Size Doesn’t Matter (51): Mini Reviews

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (51): Mini ReviewsSummer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods
Published by Crown BFYR on May 10, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book Depository

Fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Jenny Han will fall in love with this heartfelt and humor-laced debut following one girl’s race to find the guy of her cosmic dreams.

When zodiac-obsessed teen Wilamena Carlisle discovers a planetary alignment that won’t repeat for a decade, she’s forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—relationships and love.

But when Wil falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the astrology chart, she must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her dead mother’s legacy and the very system she’s faithfully followed through a lifetime of unfailing belief.

Summer of Supernovas has all the ship and banter I could possibly want, and it came so close to being one of my favorites for this year. Unfortunately, I dislike astrology enough that I struggled with Summer of Supernovas a bit.

Here’s the thing: I get that astrology can be fun, but I really cannot take it seriously. Wilamena takes it VERY seriously. To the degree that she lives her life according to her astrological chart and horoscope. When she meets people, she immediately sizes them up according to their sign and decides whether she wants to associate with them based on that, which to me is cuckoo. Obviously, Summer of Supernovas involves her character arc of learning to base people on more than their sign, but whenever she went really into the astrology stuff, I was thrown out of the book a bit. I will say that Wil’s astrology obsession makes sense, since it is her way of connecting with her mom who died when she was six.

Also, the astrology made the book so needlessly melodramatic. Summer of Supernovas centers on Wil’s love triangle with two brothers. The love triangle exists only because the one she feels the amazing connection with (Grant) is a Pisces and her chart specifically warns her off Pisces; the other brother (Seth), though, is a Sagittarius, her perfect match according to the stars. The central conflict of the book is actually “BUT HE’S A PISCES.”

Despite all of that, Summer of Supernovas is excellent banterfluff. The ship is excellent. I mostly like the handling of a really messy love triangle, because Seth is, on the whole, fairly likable. His character gets a bit more shit than I’d like, but mostly he’s a good guy. I’d also love a book from the perspective of Wil’s friend, Irina, who is very much not like Wil and would likely have a very interesting perspective.

If you’re into the whole fluffy, shippy contemporary thing, you’ll like this one. If you enjoy astrology, you’ll probably love it.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (51): Mini ReviewsLearning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on July 5, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Science Fiction, Humor
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book Depository

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.

Though the title Learning to Swear in America initially peaked my interest in this novel, I also hate it. The whole time I read it, I kept singing the title to the tune of “America” from West Side Story, which, let me tell you, gets old fast. The book, on the other hand, made me smile.

The blurb describes Learning to Swear in America as Andrew Smith meets Rainbow Rowell, which puzzled the hell out of me tbh, as those authors are not similar in my head. Shockingly, that blurb turns out to be right on the money. Add in a bit of The Martian and you’ve got an idea of what Learning to Swear in America is like.

I wasn’t sure if I would be into a novel about a Russian physicist boy wonder. Yuri, however, proves very adorable, and Kennedy keeps the science to a very reader-friendly level. Yuri’s flown out from Russia to aid NASA in trying to prevent a massive asteroid from colliding with earth and taking out at least the western United States. Considering how depressing that prospect is, Learning to Swear in America is surprisingly light-hearted and humorous. Yuri accidentally convinces the Americans that he’s a Russian spy with comedic results, for example.

gif nuclear wessels

For readers like me who live for romance, Yuri has an adorable romance with Dovie, a girl completely like him. She’s artistic and wild and all about living her youth to the fullest. Also, she hates math, which he lives for. The scene where he tags along to her high school for part of a day is one of the best in the novel.

There have been a lot of these “pre-apocalyptic” impending asteroid/meteor books coming out and, based on reviews, I’m willing to state confidently that Learning to Swear in America is the best of the bunch by a long shot. I thought it was fabulous, and I will definitely be reading whatever Kennedy does next.


3 responses to “Size Doesn’t Matter (51): Mini Reviews”

  1. Leah says:

    Oh, Summer of Supernovas. I really wanted to like the book, but I was bothered by so many things–mostly, as you pointed out, by Wil’s judging of people based on their sign.


    I also had a problem with the way she slut shamed her best friend in one chapter. Not cool.

  2. Shae says:

    *does a dance of joy in your comments section*

  3. Angie F. says:

    I feel like I need Summer of Supernovas in my life. I just got a skirt with the zodiac signs printed all over it, so clearly that was a sign.
    Angie F. recently posted…Review: The Reality O by Candy SloaneMy Profile

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