I saw this on display at my local library, so I decided to read it.
“So he had two problems. He had to save the world, and he had to save himself” (pg 50).
In Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy (346 pages), Yuri Strelnikov’s been brought from Russia to stop an asteroid from utterly destroying California. Along his two weeks, he has to deal with condescending NASA workers, freeing his emotions, and a Russian professor back home trying to steal Yuri’s life research on antimatter. Not to mention he finds a cute girl with brown and yellow hair, a tongue stud, and hippie parents, and NASA bureaucratically kidnapping him.
I really liked the artistic/creative way Dovie (and her family) tried to teach Yuri to deal with his emotions.
The first half of the story was great, interesting and a bunch of anticipation. However, I didn’t like the other half, and it was a struggle to finish. I started skimming through pages that I should have wanted to devour. I like a little romance in my books a lot, but I just did not care for the romantic subplot that began to take over the main plot. Like, why would someone goof off at a high school with their GF when the fate of the world is in their hands? SN: Dovie caught feelings for Yuri way too fast.
There were a few “suicidal” jokes that albeit weren’t particularly bad, didn’t need to be made.
“He wanted to cry. It was okay to cry, he told himself. It was work-related, and men could cry because of job stress. But his cheeks were dry as he fell asleep” (pg 45).
Yuri was okay. Nothing startling interesting about him, but nothing really upsetting about him either. Maybe he was a bit hornier than expected. I like that though he was a foreigner he wasn’t truly the funny foreigner trope. Of course, he didn’t get every American idiom (but not in a way that undermines his intelligence), and he very much wanted to learn some English curse words.
Dovie, I liked and disliked. Sometimes, she seemed so nice and other times a little jealous/petty. She kind of hated this big-breasted girl for getting better grades than her in art class (but good art can be subjective at times, you know). Like, do you hate the unfair grade you received or are you just mad a girl chose to wear a low-cut shirt? Anyway, I enjoyed Dovie when she was a cameo, but then she started taking up too much of the story’s focus.
I didn’t care too much about the cast of characters.
The beginning started promising, but it ended on a flat note for me. You might think differently though, so check it out for yourself!