Author: Martin Leicht & Isla Neal
Book #: 1st of Trilogy
Publisher: Simon & Schuster books for Young Readers
Publish Date: June 10th 2012
Date Read : September 10th 2013
Rating: ★★★½ / out of 5
The Goober is still kicking me like the kid's trying to place in the Olympic freestyle, so I wrap my right arm as tight around my belly as I can, until I'm, like, choke-holding my own stomach, and I tell the thing, "When you get out of there, bub, the two of us are going to have words."
Elvie Nara was doing just fine in the year 2074. She had a great best friend, a dad she adored, and bright future working on the Ares Project on Mars. But then she had to get involved with sweet, gorgeous, dumb-as-a-brick Cole—and now she’s pregnant.
Getting shipped off to the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers was not how Elvie imagined spending her junior year, but she can go with the flow. That is, until a team of hot commandos hijacks the ship—and one of them turns out to be Cole. She hasn’t seen him since she told him she’s pregnant, and now he’s bursting into her new home to tell her that her teachers are aliens and want to use her unborn baby to repopulate their species? Nice try, buddy. You could have just called.
So fine, finding a way off this ship is priority number one, but first Elvie has to figure out how Cole ended up as a commando, work together with her arch-nemesis, and figure out if she even wants to be a mother—assuming they get back to Earth in one piece.
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads)
This book is a super fun, light read about the future, pregnancy and aliens. It has the concept of a contemporary with the feel of a science-fiction adventure. While this is definitely not something I would normally read, I am glad I did. This book is hilarious. Elvie is sassy and super smart, and I knew that I would want her by my side during an alien invasion! I also really liked the side characters Ducky and Ramona. I thought they were good friends for Elvie.
What is up with that love interest, though? Elvie literally states multiple times that he is dumb as a bag of bricks. Even dumber than that, actually. But, of course, his super good looks are utterly irresistible and he "loves Elvie" so she loves him and forgives him, too. I wasn't really a big fan of him or the romance, but I don't hold it against the book too much.
Unfortunately, what I do hold against the book is the plot. It started off very fun and not too uncomplicated, and then soon became way too messed up for what it started out to be. I'm not going to go into too much detail, but basically there are two different races of aliens, one "good" and the other "bad", and they both want these pregnant teenage girls. Honestly, though, I had a hard time seeing the one as good:
"So you're saying we'd be hunkered down in caves, counting on our fingers and toes, without you guys? Scratching pictures on walls and humming to ourselves, is that it? That justifies selective sterilization?"This is basically my argument. Enough said. And, at this point, I was expecting the girls to revolt and refuse the "good" aliens' help. Unfortunately, they did not, but they were also in a very sticky situation as they were stranded on a spaceship. Who knows what will happen in the second book!
"Humankind has flourished with us."
"Maybe the species has flourished. But not the poor girls you rob of any choice of what to do with their bodies. What to do with their lives. They're just incubators to you."
Then, and this I will talk about even less, there is quite the discussion of abortion/termination of these weeks away from being due babies. I am not going to state my opinion on the matter, but I will say that I admire the protagonist for choice, and the message she sent:
I don't know anything about the Goober, not really. I don't know what he'll look like, act like, want to eat. He'll be a completely foreign creature to me, without a single strand of my DNA.
What I do know, though, is that he could grow up to be someone amazing. Important. How could I deny the world a child who may one day grow up to cure CMS? Or compose the next great symphony? Or develop a brave new political philosophy?
And if I raise the baby, I can make it more than simply the sum of the great genes it was born with. I can teach it the things that make human beings so wonderful- the joy of blowing bubbles on a sunny day, the oppotunity to go to school, to have a family. The unconditional love of a real, true parent who already knows that great things lie in store for him, and can help prepare him for them. If I raise this baby, it will be mine, DNA or not. When it comes to caring for the species or caring for the individual, sometimes you don't have to choose.
My mind made up at last, I wrestle my phone out of my pocket and open a new message box.
Overall, even though Elvie had so many plans for her life and worried that having a baby would ruin them, she learns that she can still do those things. She doesn't have to let having a baby hold her back. I really found her to be a strong and easily admirable character. I would totally recommend this book!
I wanted to ask her if when her baby's born she's going to cut the horns off right away, or wait until the kid is older. But I'm a civil sort of gal, and civil sorts of gals don't say things like that.
I'm really hoping he'll go and get E. coli soon so I can donate my kidney and make it up to him, but so far he seems totally healthy. Which if you ask me is just being selfish.
But it turns out that the kind of guy you want to raise a baby with isn't always the kind you want to make one with in the first place.
"Watching soap operas without female company shrivels my man parts."
"You can make it!" I shout at her.
Ramona is less encouraging. "Bitch, drop the beach ball!"
"Conjugate this, asshole," she tells him, then socks him square in the jaw.
"Cole is the Picasso of Lower Merion High School," I tell Ramona. I point to my baby bump. "Behold, Guernica."
"Aaahhh," she says, nodding in Cole's direction. "Well, it's nice to meet the artist in his prime."
Which is more important to save- the individual or the group?
"Come on. That's it. Hoo-hoo-hooo, hee-hee,hee, hoo-hoo-hoo..."
"Keep that up, and I'm going to hit you right in your 'hoo-hoo.'"
On My Goodreads: