Twelve-year-old Brine Seaborne is a girl with a past--if only she could remember what it is. Found alone in a rowboat as a child, clutching a shard of the rare starshell needed for spell-casting, she's spent the past years keeping house for an irritable magician and his obnoxious apprentice, Peter.
When Brine and Peter get themselves into a load of trouble and flee, they blunder into the path of the legendary pirate ship the Onion. Before you can say "pieces of eight," they're up to their necks in the pirates' quest to find Magical North, a place so shrouded in secrets and myth that most people don't even think it exists.
If Brine is lucky, she’ll find her place in the world. And if she's unlucky, everyone on the ship will be eaten by sea monsters. It could really go either way.
"A robust debut, well stocked with heroic exploits, monsters, pirates, explosions, magical transformations, and life-changing adventures, and a promising series starter."
An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. A big, bad one. Maybe not kill-all-the-dinosaurs bad, but at least kill-everyone-in-California-and-wipe-out-Japan-with-a-tsunami bad. Yuri, a physicist prodigy from Russia, has been recruited to aid NASA as they calculate a plan to avoid disaster.
The good news is Yuri 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 the trouble is, even though NASA asked for his help, no one there will listen to him. He's seventeen, and they've been studying physics longer than he's been alive.
Then he meets (pretty, wild, unpredictable) 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 live a life worth saving.
"The science Kennedy weaves throughout the story is fascinating and accessible, and Yuri and Dovie’s gentle romance is pitch-perfect. This novel is made to savor—readers will want to catch every nuance of Kennedy’s multidimensional characters."
My review: Oh my goodness this book is SO FREAKING ADORABLE. Yuri is a darling. Yuri's adorableness is 900000% of the reason this book works so well. He's a genius and he's totally gonna save the world, but he's still so young and awkward, and saving the world is kind of difficulty when adults are so frustrating and girls are so confusing and Americans are so baffling.
I love the friends Yuri makes almost as much as I love him. ALMOST, but not quite, for in these pages my love for Yuri has no equal. He is surrounded by some pretty great characters, especially Dovie and Lennon and their family, who are all the kind of people I would love to spend some time hanging out with. (I would bring my own baked goods, though.)
LEARNING TO SWEAR made me laugh and it made me sigh happily and then it made my heart grow three sizes. Such a fun book!