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The Evolution of Ethan Poe

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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  315 ratings  ·  41 reviews
In the space of a few months, sixteen-year-old Ethan Poe's life has become a complicated mix of facts, theories, and hypotheses. Things he knows beyond doubt: his parents are divorcing, his older brother Kyle is exhibiting alarming behavior, and his best friend is turning into a spiritual fanatic. Then there are the shifting uncertainties-including his feelings toward his ...more
Kindle Edition, 401 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,052)
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Stephen
Ethan is a young man who prides himself on being an outlier. One who chooses to NOT fit in and yet tries to have a positive image of himself despite the judgement of others. He is, as his soon to be boyfriend first notices, a charmer. Ethan's gay and his best gal pal is a disapproving evangelical Christian. His older brother has also turned to the church life and his mother is going through a divorce after kicking her sometimes too childish husband out of their home.

Ethan's also "gone goth" par
...more
Andrew
Apr 26, 2012 Andrew rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking for a damn good read and those looking for an amazing gay fiction novel.
This has to be the best book that I have EVER read!!

This book had more than a couple moments of sexual activities. Do not tell my mother! ...Oh that's right, she's in my friends list. Hi mum! *Waves with nervous laughter*

I purchased this book after reading the description, which is the following:
In the space of a few months, sixteen-year-old Ethan Poe's life has become a complicated mix of facts, theories and hypotheses. Things he knows beyond doubt; his parents are divorcing, his older brother
...more
Becka
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kaje Harper
This book introduces us to Ethan, who at the beginning of the story is an isolated 16 year old. He has one friend, Jorja, who shares his voluntary "outlier" status. His father recently moved out, his brother is becoming more and more religious and strange, and his mother, while trying to cope, doesn't really understand who he is. He's gay, in the closet, and his town is showing stirrings of evangelical Christianity which add even more pressure. Reardon writes really good teen boys, and Ethan is ...more
Mackenzie
I am officially confused. Impressed, but freaking confused.

And I'm not afraid to admit that. :)

Reading this book - as it usually happens with Robin Reardon's works - gives me a lot of things to think about. I loved her first book, A Secret Edge, not only because it was a very well-rounded book that entertained and also roused my thought processes, it also has an Indian guy as one of the two main characters. Afterwards, I read Thinking Straight. This one, for me, is also a good book... but there
...more
Tom
well written, and an engaging story. The characters were well thrashed out, and I felt the appropriate sympathy for them...

I guess my biggest complaint (if it really is that strong of a complaint) is that most of the christian characters are all so extreme... like there is very little middle ground, it finally works out that way, where they finally calm a bit, but the book didn't show any extreme pagans, or extreme atheists/agnostics... I feel like that would have been a better cross-sectional r
...more
Snoodle
Really loved this, Ethan Poe was just awesome. I loved his open mindedness, his growing confidence in who he was and his friendship with Etta. His relationship with Max was realistic for their ages & backgrounds...Max is pretty douchey for most of the book, but Ethan's not oblivious to this (though his hormones might let him turn a blind eye) (view spoiler). It raised some really intere ...more
Meg
Maybe 3.5 stars? Enjoyed this quite a bit but the book went too far with the evolution vs. intelligent design storyline - there were a lot of long didactic passages that served as a vehicle for rhetoric/ ideology rather than as conversations real people would actually have. I liked reading about the main character's journey and decisions. The mentors in this book (view spoiler) were a little too good to ...more
Kevin
Once you start reading this book, you won’t put it down, it’s that engaging. The author mixes together some really interesting topics and comes out with a five star book. Lesser writers would have a jumble, but Reardon makes it work, she makes you love fall in love with the main character and lets you watch over his shoulder as he pulls his stuff together. Extra bonus, somehow, and I’m not sure why, Ethan’s mother reminds me of Cher (From Mermaids). Which makes the book that much better.

Trigger
...more
Christopher
Ethan Poe is a 16 year old who dresses goth and likes being a outsider at school. Ethan’s only friend and his older brother are extremely religious.His parents are getting a divorce. He gets pulled into a debate on intelligent design that he didn't want anything to do with.Ethan deals with all of that while also being in the closet and falling for a boy from his school.

