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Learning to Swear in America

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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 him a Nobel prize--if there's ever another Nobel prize awarded. But Yuri's 17, and having a hard time making older, stodgy physicists listen to him. Then he meets Dovie, who lives like a normal teenager, oblivious to the impending doom. Being with her, on the adventures she plans when he's not at NASA, Yuri catches a glimpse of what it means to save the world and save a life worth living.

Prepare to laugh, cry, cringe, and have your mind burst open with questions of the universe.

352 pages, Hardcover

First published July 5, 2016

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Katie Kennedy

2 books65 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 636 reviews
Profile Image for Rose.
408 reviews594 followers
July 18, 2016
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, and suit-obsessed, named Yuri. Because of his work in physics, he is ‘lent’ by Russia to the US so that he can work with a team in NASA to stop an asteroid from hitting Earth aka causing: death, destruction, chaos, etc.

This is where I expected lots of science explanations like in The Martian, but instead got a look into the life of a guy who just doesn’t fit anywhere. Yuri’s in a weird place because he’s never really related to teens his age because he’s seen so much, but he can’t relate to adults because he’s seen too little. He’s lonely .. until, he meets Dovie and Lennon.

“I don’t know what dress cost in America..”
“You know how much a dress cost in Russia?” Lennon said. “Kinky.”

CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT LENNON!? One: He’s in a wheelchair and doesn’t give a fuck. Two: He totally had the best lines in this book. Three: He’s a spotlight stealer, and I loved it. I really liked how they looked at his struggles realistically, but didn’t make it a huge thing and it wasn’t something that made his character. His personality is what made him.

“I’m wearing a blue shirt and no tie,” he protested.
She smiled at him. “You’re a wild man.”

Oh, and Dovie of course. The love interest who is just so genuine. I absolutely loved how she realized that people were trying to put her in a box rather than letting her express herself. She was bold, and quirky, but also so much more than that. I hate when authors just give a character one personality trait that completely defines them.

Like, no. That’s not a real human being.

“Whoa there,” Lennon said. “You almost expressed yourself.”

Every character in this book was more than just ‘quirky,’ ‘funny,’ ‘cold,’ etc. They all had moments of self-doubt, loneliness, disappointment, joy, and selflessness. This is what really made me love this book, and why I’d recommend it to anyone. SO YEAH. Read this for that, but also because I died from laughing so hard- the humor is just on point and I adored it.

note: the quotes may sound weird like I misspelled them, but it’s actually just because Yuri is not completely fluent in English so he sometimes misses some words~*~*
Profile Image for Jennifer.
Author 3 books95 followers
October 27, 2015
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 they could walk off the page. Small animals. Physics. The night sky. High school (also, you'll love it if you didn't like high school) (also, if you're in high school). Prom. Those scooters you had to roll around on in gym class.

And the cover. Oh the cover is such a perfect fit for this novel.

Hell yeah, Katie Kennedy. This book was amazing. I can't wait to see what she writes next.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, but you better bet that I'm going to pre-order this book so I can have a copy of my very own.

Profile Image for Larry H.
2,481 reviews29.4k followers
July 26, 2016
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 will earn him a Nobel Prize someday, which is something he has dreamed about since he was very young. But because he is so young, he can't convince his NASA colleagues to listen to him. They don't want to take chances on a kid's unpublished research, they want to use the methods they know—even if it means they won't be successful.

Yuri is alone, shuttled between his hotel room and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where the work is being done. He can't reach anyone from home, and when he does, he understands that one of his chief academic rivals is looking to take credit for his research. And then he meets Dovie Collum, a free-spirited, creative teenager who tries to live life in a carefree way, although she struggles with those who want to squelch her creative spirit. Little by little, she shows Yuri what it's like to be a real American teenager, and gives him the opportunity to experience some of the simple joys of life.

But in the end, Yuri has a mission, and he is determined to save the world from the asteroid the way he knows how, so he can go home again. How can he convince his colleagues to listen to him, even if his research hasn't been proven, and even if there are inherent risks? Should he just let them do what they think is best, even if it means putting people in danger?

I really enjoyed Learning to Swear in America . I thought it was sweet and funny, and I enjoyed getting to spend time with the characters. It's a reasonably predictable book but I didn't think that took anything away from its charm. This is a book that didn't take itself too seriously even as it dealt with the potential of a disaster, but the characters didn't seem overly precocious or wise beyond their years, save Yuri, but he was only wise in terms of science and math.

