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Learning to Swear in America

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,705 ratings  ·  622 reviews
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 h
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books
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Buchdoktor It's cute, yes.

Yuri seems to be not very stereotyp Russian - as far as I have read the book. From my European point of view he acts and thinks only re…more
It's cute, yes.

Yuri seems to be not very stereotyp Russian - as far as I have read the book. From my European point of view he acts and thinks only reluctantly foreign - as if Katie Kennedy does'nt want to bother her readers with too much foreign content ... ^^(less)
Jacey I googled it, and though it might be a stretch, стрельников (pronounced strel'nikov in Russian) means 'Arrow'.…moreI googled it, and though it might be a stretch, стрельников (pronounced strel'nikov in Russian) means 'Arrow'.(less)

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, 2016-favorites
Learning to Swear in America: The Most Unexpected Book of 2016 (for me, at least).

“Um, none of these shirts have collars.”
“Welcome to the jungle.”

There were a couple of things I expected from this book, but laughter was not one of them. Clearly I misread the synopsis (is anyone surprised?), because I thought this was going to be dramatic, and mainly about science- basically, like The Martian. And at some points it was, but it was also so much more.

It begins with a 17-year-old Russian, genius
C.G. Drews
Okay so WOW I really enjoyed this one! I went in knowing exactly nothing about it, which did lead to a few mis-expectations...aka. I thought I would really learn to swear in American. I did not. Or at least I learnt to swear so lowkey and only for, like, 2 paragraphs that I'm beginning to think Americans are a little bit soft and squishy with their swearing. (Australia REPRESENT right now, mate.) But anyway. This is about Russian boy-geniuses and it is an absolute bucketful of SASS and also ever ...more
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, you need to know that I really, really loved this book.

17-year-old Yuri is a genius. He's brought over from Russia to work with NASA on stopping a huge asteroid from hitting the Earth and taking out California. While in the US, he meets a girl named Dovie and her brother, Lennon. And through them, he finds that the entire predicted orbit of his life has changed.

You should read this book if you like the following: hilarious, spot-on dialogue. Fresh, memorable characters who seem like the
Larry H
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd rate this between 3.5 and 4 stars, so I'll round up.

Poor Yuri Strelnikov. The 17-year-old physicist prodigy has traveled from his Moscow home to California to help NASA stop a giant asteroid that is hurtling toward Earth. It won't wipe out the entire planet, but it may destroy the entire state of California, and cause tsunamis which might wipe out the Pacific Rim.

The thing is, Yuri knows how to stop the asteroid. He even has unpublished research that demonstrates this, research he's sure wi
Kali Wallace
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness this book is SO FREAKING ADORABLE. Yuri is a darling. Yuri's adorableness is 900000% of the reason this book works so well. He's a genius and he's totally gonna save the world, but he's still so young and awkward, and saving the world is kind of difficulty when adults are so frustrating and girls are so confusing and Americans are so baffling.

I love the friends Yuri makes almost as much as I love him. ALMOST, but not quite, for in these pages my love for Yuri has no equal. He is s
Ashley Blake
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I loved this story--so funny and real and sensitive, perfectly balanced with tense, end-of-the-world stress and angsty teen worries. Now this is a damn good asteroid book.
Sarah Ahiers
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adored this book.

It was like if a YA version of the Martian met a YA version of Deep Impact. It was full of wonderful science, and scientists being jerks and bad guys (sort of) and science, of course, trying to save the day.

Yuri is a physics genius. He's seventeen but already a doctor and when NASA whisks him away from Russia to try and help solve the earth's asteroid problem, well it's not a surprise to him.
Because the problem is big, and if he and the other scientists can't get the math righ
Alice (Married To Books)
I'm not going to lie. I'm really disappointed with this book, since the NASA and astronomy premise looked very appealing from the blurb. The storyline follows a Russian science prodigy Yuri who is also just seventeen years old. He arrives in America to help in the process to save Earth from being hit by an asteroid however faces isolation from other scientists who don't believe his method is the correct one. The science side (for someone who hated science at school) actually was what kept me goi ...more
Amy Allgeyer
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't laughed so much while reading in a long, long time! A teenage Russian genius plopped down in America, surrounded by middle-aged physicists, pizza-chowing computer geeks and a few lovable hippies makes fertile ground for humor, and Kennedy mines it well.

