EVOLUTION, ME, AND OTHER FREAKS OF NATURE is a startling, controversial, humorous, and question-riddled read that is unlike anything out there. It makes science appealing, yet doesn't blast religion like most books of its ilk are prone to do.
While Mena is a rather infuriatingly passive protagonist, most of the characters are, indeed, well drawnâincluding Mena's passivity. The so-called âBack TurnersââMena's old and horrendously close-minded church friendsâare for the most part evil villain types, but the heroes and heroines are all extremely quirky, intelligent, and lovable. I wanted more action on Mena's part, but I understand her position of fear, trying to hide from her old friends who now bully her. Mena's relationship with her disappointed parents could have been more developed, but I appreciated how Brande is not claiming that science is superior to religion, or that the two cannot coexist. Overall, I really enjoyed this well-written and hopeful debut novel.