Katie Kennedy definitely knows how to write an enjoyable story. Even her author's note was funny. Consider this: "I did a lot of research to write this book, but if you're trying to stop an asteroid, you probably shouldn't use it as a guide. Finally, if you do notice an incoming asteroid, please give the nearest astrophysicist a heads-up because there really are only about a hundred people in the world looking for them. And it really is a big sky."

If you're looking for something that's light and enjoyable, with a little bit of soul-searching thrown in for good measure, pick up Learning to Swear in America . You may know what's coming, but you'll still enjoy the journey.

See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....
Profile Image for Kali Wallace.
Author 26 books540 followers
December 19, 2015
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 surrounded by some pretty great characters, especially Dovie and Lennon and their family, who are all the kind of people I would love to spend some time hanging out with. (I would bring my own baked goods, though.)

LEARNING TO SWEAR made me laugh and it made me sigh happily and then it made my heart grow three sizes. Such a fun book!

(I read an ARC of this book.)
Profile Image for Ashley Blake.
Author 12 books3,605 followers
May 28, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Sarah Ahiers.
Author 3 books374 followers
November 30, 2015
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 right, the asteroid will crash into LA, killing millions of people.
But Yuri is an anti-matter specialist, and the other scientists don't give him the time of day, even when he's trying to explain how his calculations could save everyone.

Yuri is alone, and lonely, until he meets Dovie, the daughter of a janitor. Yuri has no friends, and certainly never had the American high school experience, let alone any high school experience, and as the asteroid drifts closer and closer, so do Yuri and Dovie.
But maybe the scientists have made a mistake. And maybe the Asteroid is not what they expect. And maybe Yuri has to make decisions that will save or doom everyone, including his new found friends.

Yuri is wonderful. He's funny, and kind and you feel for him, being so alone and away from everyone and everything he knows. You feel his frustration when the other scientists won't listen to him, when he's alone by himself in his room, when he tries to Skype with his mother.

And Dovie, and her brother Lennon, are also wonderful. They're quirky and fun, and welcome Yuri so easily into their lives. The characters are so well-realized that I just wanted to be friends with all of them.

And then, of course, there's the wonderful science. There's not so much that you feel lost or confused or bored by it, but there's enough that the book just has this wonderful grounding of science, which leads to tension as the asteroid comes closer and closer.

Highly recommend to readers who like science based contemporary books, or books with romance or characters who are geniuses.

I read this arc in return for an honest review
Profile Image for Alice-Elizabeth (Prolific Reader Alice).
1,147 reviews154 followers
August 26, 2018
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 going up until the final chapter. The last few chapters however felt incredibly rushed and in a direction that I generally didn't see coming or like very much. Around halfway through, there is suicide bought up as a topic but in a way that I found quite uncomfortable. The treatment that Yuri got throughout the majority of the novel wasn't friendly at all and something I wasn't a huge fan of. Overall, I won't be re-reading this one!

Read via the app Scribd!
Profile Image for Amy Allgeyer.
Author 2 books48 followers
November 18, 2015
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 romp of a book!

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Shae.
738 reviews169 followers
October 22, 2015
[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 genius, so why not? He's fabulous. Though his English is stilted (for example, he doesn't use articles because Russian doesn't have any and he doesn't want to use the wrong one), his internal narrative is flawless, because a lack of fluency in one language doesn't affect a person's intelligence, especially not in their native language. Although, as Yuri points out, really his native language is math. There are so many quippy lines that I can't wait for other people to read so I can start quoting them--lines that come from Yuri, from Dovie, from Dovie's brother Lennon (probably my favorite secondary character, and a hearty heck yeah for body diversity!), and even from the grownup scientists at NASA. There are jokes, puns, witty rejoinders, dry sarcastic quips... it's all there.

Also there? Serious moments. As the synopsis says, Yuri has to figure out how to really live life, so there are some pretty insightful philosophical comments tucked between the jokes. And also philosophical jokes, because why not.

Oooh, and let's not forget about the tension. This is a book about an asteroid (NOT A METEOR) hurtling toward Earth, one big enough to cause some serious damage. This isn't just about Yuri making friends and "finding himself." This kid has to save the world, because his life and those of his new friends depend on him. By the climax, I was ready to bite the head off of anyone who dared interrupt me, because anything could happen! WHAT IF I LOOKED AWAY AND EARTH BLEW UP?!?! (I can't tell you if Earth actually did blow up [because spoilers], but if it did, I promise it wasn't my fault.)

LEARNING TO SWEAR doesn't come out until next year, so I can't be any more specific this far out, but trust me, all my people. You need to get your hands on this book. (Bonus: Russian swear words for your international potty-mouthed needs!)
Profile Image for Rashika (is tired).
976 reviews713 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
July 10, 2016
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 in conclusion, I call BS on his broken English.

