I was going to wait and blog about this one tomorrow, but I couldn’t sleep (yes, I’m still up at 5:30 AM), so forgive me for any fuzziness/mistakes in this post, as I haven’t slept since yesterday. My mind is too busy, with various things, to sleep.  Including this book, of which I intended to read a chapter of before going to bed but ended up reading the whole thing.

Yes, it really is that good. I don’t want to give away too much, but I’m going to have to tell you more than what’s on the back cover because that is very vague which is all well and good, but don’t read on if you are very very anti-spoiler.

At the start of the book, everybody in Mena’s group of friends, who all happen to be from her church, hates her for doing the right thing in a situation where that meant going against what her friends did. So she’s starting high school not only friendless, but with people actually knocking her books out of her arms in the hallway. The atmosphere at home is a bit chilly, too; her parents seem to have sided with her church.

There’s one bright spot in Mena’s day, though: science class. Ms. Shepard is a really amazing (and really weird, but in a good way) teacher, and her lab partner, Casey, isn’t too bad either. Soon, Mena’s got a new crowd: Casey, his big sister Kayla, and her friends.

Kayla, however, is a very outspoken and opinionated sort of person. So getting involved with her pretty much means that Mena’s not going to be suffering the freeze-out from her church in silence for very long.

First of all, I have got to say I LOVED Kayla. Mena was a great character, too–they all were–but Kayla was by far my favorite. I guess she’s the outspoken, intelligent person I want to be but don’t have the guts to be. Ms Shepard is another fantastic character; she’s a science teacher I wish I could have! Josh, Casey, Mrs. Connor–I could go on about how great all of the characters are, but you get the idea.

EVOLUTION certainly talks about controversial issues, but it’s not in a heavy-handed Christian fiction sort of way. The topic of evolution obviously comes up, and it is nicely addressed–not as evolution vs. intelligent design, or evolution vs. religion. I read a comparison somewhere of this book to the movie SAVED (brilliant movie, by the way, see it!), I can’t remember where, and that was right on target (not that Mena gets pregnant or anything, just in the way the issues are addressed).

I love the characters and the story in this book, but it’s also just a very well-written novel. It obviously flowed well, if it had me in its clutches all night! Robin Brande is pretty much brilliant. This is a smart, absorbing novel sure to find a fan in anyone who reads it!

Five Stars

PS: You can win a copy of this book and other cool prizes by participating at its website.