russian history in college. She has a son in high school, and a daughter in college.


20 thoughts on “Review: Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy

  1. Sam@wlabb says:

    I recently read What Goes Up and really enjoyed it, and have been wanting to read this book as well. I love books about friendship too. Sounds like it was great!

  2. Cynthia says:

    I have not heard of this author before and I am really interested in reading this book after reading your review. It seems like a unique idea for a story.

    • The Candid Cover says:

      It was one that I received for Christmas, actually! My mom has taken an interest in my Goodreads TBR, so I was pleasantly surprised to be reminded of it as well. Definitely one to read! 🙂

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