Sunday, January 24, 2010
Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
Posted by Laura
If you ever take a contemporary literary theory class (just for the heck of it), one of the theories you run across in the post-modernist train of thought is the “fact” that there are no original ideas. I’ve noticed that quite a few of the Beehive nominees this year play right into this theory. Take Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature for instance. This book is basically a slightly candy-coated version of the movie Saved with Mandy Moore and Macaulay Culkin. Not being a huge fan of the over-the-top parody of Radical Christianity that Saved supplies, I liked this book much better, but the basic idea is the same. A teenage girl finds herself a sudden outcast among her group of radically Christian friends because she feels deeply in her heart that their brand of Christianity is leading them to persecute the gentiles in an un-Christlike manner. Thus, she wrestles with “worldly” concepts that she has always viewed as wrong (until her recent inner revelation that leads her contrary to her previous radical Christian beliefs) such as wizardry in Lord of the Rings, Science vs. Religion, and homosexuality. Her quirky new friends, crazy biology teacher, and former radical friends provide a pretty entertaining back-drop for an angsty search to find a new-and-improved brand of Christian beliefs. The book has its moments, and could probably do a lot of good in making teenagers think about how their convictions, beliefs, and actions affect other people. However, it isn’t always compelling, isn’t particularly exciting, and has too many slower moments to make it a Beehive Award winner. Bottom line: worth reading, but I’m not rushing to the book store to buy it, and I don’t anticipate reading it again.