THAT’S LIFE, SAMARA BROOKS by Daniel Ehrenhaft

THAT’S LIFE, SAMARA BROOKS

Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Ridiculous theories of science and the paranormal destroy a promising story of nature vs. nurture. Samara Brooks heads a gambling ring in the cafeteria of her middle school. When she’s caught, she strikes a bargain with the principal: He won’t call her parents, and she’ll conduct a science experiment with the school’s never-used electron microscope, comparing her DNA to that of her friend and class president Lily Frederick. If Samara’s DNA is structurally identical to Lily’s, this will prove that she’s not a bad person. Weirdness ensues when classmate Nathan Weiss spots a pattern in Samara’s DNA that resembles clues to a 600-year-old extraterrestrial mystery. The multiple plots of gambling, adoption, aliens, religion and politics never jell. Plotlines are introduced then abandoned before their resolution. Even thinner than the plot are the characterizations. The teens are indistinct, and the adults are one-sided. A few funny, touching moments cannot save this convoluted mess. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 9th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-385-73434-9
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2010




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