2. Yurik's cultural shock is also unrealistic. I've experienced cultural shock, I've had friends that have experienced cultural shock and his isn't it. People do not wonder how to give permission to someone to come into their room, we wonder about lingo and slang.

3. Ummm.. when are we gonna be done with the socially awkward super smart people stereotype? I get it, he is a prodigy and works with men three times his age (no female scientists are present in the book... or the 33% of it that I read) but that doesn't mean he has to be so socially awkward that he cannot converse with people three times his age or his own age or anyone.

4. The science bits weren't entirely accurate...


Don't get me wrong, there is potential in the book and a lot of people liked it so give it a chance if you're interested but I had feels and needed to share why this book and I were not BFFs.
Profile Image for Erin Schneider.
Author 1 book192 followers
February 22, 2016
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 lines had me laughing out loud at 2am in the morning and I know woke my husband up way too many times. But oh was it so worth it.

The writing is gorgeous, the story flows so well, and the science behind it all will make you question if Mrs. Kennedy is really a Russian physicist masking herself as a YA writer (yes, the science is that good and by far the best I've seen done on any "Earth is coming to an end" book) -- and by the end, you'll want to nominate her yourself for the Nobel, right along with Yuri.

If you don't have this one on your TBR yet, what are you waiting for? Better yet, go now and pre-order it -- I promise you will not be disappointed. This is one that will be lining my bookshelf, without a doubt.
Profile Image for Lyn *GLITTER VIKING*.
345 reviews99 followers
June 3, 2016
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

Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,450 reviews897 followers
June 25, 2016
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-apocalyptic story. Before you go: "hey is that a thing?" let me remind you that this is at least the fourth recent YA book I can think of about an asteroid headed for earth. There was We All Looked Up, Tumble and Fall, and Life as We Knew It.

A lot of aspects of the story were smart and funny. And quirky. But humor and quirk can definitely have unpredictable (and uneven) appeal to a reader. For me, there was quirk that was unexpected (a math teacher who makes his students feed a hamster to a snake if they get a math problem wrong??!!)
But I also felt the quirk went a bit too far at times.

In a somewhat related issue, I wasn't crazy about the romance at all. I mean, yes, I get that a main point of the book is that Yuri is old for his age, book-smart but not life-smart, and that a big part of the plot is him being shown how to have fun. But another huge part of the story is that the entire fate of the world is at stake and Yuri's sneaking out to hook up while he's supposed to be using a different part of his body to outwit the asteroid. But, hey, glad he's getting some action *sarcasm*

Dovie, the love interest was a bit too Manic Pixie Dream Girl for me and her family was very heavy on the quirk, with hippie throwback parents that came back from the 1960s with Austin Powers and a brother in a wheelchair named Lennon (at least it wasn't Lenin...) He was .... uh ... well, you'll either find him refreshing or disturbing. Let me know.

Overall, an enjoyable read (I kept reminding myself there was a 50/50 chance the asteroid would destroy this oddball romance) with bonus points for not falling into the disaster movie asteroid tropes and for a fine fish out of water story, but negative points for quirk overload and an odd, anticlimactic ending that dragged on way too long for me.

Read more of my reviews on YA Romantics or follow me on Bloglovin

Thanks to the publisher for providing a free advance copy of this book for me to review.

Profile Image for Margot Harrison.
Author 5 books141 followers
May 2, 2016
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 adapt it to film, because this mixture of slapstick comedy and sentiment and absurdity and existentialism is right up their alley. They would understand why Yuri's adventures in high school (perfectly described as a "jerk zoo") and the love story and the saving-the-world plot have equal weight, and need to.

Because when we think about saving the world, it's not abstractions like "the whole human race" that motivate us. It's the people we know and love, the landscapes we live in. By the midpoint of the book, "the world" means a whole lot more to Yuri than it did at the beginning. It may well mean more to the reader, too.

Can I just say a big thank you for the science in this book? As someone who can barely even solve the quadratic equations that appear in one chapter, I appreciated how clearly everything was explained for laypeople, and how detailed (and disturbingly plausible-sounding) the scenario was at the same time.

I read this book as part of an ARC tour, and I urge anyone who enjoys the offbeat, ambitious, and unclassifiable (which should really be everybody) to check it out. Bonus: You'll learn to swear in Russian!

Profile Image for Dayle (the literary llama).
1,053 reviews166 followers
September 30, 2016
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 learning what it's like to be a normal teenager, but in America. And since most people (especially teenagers stretching their boundaries) swear in one way or another, even if it's marginally benign exclamations, Yuri feels like if he can just learn the proper moments to swear he can learn to fit in. That doesn't mean that the book is peppered with cursing, far from it! It's actually all done rather adorably, because it's still a young adult novel ... did that help any? I hope so.

