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Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by…
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Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature

by Robin Brande

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Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
so many issues so well told ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
(a) not everything needs to have a romance in it. Why couldn't they be friends and have that be the end of it? Mena would still have enough Issues with her parents for socializing with a Boy without being all gaga over him.

(b) This was written in 2007. There's a bit talking about how great someone is at web design because he used a bunch of blinking images. AAAAAHHHH 1995 called and they want their websites back.

It's an interesting premise but it didn't light my world on fire--the Bible-thumpers are cartoonishly one-dimensional and Team Science is all scornful of organized religion (up until the Big Reveal that wasn't all that shocking, anyway). Obviously I finished the book anyway (it reads quickly) but it didn't really light my world on fire; a year from now I'll probably have forgotten I read this. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 30, 2013 |
I enjoyed most of the book - probably about 4/5 of it. But the ending? It is not the right one. When members of Mena's church treat a young man in a horrible manner because he may be gay thereby causing him to attempt suicide, Mena actually feels enough compassion to send him a letter of apology. She realizes it is a little too little, a little too late, but she is only 13 and it is the best she can do. As a result of the letter that she wrote, members of her church are sued and her parents business may be affected. She is severely punished by her parents. All her actions are restricted, she is ostracized by her old church friends, and her parents don't even talk to her. {Seriously? What kind of parents don't talk to their daughter, especially a daughter just entering high school. High school is a time with daughters REALLY need their parents!} So anyway, she has the best science teacher and the best lab partner ever and she learns some stuff about the evolution and herself. Her old church friends give the school and her teacher a hard time about teaching evolution without giving intelligent design equal time. Her teacher, who is a famous science blogger, sticks her ground and will only teach the science. Wouldn't you think at the end of the book, some of the church friends would start "seeing the light" and that reason would prevail and her parent would see what kind of idiots they are? Nope, that does not happen. Her parent never tell Mena they are proud of her for trying to do the right thing. They never tell her they are sorry for not talking to her. Her old church friends only get worse. And the book ends with the author trying to explain who knows what? I'm not really sure what she was getting at. I loved the Connors though - they rocked - Kasey, Kayla, and their mom. {And their dad and puppies too.} ( )
  spincerely | Apr 10, 2012 |
Mena Reece is a whistle blower. She exposed unsavoury goings on at her church and must now live with the repercussions as she starts high school, when life gets even more complicated.

A quick, not too demanding read as a good hearted teen from a strict family struggles to deal with various contemporary issues. ( )
1 vote Robertgreaves | Jan 17, 2011 |
Mena Reece did what she thought was the right thing but ended up being ostracized by her church and all her friends. In biology, her brilliant, slightly eccentric teacher pairs her with a brilliant, slightly eccentric guy. During the unit on evolution, her old church friends launch a protest. Mena, meanwhile, must discover how her beliefs reconcile with science, as she and her crush-inducing lab partner get caught up in the controversy. And what will she tell her parents?

Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature tackles issues of morality, ethics, teenage doubt, and high school crushes, not to mention conflicts between science and religion, in a balanced, thoughtful, and entertaining fashion. Mena is an extremely well-written character, whose confusion is balanced by strong beliefs. This novel is about navigating the world within your own framework; how ideas and actions reflect who you want to be and what you believe in. It examines how new thoughts are not the enemy, although they do bring new challenges. Mena has a great cast of supporting characters, who help her learn how to speak up, and how to evolve. The story, especially the romantic plot line, develops very sweetly in spite of some very difficult and ugly events. For me, especially at the beginning, it echoed Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, but ended up being far less stark. ( )
  flemmily | Jul 25, 2010 |
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Epigraph
Nothing is easier than to admit in words the truth of the universal struggle for life
-- Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
Dedication
For Amanda and Matthew
First words
I knew today would be ugly.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375843493, Hardcover)

Your best friend hates you. The guy you liked hates you. Your entire group of friends hates you.

All because you did the right thing.

Welcome to life for Mena, whose year is starting off in the worst way possible. She's been kicked out of her church group and no one will talk to her—not even her own parents. No one except for Casey, her supersmart lab partner in science class, who's pretty funny for the most brilliant guy on earth.

And when Ms. Shepherd begins the unit on evolution, school becomes more dramatic than Mena could ever imagine . . . and her own life is about to evolve in some amazing and unexpected ways.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:47 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Following her conscience leads high school freshman Mena to clash with her parents and former friends from their conservative Christian church, but might result in better things when she stands up for a teacher who refuses to include "Intelligent Design" in lessons on evolution.… (more)

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