Her characters are quirky and endearing. The stakes are high and the action lively. The tension builds as the asteroid nears, with all threads coming together for a well-paced and unexpected conclusion.

A highly recommended humorous rom
Shae McDaniel
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
[4.75 stars, only because I do have a profanity hangup that is totally on me and not the book, because it's not like I didn't know it was going to be there.]

Haiiiiii, book, I love you. This is a contemporary book with profanity and a girl with an incomprehensible hairstyle AND I LOVED IT. Maybe it really is the end of the world.

Part of my love is due to the absolute hilarity that is Yuri and Dovie. I pictured Yuri as Chekov from the rebooted Star Trek, because he's an awkward Russian teenage gen
Rashika (is tired)
Reasons why I did not finish:

1. Yurik's broken English seems unrealistic. Like it isn't broken broken but this guy is writing a dissertation and wants to win the noble prize for physics. I did a little research and asked a couple friends and it seems very likely that if he would have been writing his dissertation in English if he was aiming to win the noble prize for Physics. Writing dissertations is not easy. Also he would have had to do research AKA read papers that were written in English so
Erin Schneider
You know how when you read a book and you can just tell by the first few words, you're going to love it? Yeah, that was LEARNING TO SWEAR IN AMERICA for me.

I cannot tell you how much I loved this book! Loved the writing. Loved every character - Yuri, Dovie, Lennon, even all the small roles played by various scientists and other students! Loved all the great lines!

Loved it all.

No joke, I think I hearted, starred, smiley faced, !!!!, practically every sentence in this book. So many ha-larious lin
I really thought this was a book I was going to love.

The great parts of the novel:
I adored Yuri
The science portions
The non-native English accent

What I could not stand:
The romance
The forced sex-related topics - it just didn't fit with Yuri's dialog
Dovie - UGH
Slut shaming
Stereotypical high school roles
Brother is an ass, and not in the "deeper meaning under the ass exterior" - the guy was just an ass
Unrealistic events
Unrealistic "life lessons" at the end

Jen Ryland
For me, the most appealing part of Learning to Swear in America was the fish out of water aspect of the book. Yuri, a seventeen year-old science genius, is brought to the US to help an American team save the world from an asteroid hit. He's put up in a hotel near the JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab for you non-tech people like me) and when he's not working, he wanders around Pasadena like the main character in Lost In Translation.

In addition to the fish-out-of-water thing, this is a also a pre-apocalypt
Margot Harrison
At first this book just made me want to hug Yuri, the math genius protagonist, as he navigated his way through the strangeness and loneliness of a vital assignment in the USA. Later, it kind of made me want to hug the whole human race, and then the Earth — so vulnerable in the vastness of space.

Certain chapters made me laugh loudly enough to scare the neighbors, and others kept me white-knuckled for hours. Now that I've finished the book, all I can think about is that the Coen brothers should a
Dayle (the literary llama)
RATING: ★★★★☆ / 4 giant hurtling-towards-earth-hey-watch-out stars!

REVIEW: Why isn't this book more popular?! It was fantastic! Maybe the title is putting you off a bit, but let me explain. Yuri, the 17 year old physicist, is Russian, and while he may be a mathematical genius and on his way to a Nobel prize, his understanding of human interactions is a tad stunted, especially when translated into American English. So, while he's trying to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, he's also
Janet McNally
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is sweet and funny and fresh. Actually, it's just plain adorable, but it accomplishes that at the same time as being really smart. You will love Yuri and Dovie and her family, especially her brother Lennon. Kennedy has written characters who feel completely real, and the backstory of the asteroid that just might destroy our planet--and genius Yuri's work to stop it--is fantastic. Dialogue is hilarious and perfect, and the teens in this book are awkward and love-filled and pretty much w ...more
There is a lot to like in this book. It is funny, that great snarky teenage humour I really like. It is clever, it doesn't talk down to teenagers, the science is for real and the situations are only slightly far-fetched. Yuri, our hero, is a physics genius who has been uplifted from his normal academic life, he is a 17 year old prodigy, already with a PhD and working towards getting a Nobel prize. His skills are being harnessed to try to figure out a way of stopping a gigantic asteroid from hitt ...more
Heather Meloche
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sweet-sixteens
One of the smartest, wittiest, most unique books I've read in a long time. Katie Kennedy creates a very real, relatable character in Yuri, Russian boy wonder and potential Nobel Prize winner whose work on antimatter has given him a strong reputation among the world's scientists. After being quickly ripped from his office at the University of Moscow where he received his doctorate at sixteen, Yuri is brought to work with NASA in Pasadena, California. There he finds himself mired in loneliness, st ...more
Jenn Bishop
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes a book is so delightful and so charming that you just don't want it to end (think Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda).