Well I just told you the basis for this story and it's title. Yuri is trying to save California, etc., with a team of other scientists at NASA/JPL. I won't tell you any more about the plot because the synopsis is pretty spot on and all you need to know. The writing is snappy and the characters are fun, interesting, and unique. You'd think with a giant asteroid hurtling towards earth that you wouldn't get a lot of external antics and shenanigans going on, but you would be wrong, because shenanigans are had and they are delightful!

There is also an amazing amount of depth in the novel. I loved the back stories and internal obstacles that the characters are battling. There is more to worry about than just the asteroid, though that's still a big problem of course. And there is just enough romance to give this book the added sweetness factor (is that a thing, 'cause if it isn't then it is now, bring on the sweetness factor). Quirky meets awkward and it's adorable. And the dialogue is perfect, from the Russian to the English, the author has the gift of good written dialogue, and that can never be praised enough in a young adult novel, or any novel actually.

This book was the right mix of humor and heart. I loved it from beginning to end and demand that you give it attention because more people need to read this book. I don't think you will be disappointed.
Profile Image for Janet McNally.
Author 8 books144 followers
May 8, 2016
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 wonderful. Read it!
Profile Image for Bridget.
1,136 reviews72 followers
February 9, 2017
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 hitting the earth and destroying much of coastal USA, the part where he is currently! But life in the USA is completely different from life at home and he has much to learn about the new ways and customs, he meets a girl, he gets to know her family, he has a heap of fun and dangerous experiences and learns a lot about life and about people, and also about girls. I think it will appeal to lots of students who want something a little deeper than the usual relationship fiction, it will work for lots of guys who want a hero who is a bit different, who isn't all buff and cool.

My criticism really is that it is a tad too long. I felt that it lost a bit of momentum in the middle, in teen fiction you need to keep it moving along fast. It is good, it is a great fresh story, but I got a bit bogged down from the half way point.
Profile Image for Jonah Lisa Dyer.
Author 1 book125 followers
May 3, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Bücherbrise.
123 reviews22 followers
April 30, 2017
Wow! Was für eine wunderbare Geschichte. Oder eher was für zwei beeindruckende Geschichten!
Profile Image for Heather Meloche.
Author 1 book60 followers
February 18, 2016
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, struggling with his enormous ego among a scientific think-tank full of egos, and definitely coasting through his harrowing days on tons of deadpan humor as he tries to save the world from an asteroid hurtling at Earth. While Yuri must define the process by which the asteroid will be destroyed, he also has to define himself with the help of hippie-raised teens, Dovie and Lennon, who create their own unique mark in the book with their quirkiness. The whip-smart dialogue had me doubled-over laughing, and my 14-year-old reluctant reader picked the book up and would not let it go. LEARNING TO SWEAR IN AMERICA is thought-provoking, heart-warming, and unforgettable. "Bravo!" to Katie Kennedy. Or as they say in Russian, "Ona molodyets!"
Profile Image for Jenn Bishop.
Author 5 books214 followers
April 20, 2016
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 old PhD toting physicist tasked with trying to figure out how to stop a meteor from crashing into earth to be. There's so much that's working in this book: expert plotting, hilarious scenarios, characters you will fall in love with and wish were real, and high stakes (possibly the highest, since we are talking about the end of the world as we know it).

I *love* this book and can't wait to share it with all my astrophysics friend. As someone who's married to an astrophysicist, everything about this book just gets it.

Love, love, love, love, LOVE! Also, Yuri is my new book boyfriend.
Profile Image for Kathleen Glasgow.
Author 13 books5,425 followers
April 19, 2016
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.
Profile Image for The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori).
1,161 reviews1,300 followers
December 27, 2018
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 Cover
Profile Image for Jasmin.
302 reviews14 followers
March 8, 2018
Herzerwärmend und richtig schön. Ich habe ein wenig was anderes erwartet, bin aber positiv überrascht worden.
So sympathische Charaktere und eine tolle Geschichte mit philosophischem Charakter, die so abwegig gar nicht sein mag.
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 28 books5,607 followers
August 8, 2018
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!
Author 3 books24 followers
June 20, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Sara (A Gingerly Review).
2,678 reviews155 followers
June 22, 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: https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com...

