I received a free copy of this book to review. However, the following review is my honest opinion.
Dan has suffered from crippling headaches ever since his family died in an accident. The headaches come every day without fail, leaving him unable to do anything but curl up in a wheezing ball of pain. But when he meets a mysteriously enchanting girl with huge eyes, his headache abandons him. Instead, he’s struck by a dangerous, sudden-onset heart condition: love (??).
Being the sensible, pain-avoiding teenager he is, Dan does everything he can to find this girl. He waits for her inside a garbage bin. He crawls through rancid tunnels at the park, where small children have probably peed. He even gives up his phone to bribe this one guy for information (now that’s devotion right there, folks). Unfortunately, there’s just one small problem. She’s not human. She’s an alien named Alex. (What a surprise, eh?)
Dan is cool with the whole alien thing, but predictably, other people are not. Alex gets shot and becomes life-threateningly ill. Now Dan has to choose between going to earthling doctors, risking Alex getting dissected, or somehow contacting alien doctors, risking his own life. See, this is why you avoid being a teenager. Most of the choices you make will be bad.
This blurb was written by me. For the author’s own description of this book, see the book’s Amazon page.
The Quills: 7.5/10
Ready for action, Dan rushed to her side. He had done a couple weeks of karate, so understood the basics: shout ‘Kia!’ so loud your opponent thought you knew what you were doing. If that failed, there were other car brands he could use.
-A.K. Dawson, Alien Love Story
Alien Love Story is a young adult sci-fi romance. I’m a little conflicted about the young adult part; the book reads very young, like upper middle grade. Also, the protagonist is 15 and seeing as how middle graders read up, he seems pretty close to middle-grade material. However, there is content that is most definitely not middle-grade-friendly.
The writing is quirky and, although some of the jokes are a little forced and/or may appeal more to a younger audience, this novel definitely is funny.
The romance seems kind of abrupt. The novel moves at a good pace until the romance kicks in. Then it blasts into hyperdrive. Oh, and you know that feeling when you realise you’ve entered the weird side of the internet? The plot of this book takes you there, so be prepared.
The world-building of the science fiction elements is kind of iffy. The aliens are pretty much the same ones that have been decorating our TVs since the 80’s, so they’re familiar, but still foreign and not quite on the page.
On the other hand, the characters are fun and bursting with personality. Just ignore the fact that there’s only three of them. (Unless you also count the guy who’s in 3 scenes.) The characterisation isn’t done super obviously; the author lets them speak with their actions instead of layering on heavy narration, which is wonderful.
Although this novel brought a lot of old material, the old dusty alien story was dusted off and shined up by the humour and the characters.
The Roses: 7/10
Ten pages into the novel, I knew I couldn’t read this in public; people kept giving me weird looks as I snickered in the corner. The humour was the biggest win for me. I totally remember all the times my brain has said, “Be cool,” and my mouth responded with something astoundingly stupid. I understand your pain, Dan!
Plot-wise, I was never entirely sold. It may have been that the world was too underdeveloped for me to believe it. It may have been the suddenness of the romance. Or maybe it was the deep, dark abyss of weirdness. Yeah, it may have been that.
Plot-wise, the best part was the end–and I don’t mean this in a mean way. I loved the way the book ended. It just seemed so right even though it was so wrong. (Am I cryptic enough yet?) After the escalating ridiculousness, the ending made me think, “Yes, this is how it works.”
Conclusion: Alien Love Story is a hilarious, crazy adventure. Watch your eyes though–don’t let the weirdness burn out your retinas!