Sometimes a book is about astrophysics, and particularly, how to save the world from a meteor headed straight for it.

It's infinitesimally rare for a book to be BOTH of those things, and yet Katie Kennedy's debut does just that. It charms your socks off with its Russian narrator Yuri, who is both incredibly intelligent and awkward like you might expect a seventeen year ol
Kathleen Glasgow
This book gave me all the feels! I love, love, love funny books, and if they can manage to be touching, too, then--all the better. This book really reminded me of the adult contemporary WHERE'D YOU GO BERNADETTE--there is sass, there is science, there is twisted romance, there's a lot of poking fun at cultural perceptions--I could go on and on. Suffice to say, Kennedy has created a seamless plot, indelible characters, and a whole lot of funny. ...more
Jonah Lisa Dyer
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend if you enjoy effortless writing that is hilarious and smart. It's like a YA mashup of The Martian & The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The main character is both a genius physicist who must save the world and a clueless horny teenager. And the craft the author shows in balancing those two sides of his character is so skillful that it's both laugh out loud funny and totally believable. ...more
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
4.5 Stars

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.

Full Review on The Candid Cov
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So fun! Like a combo of the movie Deep Impact and well . . . like a fun YA romance. I do wish (because I love Deep Impact) that it had gone a bit deeper and broader into what was happening in the world outside the lab with regards to the impending asteroid, but still delightful!
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Touching, hilarious, and suspenseful! Yuri knows more about antimatter than anyone else on the planet but he's just beginning to learn about human relationships. He's earnest and arrogant (and awkward and horny) and wow, I just love him.

Someone, please make a movie out of this book. I'll start the line for tickets. Also, sign me up to buy whatever Katie Kennedy writes next.
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, physical-2016
I loved this book. I loved nearly everything about it. I want to be friends with Yuri in real life. Can someone make that happen for me?

Full review here:

I am going to start this review by saying that I simply looooooooved this book. Loved. It. It is brilliant, funny, and has one of the best male protagonists I have read in a while.

When the story starts, we meet our male protagnoist, Yuri, traveling to California. Yuri is a seventeen year old Russian prodi
Jaime Arkin
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016, 2016
It could possibly be the last day on earth… a team of scientists are working day and night to find a solution for the asteroid that is hurtling towards earth, including Yuri, a 17 year old genius from Russia.

Yuri’s work with antimatter could win him a Nobel prize, but first he has to convince all the much older and much more experienced guys he’s working with to give his idea a try.

I can’t tell you guys how much I loved Yuri. He’s so smart, and he’s in a country where he knows no one and while
Kathy MacMillan
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a joy this book was! For me, this was one of those reads where I didn’t want it to end, didn’t want to leave the world of the story behind, and I wanted to just hang out with the characters. Yuri is such a winning and relatable character – and that’s saying something, considering that he is a physics prodigy who’s never done any of the normal things most seventeen-year-olds have done, like kiss a girl or go to gym class. The secondary characters are just as three-dimensional, from the older ...more
Sarah Amelia
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-by-me
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher. This has in no way affected my rating or review!

4 stars! I really enjoyed this book! The weird, quirky characters were funny and well made. The bit of science thrown in was fascinating. My only problem was some of the language. The language is a little strong. The romance is pretty kissy-kissy. Some people maybe have problems with the views of some characters such as Yuri being an Atheist(mentioned a few times) and Dovie's family's hippie views.
No, David! No!
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lol
Happened to see this as a nominee at the library and decided to give it a shot. It was quirky and kind of goofy. While there is a plot line about whether the world is going to be destroyed and what will happen to the characters, for me, it was more just about the characters themselves. Lots of funny one-liners, and general silliness. I read it quickly and enjoyed it.
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