Mena starts high school with all of her former friends now enemies after she does something (which isn’t explained until much later in the book) that results in her church, her pastor and the parents of most of her friends getting sued. All along we get the feeling that Mena is in the right. She’s a religious person in the true sense of the word, while her former best friend, the pastor’s daughter and her almost boyfriend are the ones treating her cruelly and calling her names.
Everything explodes in biology class, where she’s finally made a new friend in Casey, a boy science nerd, but her old friends embark on a campaign against the planned curriculum once the subject matter turns to evolution. Mena sees the conflict between science and her religious faith, but educates herself (through her teacher, the Bible and her own observations) and comes to a greater understanding, seeing that being Christian and being a scientist don’t have to conflict.
I enjoyed the characters in the book, especially Mena, and was glad that through her, we were introduced to Casey’s family. His family showed such a great contrast between Mena’s “Christian” home, where her parents were hardly speaking to her and not supporting her (correct) actions at all. Plus, I loved the bits of innocent romance between Mena and Casey.
Rated: Mild, for five uses of the b-word. There is discussion of a gay character.