The book was a much slower read for me. This book was very tense throughout.The conflict was so real and varied.Each plot point
...more
Michael
I've read all of Robin's books because her characterizations are pretty spot on and she makes me want to keep reading to find out what is going to happen next. In this one I rooted for Ethan as he searched for meaning and love and acceptance. The religion debates were interesting as a backdrop for this coming of age/coming out story as it often is a true backdrop. I wondered if the power animal angle, which was almost a religion and is part of some religions, was used in this manner as a counter ...more
Sean Kennedy
(4.5 / 5)

This was almost a five star read for me, despite some of the faults I was willing to overlook for what was an enjoyable book which tackled some big issues and didn't result to easy solutions.

Ethan Poe is gay, has a boyfriend that is too scared to acknowledge him in public, his parents have just separated, his brother is convinced that his hand may be possessed by a demon (although bizarre, a real-life disease), and a best friend who thinks he can get rid of the gay if he lets Jesus into
...more
Andrew Leavitt
This was the first book I had ever read by Robin Reardon, so though I have heard some of the plot details in "Ethan Poe" seem recycled from her other books (mainly through reviews on Goodreads), I can't speak to that one way or the other. I had actually never even heard of Robin Reardon until I happened to see this book on the top shelf in the adult fiction section of a Barnes and Noble. While I picked it up in the adult section, there can be little doubt that the intended audience of this book ...more
Chris
Author Robin Reardon, whose previous works include "A Secret Edge" and "Thinking Straight," has become the gay literature scene’s expert on coming-of-age novels. Her latest, "The Evolution of Ethan Poe," continues the trend, and she may have crafted her most well-adjusted gay teen to date, Ethan Poe, whose feelings of heartache and angst stem from the behavior of those around him, rather than himself.

Sixteen-year-old Ethan from Maine is a distant, far-removed relative of the legendary author, Ed
...more
Elisa Rolle
In The Evolution of Ethan Poe I recognize Robin Reardon’s previous book but I also think she did a jump ahead with this one. What I always liked of her books is that these young men have to face a lot of trouble to be who they are and love who they want, but in the end, they are still teenagers, with all the insecurities and fears so typical of being young. But with being young comes also another main aspect: being still in evolution, not being perfect, being faced with multiple choices and with ...more
Amy
Normally as I read a book, I think about this site and what rating I am going to give it. This book went through a sort of 'evolution' as I read more of it. Or is that devolution? At first, the book was good and had some interesting and different ideas, like Ethan's friend Jorja and the problems with his brother Kyle. It was hovering around a 4 star rating. Then everything the book was leading up to happened around the middle of the book. Very unsatisfying and the rating dropped to 3 stars. Then ...more
Laura
I'll be honest, I wasn't impressed. The author is not particularly subtle about his agenda; here's what a reader gets out of this book: 1. Anyone believing in Christianity (eg, anyone who believes the Bible and lives a Christ-centered life) is a. ignorant b. afraid c. close-minded and d. likely to resort to violence instead of reason; 2. Ditto anyone believing in Intelligent Design; 3. Most believers are that way because they have a real problem (mental illness, being abused by their step-father ...more
Rory
I wanted to like this--I really did.

The major problem I had with this nook was that it never felt like Ethan, Jorja, Kyle and Max were real teeanagers... They just felt like how someone older would imagine them to be and it took me out of the story a lot to make excuse for why they seemed to be acting and --in Ethan's case--thinking at points like 30 somethings.

It makes me sad because I enjoyed what the story was trying to do.

The plot tries to fuse coming out, first love, intellgence design, bod
...more
Keith
The Evolution of Ethan Poe is a great book that has three story lines, one of which I can't say because it would (I think) count as a spoiler. The second one is about Ethan, and his life as a gay person. The third one is the one that got my attention: whether or not to get ID (Intelligent Design) involved with science.

I the first and second stories are the main part in the beginning, so I'll talk about them first. The second one, I think that there is a bit too much, "Get in the back of a car an
...more
Mary
After reading Thinking Straight, I was looking forward to Reardon's The Evolution of Ethan Poe. Unfortunately, I was not impressed, and often annoyed while reading.