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 prodigy genius. He has a doctorate in physicist, in the running for the Nobel prize in antimatter work, and has been summonded to help the Americans figure out a way to avoid/destory/miss/whatever the huge asteroid that is on a collision course with Earth. No pressure at all, right? Yuri is immediately thrown into the pit with the other scientists and doctors trying to solve the problem that is the asteroid. He suddenly realizes that his research in antimatter will be the best solution but no other scientist believes him. While trying to clear his head, Yuri meeting Dovie. Dovie is living her life like a typical teenager, unphased by the pending doom of the planet. Becoming friends with Dovie helps Yuri see what life outside of a lab can really be like. He sees that life is worth living and that it might be worth saving.

There are so many things that I loved about this book and Yuri is high on that list. Yuri was so well written that he felt real. He felt like a real teenage prodigy that spent most of his life inside the walls of a lab or classroom. If something couldn’t be explained by math or science, then it was not important. Yuri was trying to hard to understand both sides of himself: prodigy physicist genius and seventeen year old teenager tasked with saving the planet and the fact that that he had never been kissed. The way he developed as the story progressed was so great to read.

Dovie’s character was a little tougher for me to read as she felt forced. She is the opposite of Yuri in almost every possibly way and that almost seemed cliche. She is an artist, a daughter of hippies, quirky, and a free spirit. Yuri has never been around someone (a girl) like that before but he’s attracted to her regardless. She is the only friend Yuri has in the US so he latches on to her and her brother Lennon. Lennon is in a wheelchair but he doesn’t let that stop him or his snarky comments from going on crazy adventures with Yuri and Dovie. I did like Lennon as a secondary character as he brought a lot of depth to the story.

The wit sprinkled throughout this entire book had me smiling from ear to ear. I haven’t actually laughed out loud while reading a book in a while. Yuri’s comments and simple misuse of English phrases had me belting out laughs. The constant banter and snarky responses between Yuri and Dovie’s family was brilliant. All of the kudos to Katie Kennedy for doing such a great job with the dialoge.

I don’t want all of my talks of wit, amazing characters, and humor to overshadow the fact that this story is also about a huge asteroid rushing through space towards Earth. There is a lot of tension that builds as the story progresses. Will the scientists be able to stop the asteroid in time? Will Yuri save the day or will he be dismissed simply because he is 17 years old? Will the people living in California be spared? So much pressure on Yuri! Not only does he need to try to save the planet, he has to try to save his work back in Russia. As the story continued to move towards the ending, I was so invested that I skipped a meal to finish. I just had to know what happened!

I really cannot say enough good things about this book. I pretty much loved every single thing about it. I highly recommend to everyone!! This was a 4.75 star read for me. Don’t let the science part of the story stop you from reading because this is not a high-techy book. It is funny, heart warming, and you will soon discover the admoriation I have for Yuri.
Profile Image for Jaime Arkin.
1,419 reviews1,326 followers
June 28, 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 he doesn’t have a warm and fuzzy relationship with his mother, if this asteroid isn’t stopped, his life will end in a place where he has no one. Enter Dovie. Dovie is a whirlwind, with hippie parents and a wheelchair bound brother, she and Yuri form a connection that’s been missing from his life.

This isn’t just an asteroid, end of the world book though. Sure you spend most of the book wondering if the efforts of the scientists will be successful, but there’s so much more to it than that. There were a lot of moments where I could barely hold my laughs in! Yuri is so awkward, but in a lovable and sweet way. Ask him anything about math and he can give you the answer, ask him anything about human nature and he’s a bit lost.

Yuri hasn’t experienced much in his seventeen years, but meeting Dovie has shown him that there is more to life than just math and science. In the few days they have together, she shows him that there is so much worth saving! While I really enjoyed the moments where Yuri was working through things in his mind, I really loved seeing him interact with Dovie and Lennon (her brother).

If you’re looking for a quirky, fun read filled with heart then look no further. Katie Kennedy has written a wonderful story that will have you laughing out loud and wondering if she’s secretly a scientist in her spare time.

Thank you to the publisher for an early copy in exchange for my honest thoughts
Profile Image for Kathy MacMillan.
Author 29 books437 followers
June 12, 2016
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 scientists suspicious of Yuri’s abilities to teen artist Dovie and her hippie family, who expand Yuri’s horizons all the way to American swearing and the prom. This is my favorite kind of book: the kind where the story proceeds directly from the characters and the way they spin in and out of each other’s orbits. When the asteroid hurtling toward Earth turns out to be much more dangerous than originally thought, it’s Yuri’s teenage audacity as much as his brilliant mind that gives the world a fighting a chance. Yuri has to make choices at a grand, world-saving scale, and also at a much more intimate one, as he learns just how far he is willing to go to do the right thing.
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