Sunday, September 15, 2013

Book Review: Mothership

Title: Mothership
Author: Martin Leicht and Isla Neal
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Shuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Science fiction
Pages: 308
Age Rating: Readers above the age of 13 due to teen pregnancy
My Opinion: 7/10

Hi, Readers!

       Are you tired of reading the endless list of Young Adult novels about vampires, werewolves, and wizards?  Well, I have found the perfect sci-fi book for you!  Mothership, by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal, is a refreshingly light and comical read that, despite a few flaws, made me laugh out loud.

Mothership's alternate cover
Mothership's alternate cover
        Elvie Nara is living a normal life, attending high school with her best friend, Ducky, and her arch nemesis, Britta.  However, all of this normality ends when the new boy at school, Cole, impregnates both Elvie and Britta.  The two are sent to the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers, located on an old space station orbiting Earth.  Elvie doesn't completely hate the space school because she takes interesting pregnancy-related classes and gets free visits to the resident doctor.  Her peaceful pregnancy is put to a stop when, three weeks from her due date, alien-fighters board the aircraft.  They start attacking the Hanover teachers, claiming that the staff is comprised of extraterrestrials.  Most surprisingly of all, one of the alien-fighters is Cole!  The Hanover students decide to place their trust in the alien-fighters and begin an arduous journey to the Captain's Quarters, where an escape shuttle is located to take them back to Earth.  The teachers have implanted obstacles throughout their path, such as a zero-gravity chamber and workout robots.  Elvie has to help her classmates (including her enemy, Britta) to safety while deciding whether or not to put her trust in Cole, all while struggling with the information that she may have an irrevocable connection to the mysterious alien teachers.

       Leicht and Neal include a plethora of one-liners and funny statements throughout the novel.  For example, when Elvie hears about a childcare class requiring students to care for flour sacks, she claims that, "If anyone can ever find a way to explain to me how carrying around a sack of flour with a diaper on it is supposed to prepare you for motherhood, I will personally bake that person a chocolate cake with my practice baby's insides."  Elvie's sarcasm and unique point of view make reading about her adventures similar to reading a personal journal.

       My absolute favorite part of the novel would have to be the ending.  The authors throw in such a dramatic twist at the end of the book that I am desperately awaiting the sequel's publication this November.  The ending is so perfect that I never saw it coming, yet it makes sense and pertains to the original story line.

Book 2, A Stranger Thing
        One part of the story that I dislike is that certain characters lack depth.  For example, Elvie's enemy, Britta, seems shallow and one-dimensional.  The popular cheerleader either completely ignores Elvie or makes fun of her, both on Earth and in space.  Even after Elvie saves her life, she refuses to say "thank you" or acknowledge the kind deed with a smile.  Another one-sided character who has no apparent purpose in the novel is the AV club instructor, Desi.  Why is he even included in the story?  On the other hand, Elvie is certainly a multi-faceted character.    

       Overall, I enjoyed reading Mothership and will read its sequel, A Stranger Thing.  I liked Elvie's personality and wanted her to stay safe for her baby's sake.  Although the novel has some imperfections, it has a fresh and spunky attitude.  It is definitely unlike anything that I have ever read in the past.

Happy reading,

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