Reardon based this book on the debate in Dover, PA about Intelligent Design, and sensationalized it. From what I remember of the debate that occurred only a few counties away from my hometown, there was a good deal of verbal confrontation and editorials in the paper, but not physical violence. In her book, Reardon portrays supporters
...more
Caidyn
The book was pretty good. It was one of those that immediately hooked you in and pulled you along for the ride. In it it confronted many things which was all very good. Homosexuality, intelligent design vs. evolution, mental illness, religion, and trying to decide who you are. There was one thing I really enjoyed besides Reardon's honesty with Ethan. She put so much research into the book and it made it so much better. But there were a few things that got to me. First off the text lingo. Reardon ...more
Julia
I made it only to page 36 before having to abandon this one. Although I sympathized with Ethan and appreciate the story the author wanted to tell, Ethan's rambling inner dialogue was hard to swallow and rang false from page one, as though the author were trying waaaay too hard for the dialect "teenagerish." Supporting characters are drawn as almost unbearably one-dimensional, and the messages are so heavy-handed I felt like I was being beaten over the head (as a sympathizer, no less!).
TBlu2326
I read this a while ago, so my memory is a bit foggy, but for the overall view, I had to say I was satisfied when I cam away from this story. It was enjoyable, but mostly because I really took a liking to the main character (Which is rare for me), and his mother.
Daniel Taylor
Mar 17, 2012 Daniel Taylor rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: GLBTIQ youth
Recommended to Daniel by: Crusader Hillis
Crusader at Hares and Hyenas recommended this as a choice for the bookclub I was in at the time. I was also after something that suited what I'd enjoyed in the past, and as usual, Crusader's recommendation hit the mark.

Even though the core of this book is Intelligent Design being taught in the classroom, the story hasn't been forced to make a story around this. Instead, it's a coming of age romance against a backdrop of religious nuttiness.

You connect to the characters and get carried on their e
...more
Gino Alfonso
Another thought provoking story by Ms. Reardon, best for ages 16+, her most mature work reminiscent of the Spencer Tracy movie Inherit the Wind. I would love to see Robin write a movie...the emotional pull she gives her stories is what old Hollywood was made of. I finish a book of hers and can't wait to read more. There's not enough space or time to appropriately review one of her works, you just have to read for yourself....it's a world unlike any other. I don't have a favorite book yet, becaus ...more
Sabrina
The main thrust of this story is a school- and city-wide argument about Intelligent Design vs. Evolution, which I like, but it becomes overwhelming!
Andrew Porteus
Wow, talk about a mix here - teen boys coming out, evolution vs intelligent design in the classroom, body integrity identity disorder, power animals, spirituality, tattoos, and sexual abuse. The thing is, Reardon takes all of these and weaves them into a thoroughly engrossing and believable novel. Even the best people in the book are portrayed with their flaws making them more human. Certainly makes me want to read more of her titles.
http://vi.sualize.us/yin_yang_rainbow...
Joy
Ethan Poe's having a tough year. His parents are getting a divorce, and his brother and best friend seem to be falling into a sort of religious hysteria as the evolution/creation debate comes to a head due to a school board election. The only upsides are his relationships with one of the school board candidates and with another boy from school--and both of those relationships are fraught as well. Will things ever be right again? I really loved how this coming-of-age story unfolded.
Duane Colwell
As always with Robin Reardon, and wonderful read. Her research to develop these stories is nothing less than amazing. This book is highly recommended.
Lisa
This book tackles difficult topics, but is too preachy. Too often, it felt like the author was lecturing through the characters, who each had a specific role to play. Several of them did evolve over the course of the novel, not just Ethan. The title is a nice play on words. I enjoyed Ethan's perspective as a gay teenager, but the overly didactic tone turned me off. Perhaps if the book was condensed, it'd be a tighter story.
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441450
I'm an inveterate observer of human nature, and my primary writing goal is to create stories about all kinds of people, some of whom happen to be gay or transgender—people whose destinies are not determined solely by their sexual orientation or identity. My secondary writing goal is to introduce readers to concepts or information they might not know very much about. On my website, robinreardon.com ...more
More about Robin Reardon...
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“It's an erectoral vote.... it doesn't mean dick.” 2 likes
“The police move around again, and the crowd gets just quiet enough so that we can hear the guy holding the sign calling Pagans Athiests say, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." Mom pops up out of her seat, turns in that direction and shouts, "Professing themselves to be Christians, they commit violence.” 2 likes
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