June 27, 2009

Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande

EvolutionMena Reece did the right thing, and now everyone she once knew hates her for it: her former friends, practically everyone from her church, her pastor and even her parents don't seem too wild about her.

Even though Mena had always thought high school would be great, her first day -with her ex-best friend Teresa and the other church kids whispering about her - isn't great at all; except for third period when she gets Ms. Shepherd for Biology and Casey Connor for lab partner.

At first Ms Shepherd seems a little weird but one thing is sure: she's passionate about science and about sharing that love for it with everyone in her class. Casey is pretty passionate about science as well, but that first day all Mena can think of is of being glad someone is talking to her (since Casey doesn't belong to the same church Mena did, he's doesn't know about the Mena Scandal).

Just when Mena begins to think she's finally learning to handle the fall out with her former friends, Ms. Shepherd starts the unit on evolution, and lets just say Mena's former pastor and ex-friends have plenty to say about it. Soon Mena finds herself swept by the controversy revolving around religion, science and freedom.

Mena is a devout Christian, but, after what her 'friends' did to a kid back in middle school, she started to see that maybe following Pastor Wells blindly wasn't a good, Christian thing to do; and now, as she learns more about evolution and finally begins to mix with people who don't share her believes 100% - like Ms Shepherd and the Connors (Casey, his sister Kayla and their Mom) - Mena begins to question some of the things she has been told.

I found this book amazing.

Mena is a likable character, she doesn't think of herself as the bravest person on earth, she just wants to be good and kind to others and you do get to feel her inner conflict about facing the consequences of doing what was right over what was easy, especially since it affected everyone in her former peer group and her parents' business - I'll let you find out what Mena did yourself. I also liked the fact that her faith didn't shake, it wasn't God she questioned but people, and that I believe is absolutely valid. Can't say I ended up liking Mena's parents but I could see where they were coming from, which I respect.

The Connors were lovable characters, from charge-ahead, aggressive Kayla, to her boyfriend Josh, Mrs. Connor and Casey. I really loved Casey... and there is a litter of black lab puppies you can't help but adore.

starstarstarstarstarPersonal Favorite

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