Monday, January 10, 2011

Book Review: Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature

Another blast from the past review, but still poignant I think. And this book is still one of my favorites today!
A lot of issues in today’s society are black and white. There aren’t many instances where you can stand in the middle of two totally opposing sides of an argument and decide that you support both arguments. In Robin Brande’s first stab at writing, Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature, Mena finds a way to mesh her religious world that she’s known for so long with the world of science that’s she’s just being introduced to.
     The central focus of the novel is Mena Reece. Mena just recently started high school without a friend in the world. Her former “friends” were people from her church, who decided not to be friends with Mena after the whole incident with wanting to reform Denny. Who knew that standing up against her friend’s crude acts, after she realized the consequences of them, was so wrong?
     Now after all that drama she is stuck with a lab partner with an extra dose of nerdy, what type of teenager spends hours a day reading his teacher’s blog…weird. However, after a few days of getting to know Casey, Mena realizes that he’s not so bad after all, in fact she even finds that she likes spending time with the curly haired science geek.
     This novel is full of controversy on contemporary topics. New Advantage High School goes through a bit of a Scopes Monkey Trial, without the actual trial, when some of Mena’s former friends, lead by Pastor Wells a minister just looking to stir up trouble, decide to shake up the biology classroom while the unit on evolution is taught.
     Throughout the bible kid’s displays of disaffection Mena goes through a serious of self actualizing moments and begins to realize that science and god can mix. Near the end of the book Mena begins to scour the bible, that she has been taught to adore, to find passages where the bible actually supports evolution.
     The greatest part of this book is that it really makes the reader examine his own life, along with the things he believes in. It also really makes the reader think about who his friends are and how they make a negative or positive impact on how they live their own life.
By page 268 the reader is sure to have not only fallen in love with Mena Reece,and the Connor Clan, but also they will have gained a new perspective on life as they thought they knew it. 

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