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Paperback Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature Book

ISBN: 0440240301

ISBN13: 9780440240303

Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature

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Book Overview

I knew today would be ugly...It's the first day of high school for Mena, and already her world looks bleak: she's an outcast, all her former friends hate her, even her parents barely speak to her... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Fantastic Novel With A Number of Great Messages

I picked this up at a book store without realizing that it was a "young adult" novel. It looked interesting and it seemed to deal with evolution and the church, so I grabbed it and tossed it into my cart. I was out of town recently on business, needed something to read, had this with me and sat down to read it. That was a mistake, as I had to get up early the next morning and found I had read until well past my usual bedtime. While this is a novel that deals primarily with the actions of a teen girl whose "friends" from her church now hate her, it also is much more. The reading is fun and easy and the story well told and well thought out. In addition, there are life lessons such as: *You shouldn't lie to your parents, even when they are wrong *Parents can be wrong...it happens *Your "friends" may not really be friends after all *There is a big world out there...go explore *Lead...don't follow That is but a sampling of what can be taken from this novel. It is not, however, written in a preachy or condescending style and can be enjoyed by all ages. I highly recommend this novel for everyone. It is great entertainment and fun and will certainly stir up debate in the family about the subjects it covers.

Great Read!

The Ultimate battle between Evolution and Creationism takes place in Robin Brande's debut novel, "Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature". The main character is Mena. A girl being torn in two by what she knows is right, and the expectations of her peers. A born Christian, and happy that way, Mena's life takes a turn for the worst when she decides to apologies for being involved in provoking a fellow student. But when he decides to sue everyone in her church Mena becomes the outcaste who is ill used by everyone she once trusted, even her parents can hardly stand to look at her, let alone talk to her. Things start to look up when she meets Casey Conner, a would be geeky kid to her old friends, who ends up helping Mena through her exile and becoming her best friend with potential for more, In her science class. There she also meets the zany Mrs. Shepherd, a teacher that introduces Mena to the thought that both evolution and god could co-exist. When Mrs. Shepherd starts a unit on Evolution things really start heating up. Through all this Mena learns a lot about herself, and realizes what her faith means to her. Robin Brande has done an exceptional job writing such a delicate subject, Evolution VS. Creationism, which she has depicted with such grace and delicacy that I don't think anyone could read this book and go away angry about the focus of the plot. Not to say that there wouldn't be any disagreements on it somewhere, as you can find on any subject today, but that she airs her views so lightly as to give an idea, not a lecture. Lovable characters, interesting idea, brilliant writing; everything you need for a great read. Go out and buy Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature at your nearest bookstore today. You won't regret it.

I think this book will be a huge success

Robin Brande's Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature is the story of Mena, who starts her first day of high school in the face of outright hatred from her former friends. Her parents are furious with her, and she's been kicked out of her church. She hints at why on the first page: "When you're single-handedly responsible for getting your church, your pastor, and every one of your former friends and their parents sued for millions of dollars, you expect to make some enemies. Fine." A compelling start. Only gradually is Mena's exact action revealed, but it's clear early on that her former church friends are not treating Mena with much Christian charity. Soon, in addition to tormenting Mena, the group find a new target for their displeasure. Award-winning science teacher Ms. Shepherd is planning to teach a unit on evolution. This sparks protests and controversy, and a request to also teach "intelligent design", despite the legally mandated separation of church and state. Fortunately Mena and Ms. Shepherd both find allies in the Connor family. Freshman Casey becomes Mena's lab partner, and awakens her interest in biology in more ways than one. Casey's older sister Kayla is a budding activist and journalist, who expands Mena's perspective. Mena's friendship with the Connors is a bit tricky, however, because her very strict parents would never allow her to go home to study with a boy after school. She's certainly not allowed to date, or even watch movies like The Lord of the Rings (or anything to do with magic). And so, despite being a "good girl", Mena lies to her parents. The lure of spending time with the Connors (especially Casey) is just too strong. She even becomes a guest columnist on Kayla's website, under the pen name The Bible Grrrl (there's now a real-world website for The Bible Grrrl, too). The central element that makes this book, with it's church-going villains and questions about evolution, work is the fact that through it all, Mena maintains her belief in God. She struggles to reconcile her religious beliefs with her understanding of evolution. She likes church, and doesn't like being banished, but knows in her heart that she did the right thing (in the event that led to her banishment). She sees the people from her church doing things that are clearly wrong, under the banner of religion, but she doesn't blame the religion itself. Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature reminded me a bit of the very funny movie Saved!! (starring Jena Malone), especially the behavior of the Christian teens. I would imagine that religious fundamentalists wouldn't care for the book, because they are portrayed in a fairly negative manner (especially the pompous minister). But this isn't an anti-religion book, either, because Mena's goal is to show that believing in God and believing in evolution are not mutually incompatible. She uses her Bible Grrrl platform to address modern-day issues through Biblical examples. I would say that this is a book

Thought-provoking and fun... this book is going to make a BIG splash!

This debut of author Robin Brande is an incredible start to what promises to be a very long and interesting career. How many writers would dare tackle the subject of such controversy (Darwin vs. the Church) in a first novel? That takes courage, and Robin is more than up for the challenge. She has willingly left herself open to scrutiny, yet the honest reflection in the journey of the hero (14 year old, Mena) is going to soften those blows. From alienation, cliques, first love, tolerance, religion, sexuality and more, this book captures the struggles of teens to find their place in this world. It also challenges readers to understand why they believe what they believe -- is it blind faith based on what someone tells you to believe, or do you challenge other presuppositions and put in some sweat equity on your own so you really know WHY you believe something? Beyond that, it helps teach how to treat people who don't quite think like you do. Personally I have not come to the same conclusion on evolution and Creationism as the author, but I don't find that to be off-putting. In fact, I appreciate the challenge and would hope that the people who read this book (especially teens) take the time to research why they would agree or disagree with the conclusions of this story to better understand their own beliefs. Beyond the potential controversy, I had a blast reaching back into my past and remembering what it was like to be in high school. Robin has a magical way of capturing that inner 14 year old that is still alive inside of her, and making that character jump off the page. And this book isn't just for girls -- Lord of the Rings plays a heavy role (as it should in every aspect of our lives ;)! Kudos to the writer. I can't wait for her sophomore release. The bar has been set very high!

Can't say enough

I have read three brilliant teen books in the past year. This is one of them. (The others I've adored: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, and Every Crooked Pot by Renee Rosen.) Where else can you find science, God, love, hatred, potatoes, Starbucks, and puppies all in one fantastic story? Nowhere but here. Kudos to Robin Brande for writing a sensitive novel about a controversial topic.
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