Friday, March 26, 2010

That's Life, Samara Brooks by Daniel Ehrenaft

"That's Life, Samara Brooks" by Daniel Ehrenhaft is
something else. The book starts off with Samara getting
in trouble for starting a gambling ring at school. Then,
she proposes an idea to her principal--she will use an
electron microscope to test her DNA against Lily's (school
president and friend that bet on blackjack and lost); if
the structure is the same, Samara should not be punished
more for being "bad" because she is innately no different
from Lily. Nathan--a geeky boy obsessed with alien / code
theory--joins in the experiment, too. Mystery heats up as
Nathan points out a mysterious "eye" in the photos of
Samara's DNA that hint at extraterrestrial origins. The
story gets even more intense when the photos are stolen
and detectives are hot on the trail of the children.

This book is written from the perspectives of Samara,
Lily, and Nathan in chunks. The topic of God comes up a
lot--particularly because the donor of the electron
microscope to the school was a scientific rival to a
creationist. Certain characters believe in God as a
gambler but think it's okay if others don't believe in him
(Samara), certain believe in Jesus (Lily), and certain
claim not to believe in God but simultaneously think he is
an alien (Nathan). Unfortunately, at times, the
creationist is seen as stupid and an ill-representation of
the church. This book is a great mystery and quick to
read, but the religious views are somewhat reflective of
the perhaps confused nature of the author's own views. If
anything, this book will be good for young Christian
readers to test their faith and see how they react to what
these characters say, which would be excellent for group
discussion.

Religious discrepancies
Reviewer Age:18
Reviewer City, State and Country: Staten Island, NY USA

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