Your best friend hates you. The guy you liked hates you. Your entire group of friends hates you.
All because you did the right thing.
Welcome to life for Mena, whose year is starting off in the worst way possible. She’s been kicked out of her church group and no one will talk to her—not even her own parents. No one except for Casey, her supersmart lab partner in science class, who’s pretty funny for the most brilliant guy on earth.
And when Ms. Shepherd begins the unit on evolution, school becomes more dramatic than Mena could ever imagine . . . and her own life is about to evolve in some amazing and unexpected ways.
Before I start my rant, let me give credit where credit is due.
The main characters are fairly interesting. There are churches like the one portrayed in the book (though I’ve only heard of them). There are Christians (or at least professing Christians) who believe in Evolution.
That being said, here are my problems with this book. (Now, I waited some time before writing this so it didn’t turn into a flame review, so some details may now have escaped me.)
1. The false dichotomy. Brande sets the story up and basically gives the reader two options. The crazy cult church who believes in Creationism (as taught in the Bible) but who are inept at defending their beliefs and who in many ways does not act like a Christian should. OR The rational, good, kind Christian evolutionists. In this book, there’s no in between. Creationism in this book is equated with unbalanced, unbiblical believers.
2. It would be nice if Brande did her homework on such things as the fossil record. Now, I’m not a scientist by any means, but I know enough from a couple college classes to know that Brande casts broad generalizations and completely ignores the evidence pointing to Creation as shown in the Bible. She doesn’t address the problem of having Evolution begin before the Fall and she doesn’t address the lack of fossils to support Evolution. A lot is just presupposed. Now, I understand this is a work of fiction, but that’s not a good excuse for shoddy research. And since the main plot is her struggle with this topic, these things should be addressed.
3. Now, this one made me really mad… taking the Bible out of context. Several times the main character takes Scripture out of context to erroneously support Evolution.
Note: I am a believer, and I fully believe in Creation as it is given in the Bible. Microevolution, which we see among species, can be seen and proven and is supported by Scripture (“kinds” in Genesis). Macroevolution is a theory and a worldview and in many ways a belief system (or religion). Many evidences in creation can be read through this lens or through Creationist lens (for instance, Evolutionists and Creationists have different views on such things as the Grand Canyon). Either way, you’re reading your own view onto the evidence.