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The Evolution of Ethan Poe

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3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  410 Ratings  ·  50 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)
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Andrew
Apr 11, 2012 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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
Kaje Harper
Apr 21, 2012 Kaje Harper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, ya, intense
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
Becka
Feb 01, 2012 Becka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alannah Davis
Jan 31, 2016 Alannah Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very definitely 5 stars for this YA novel about Ethan Poe, a relative of Edgar Allan Poe (yes, THAT one). Ethan is a gay teen whose older brother Kyle has been exhibiting strange behavior, whose parents have separated, and who befriends an older lady and her dog. There is so much going on that I can't give this book justice by trying to describe everything that has enamoured me to it. Just trust me when I say, READ THIS! You don't need to be a young adult to be affected by Ethan's story. This 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
Sean Kennedy
Sep 07, 2011 Sean Kennedy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(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
Tom
Nov 08, 2011 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
R.J. Seeley
Sep 08, 2015 R.J. Seeley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I do not know where to begin.

This book was a definite interest to me, especially with me being a Christian who believes in evolution, but this book became so much more than that. Of course, I am a keen reader of Reardon, I love all her work. But this one, this one was almost different.

Yes I loved it, it was thought inducing, funny, sexy and as sad as ever, but I don't know, I felt a different kind of vibe with it.

I loved Ethan's voice, I loved Max, I loved Etta and Two, there was so much
...more
Chelsea
Mar 22, 2016 Chelsea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 3.5
Olivia
Jan 23, 2017 Olivia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt, library, ya-lit
3.5 stars. I really loved watching Ethan's character growing throughout this book. I understood the power animals thing but at the same time it was a little weird. The whole ID/Evolution debate throughout the book and the violence it brought was very thought provoking and interesting. Of all the things I could have disliked about this book...there was only one thing I actually did dislike and that was Max. I just...hated his character for some reason.
Derreck
Mar 05, 2017 Derreck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't quite expect to like this as much as I thought. It started out intriguing, then got boring for me, then it intrigued me again, and then it took off.

Sadly we do not live in a world that is open minded enough to allow this in high school classrooms. Like for literature reading. Or you could call it English Class, because this book really has the potential. I feel like this was a great read, but so underrated. And that makes me sad. Perhaps one day, that will change. Until then, I advise
...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
Amy
Dec 16, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbtq, 2011
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
Chris
Aug 06, 2011 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Christopher
Jan 17, 2013 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqia
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
Aug 07, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-themed
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
Laura
Aug 17, 2011 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kevin
Jul 04, 2014 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mary
Apr 02, 2012 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Keith
Aug 22, 2012 Keith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Rory
Dec 03, 2012 Rory rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Meg
Apr 06, 2015 Meg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, lgbt
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
Caidyn (BW Book Reviews)
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
Merel
Aug 23, 2014 Merel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay... this was a good book. Well written and interesting and I gave it 4 stars and yet... I don't know if I can say I liked it. There's something really oppressing about this story; the whole religion vs science battle and the mental problems, abuse and other dark things that are for sure part of life but left me with a heavy feeling that didn't quite go away. Maybe I felt so strongly about it because I read this right after a real feel-good teen lgtb book.

At times it was a bit difficult for
...more
Gino Alfonso
May 14, 2013 Gino Alfonso rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Daniel Taylor
Mar 16, 2012 Daniel Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jonathan Haden
Feb 04, 2017 Jonathan Haden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While aimed at young adult this makes good light reading for all I found. Yes it is a gay novel it has that rare gift that the gay issue within it is not the whole or even really the main theme to the plot. It would appear that way at first but quickly shows the other threads that become an enjoyable page turner.
Joy
Dec 28, 2011 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Evolution/Intelligent Design debate 5 7 Jul 25, 2015 04:22PM  
The guy on the cover. 2 15 Apr 23, 2012 11:39AM  
YA LGBT Books: Rainbow YA awards 2 27 Dec 08, 2011 08:54AM  
Outliers 1 4 Oct 20, 2011 12:58AM  
Can you remain friends with someone who disapproves of you? 1 4 Oct 19, 2011 09:34PM  
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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
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“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.” 3 likes
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